RD Close-Up: Priscilla Delgado, RD, LD, H-E-B Registered Dietitian
By RDBA Executive Director Annette Maggi, MS, RDN, LD, FAND
Please describe your role at H-E-B.
My role as an H-E-B Registered Dietitian primarily consists of delivering one-on-one personalized nutrition consultations to patients. Services may be covered by insurance or patient can choose to self-pay. I think of my job as working for a private practice within a larger company.
What's the story behind your experience in retail?
From a young age, I had my heart set on pursuing a career in Nutrition because of my passion for food and helping others. In high school, I took an Independent Study Mentorship Program where I had the opportunity to shadow a professional in my field of interest. My mentor happened to be Rosalinda Benner, the very first H-E-B registered dietitian. Rosie created recipes for the MyTexasLife Magazine and was a nutrition resource for the company. This experience opened my eyes to a whole new world of nutrition I never knew existed and I was in LOVE!! My goal then was to one day work for H-E-B. Fast forward four years later, H-E-B Nutrition Services as we know it today was born and consisted of just a handful of RDs. A year later I completed one of my Dietetic Internship rotations at H-E-B. I learned that Nutrition Services was growing and that RDs had to wear many different hats to help the business continue to thrive. Still intrigued, I knew that in order to flourish as a professional I needed to build a solid foundation and get experience before applying at H-E-B. Six years later, I took the leap of faith and accepted what I believe to be a start of my dream job. This is where I work today, and I could not be more grateful to work for such an amazing company with the best group of RDs by my side.
What has been the biggest challenge for you as a dietitian working in the retail industry?
The biggest challenge for me as a dietitian working in the retail industry is keeping up with all the new trends and products in the grocery store. When I am not seeing patients, I spend time walking through the store familiarizing myself with products on the shelf. I also make it a point to buy new products on my weekly grocery trip so I can speak to the taste and make better recommendations. This is my excuse to say I must try this product…you know, for science!
What is one thing you wish you had known before starting your career in retail?
One thing I did not realize before starting a career in retail dietetics is how dynamic the industry is due to the nature of keeping up with business needs. To me this is what is so exciting about the job because it keeps you on your toes and gives you the opportunity to learn more every day.
Has there been anything specific that has held you back?
One thing that held me back at first was the feeling of not being ready to start a new adventure since I was comfortable with my job. I have learned that being comfortable all the time does not propel us forward. Also, there was some degree of uncertainty that I would not be a good fit. I mentioned earlier that I took the leap of faith to take this job because I did not know if I would be successful. What is most important to me in a career is that I continue to do what I love and never stay stagnant.
In a similar vein, has there been anything specific that help you moved forward in your role?
My past job experiences especially working in school nutrition helped me understand the food industry and develop communication skills. The background I have developed will continue to help me be a better nutrition professional every day.
Bio: Priscilla completed her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition and Dietetic Internship Program at the University of Texas at Austin. Most of her experience is centered on community education effects and school nutrition. Priscilla is passionate about wellness and hopes to improve the lives of Texans through a personalized nutrition approach. In her free time, she enjoys going on food adventures, traveling, and spending time with her Husband and two fur-babies (Waffles and Biscuit).