Student Perspective: Bri Fortin Class of 2018

Master’s student Bri Fortin recently took some time to connect with the Career Center about her undergraduate experience at UMaine, what she’s doing now and where she’s headed when she graduates next year. Originally from New Hampshire, she was torn between attending her home state school of UNH or traveling north to attend UMaine. When she visited UMaine, she remembers it being cold outside, but the homey warmth of the campus struck her. Once she visited the Recreation Center, she was sold.

When she started at the University of Maine in the nutrition program, she immediately dove right into her coursework. It took her a little longer to warm up to the idea of getting involved on campus, but when she did she quickly established a presence on campus. She held officer positions in the Nutrition Club, donated her time for volunteerism, worked for a year as a Resident Assistant and spent all four years as a personal trainer and group exercise director with the Recreation Center.

In her undergraduate program there were two classes that really stood out to Bri. During her senior year capstone class she along with three of her classmates were placed into a group then challenged to create four community nutrition lesson plans. Her group gave their lessons to the Stillwater Montessori School, which provided Bri with her first opportunity to work with young children, which she found she enjoyed. Her second favorite class was medical nutrition therapy, in which she learned how different diseases impact the body and what types of diets can help correct those ailments.

Bri recalls the year she spent as a Resident Assistant in Somerset Hall as being one of the most memorable from her undergraduate experience. She found the experience to be very enjoyable and loved working with a cohesive staff. Perhaps most importantly, her role as a RA allowed her to learn a lot about campus and how everything works. To this day, she utilizes the knowledge she gained from the position regarding campus functions, offices, faculty and staff. She also credits working as a RA with helping her to break out of her shell. She was able to talk with lots of different people and work to help them, which she loves to do.

After completing her bachelor’s, Bri was accepted into the Master’s of Nutrition program at UMaine. She also won a spot in the competitive ten person dietetic internship, which upon completion will enable her to take her exam to become a registered dietician. In order to earn the qualifications to sit for the exam, Bri will participate in 8-9 months of clinical rotations, food service and community rotations. She will complete this combined program in August 2018 and hopes to find a position in Portland, Maine with a hospital or working in community nutrition on an outpatient basis.

When she isn’t hitting the books or educating others on healthy eating, Bri can often be found in the gym. During the warmer months of the year she likes to take advantage of the nice weather by heading to the beach or hiking in Acadia National Park with friends and family. If she could offer current or prospective undergraduate students advice, she would suggest that they don’t hesitate in reaching out to take advantage of the opportunities and resources offered at UMaine. When she needed help with brushing up her resume, Bri headed to the Career Center for assistance. She had an “awesome” experience working with a Career Counselor to get her resume up to par. She encourages students to get out and utilize the resources available to them.