Student Spotlight: Laura Rosales, MSAN student
Laura Rosales, R.D. is a Master of Science in Applied Nutrition (MSAN) student from El Paso, Texas. She’s a busy working mother who enjoys the academic challenge of pursuing her master’s degree while managing her daily schedule. Prior to beginning her degree with UNE, Laura gained extensive experience in many areas related to the field of nutrition. Pursuing a master’s degree in nutrition had been a goal of Laura’s for a long time and she is thrilled to be taking this next step online with the University of New England.
A diverse career
Currently Laura works as a nutrition consultant educating families, caregivers and individuals with special needs on dietary requirements, conducting dietary assessments and developing eating plans. Laura believes her diverse background puts her in the unique position to work as a consultant. “Working with different populations with varying nutritional needs showed me where the needs in the market were.”
Before branching out as a consultant, Laura opened a medical clinic with her husband, a nurse practitioner, and practiced nutrition therapy there. Prior to that she served as a hospital dietitian creating dietary plans and conducting nutritional assessments for dialysis, cardiac and oncology patients. Laura has also worked as a home health dietitian for young children with special needs, educating their families on their distinct nutritional needs, and has served as a nutritionist for the New Mexico Department of Public Health.
With such varied experience in nutrition and dietetics, Laura encourages those new to the field to “add variety to their careers because you never know when you will need to change. Working across different nutritional needs gives you the opportunity to learn and and stay current since the field is changing all the time.”
A passion for nutrition
Laura’s interest in nutrition was sparked by an unfortunate family event: her grandmother developed liver cancer. Laura explained that “finding ways to feed my grandmother was challenging for our family.” Laura’s husband was studying nursing at the time and suggested nutrition as a possible career path. Laura started taking classes and found she loved the courses and was absorbing the material quickly. Today, Laura feels lucky to have stumbled onto a career she feels so passionately about. She enjoys helping others lead healthier lives.
Deciding to take the next step
Earning her master’s degree in nutrition was always a goal of Laura’s, but she put her desire on the back burner while she started a family and worked at jobs she enjoyed. When it was time to take the next step, Laura chose UNE for several reasons. She knew she wanted an online master’s degree program because she didn’t have the time to attend classes in person or commute to her local university. UNE was especially intriguing because of the option to focus on nutrition and disease prevention, which fits perfectly with Laura’s background and career goals.
In hindsight, Laura is glad she waited until later on in her career to pursue her master’s degree. She mentioned that she is happy to be earning her master’s today as the program is bringing her up to speed with modern technology and improving her computer skills. She explains “computers were new when I was a college student, so this has been a bit of an adjustment.” She knows this additional tech-savvy skillset which has come as a product of earning her degree online will only help her in her career going forward.
Managing her schedule as busy working mom
As the working mom of a 13-year-old and a 15-year-old, Laura has become adept at time management. When asked how she makes time for everything she remarked “managing the course load hasn’t been as tough as I thought it would be. I do my work before my kids wake up and after they go to bed. I do 1-2 hours a day of reading or homework. Planning it into my day has been very helpful.”
Support and program structure are key
Laura’s favorite aspects of the Master of Science in Applied Nutrition program so far are the format of the program and the support she’s received from UNE’s student support team. Laura expanded, “the program has been very supportive with helping me understand how to use the online system and do unfamiliar things like submit homework online.” Laura appreciates the responsiveness of the student support team and mentioned that it has made the transition to graduate school easier.
Life after UNE
When asked about her plans for after she finishes her degree, Laura ventures that she might pursue her PhD. She is considering applying to doctoral programs with the goal of working in education and training other dietitians, nurses and doctors on nutrition theory and application. Whatever she decides to do, Laura believes that earning her Master of Science in Applied Nutrition at UNE will have been a positive step in her journey.
The Master of Science in Applied Nutrition program at UNE is currently accepting applications. For more information, please go to online.une.edu/applied-nutrition. Or, for in-depth questions about the program, feel free to call (855) 751-4447 or email an enrollment counselor at email@example.com.