June 10, 2014, by Duane Mellor

Graduate Stories – Enzo Di Battista

Enzo Di Battista

Master of Nutrition Graduate 2008

Joint Clinical Lead Dietitian in Adult Weight Management & CVD, Hywel Dda Health Board

PhD Student, Lifestyle Interventions for Cardiovascular Risk, Swansea University

My career route since graduation

I began my career as a dietitian working within the NHS in the acute setting. After a year and following successful interview, I moved into a specialist position as a dietitian working on a novel countywide project developed to prevent heart disease and type 2 diabetes. This job sparked a huge change in my career and I decided to gear my efforts toward health promotion, lifestyle and weight management intervention programs, behaviour change, research and lecturing.

My current roles

I currently have two positions, one within the NHS and another as a doctoral research student:

Joint Clinical Lead Dietitian in Adult Weight Management and Cardiovascular Disease (Part time β€”2 days a week).

This is a line management position spanning across an NHS Health Board in South West Wales. I work in partnership with another dietitian, who shares my title and works the remaining 3 days of the working week. We are responsible for training and supporting the weight management team of dietitians and dietetic assistants across the health board. We lead on the development, delivery and evaluation of our weight management groups and one-to-one interventions with patients who have obesity and the associated chronic diseases (e.g. heart disease, diabetes, respiratory disease and musculoskeletal conditions).

Doctoral Research Student β€” Qualitative research in workplace lifestyle intervention programs to prevent heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

This opportunity came from following my passion and the reason I became a dietitian β€”to help prevent disease. While working on a novel prevention project I was keen to explore the social dynamics of behaviour change and how people engage in prevention services. This was beyond the scope of my role as a dietitian so I came to realise that I would have to seek out research opportunities. By collaborating with medical consultants and academics I was successfully awarded a research scholarship. At present I am writing my PhD thesis and discussing my very interesting results, which I hope to publish in the near future.

What has helped me secure my current role?

For me, two key things: passion and collaboration. In a busy working environment such as the NHS you can easily get caught up in the day-to-day. Taking a step away from this and building genuine professional relationships gave me time for discussion and reflection. So, I’ve collaborated with many professionals and sought out good advice to pursue ideas and interests. Despite the challenges, the passion I have for my field spurs my interest and makes it a pleasure to come to work.

My tips to improve your employability

We are often told to recognise our limitations and develop our ‘areas for improvement’. This is essential for professional development, but focusing on minimizing our limitations does not make us more positive about our abilities. It is essential to recognise our qualities and look to maximise them. We are often good at something because it comes naturally to us or because we enjoy it, but just because we are good at something does not make us better than the next person. In short, find your strengths and positives, make them stronger and be a positive person.

find your strengths and positives. Seek out good advice to pursue ideas and interests…

If you are a graduate of Nutritional Sciences and would like to share your story, please let us know, contact Dr Jonathan Majewicz, Programme Manager for BSc Nutrition (jonathan.majewicz@nottingham.ac.uk )

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