Advance Your Career: Blog

Advance Your Career: Blog

Student learns to balance work and life with online master’s in clinical nutrition

Portrait of young smiling female nutritionist holding weight scale and apple in the consultation room

When Jennifer Raabe decided to go to graduate school, she had the same questions and concerns that most adults do. Here’s how the University of Wisconsin–Madison helped her find balance in her life and career while she completed her M.S. in Clinical Nutrition in just one year.

What drew you to UW–Madison’s clinical nutrition program?

Raabe: First, it specialized in clinical nutrition, as opposed to dietetic studies, which many other programs do. Then the flexibility of being able to do it online and still feeling like I was part of the school were important to me. Online education can be difficult because you don’t always have the resources available that a traditional student does. But I never felt that, even while I was applying.

What challenges did you face while completing this program?

Raabe: Definitely finding that balance of figuring out how much time I need for my school work and my family. I also had to accept not being perfect at all things, which is a challenge. Clinical nutritionists are a perfectionistic group, it’s just who we are. But I’ve accepted that I’m doing everything I can to be the best I can at everything I do.

How did UW–Madison help you overcome your challenges?

Raabe: It’s very helpful to know what to expect for the semester, and I cannot say enough about all of the professors’ ability to lay it out. They told us this is what we’re doing, this is when we are doing it, this is the expectation and this is when they’ll be available for questions on what day.

What surprised you about working collaboratively online with your classmates?

Raabe: I appreciated working in those groups and discussing things. I shared what I do really well and what I don’t do really well. For example, I work in pediatrics, so I understand adults but it’s not my forte. So I could say to my classmates: These are adult medicines? What does it look like, how do they impact people nutritionally? Being able to pull from everyone’s expertise was super helpful and surprising. We talked through everything collaboratively, even with the professor leading the discussion.

What advice do you have for people considering this program?

Raabe: It’s absolutely possible, and you should do it in a year! You can take one or two classes and still have a healthy social life and work-life balance. Also don’t be afraid to reach out if you don’t understand something, professors are more than happy to explain it.

Would you recommend the online master’s in clinical nutrition to other people?

Raabe: I would and I have. People my age have a lot of things to consider when we decide whether we want to go to school again or not. We have families, we have careers and we need to decide if we really want to add on school and the time to complete school. This program’s flexibility, taking as many classes as you want or as few, is really helpful. The cost is appropriate. I think if you’re in the clinical field and that’s what your focus is, it’s one of the best programs in the country.

Degree details

The online master’s degree in clinical nutrition at UW–Madison can be completed in four semesters of full-time enrollment or part-time at the student’s own pace. Applicants must have a bachelor’s degree and have completed several prerequisite courses. Students who already have a certificate in clinical nutrition from UW–Madison can finish their degree in just two semesters.

The online program provides project-based activities, case studies, weekly web conferences and discussion boards. Students also develop a research proposal that applies to their specific interests or their employer’s needs.

Download the clinical nutrition job outlook infographic and learn more about the online master’s degree in clinical nutrition.

Event grows careers and makes connections

Ambitious professionals are always looking for innovative ways to grow their career and nurture their networks. On Thursday, August 15, the University of Wisconsin­­–Madison’s Day on Campus offers the perfect opportunity to do both.

Meet people, build networks

As a Big Ten University UW–Madison leads the way on research across a huge array of disciplines, launches the careers of people who work around the globe, drives technology transfer and inspires scholar-athletes. All of which can make the university feel like a dauntingly large place.

Day on Campus eases your way into the kinds of personal connections that enhance your career and bring the best of UW–Madison into any workplace. It’s a perfect fit for individuals or for businesses.

One-on-one connections are critical. That’s why representatives from many colleges, diversity initiatives, continuing studies, athletics, research, business engagement and others are eager for informal conversations like those at Day on Campus. You meet the people who make things happen on campus. And campus partners meet the people who make things happen in the community.

Partnerships and innovation

Day on Campus starts with an explanation of how UW–Madison can advance businesses’ need for talent acquisition and research partnerships, as well as how individuals can tap into opportunities for professional development.

One-on-one networking follows, then RED talks (a take on the well-known TED talks) that highlight current research and education projects. The day concludes with a panel discussion from businesses such as Morningstar Inc., Lands’ End, Foxconn and American Family Insurance, who share how they identified and deployed new partnerships with UW–Madison.

Attendees can explore professional development options in executive education, engineering, farm/agriculture, healthcare, medicine and other areas, all while meeting some of UW–Madison’s leaders in these industries.


Day on Campus takes place at the UW–Madison Memorial Union from 8am-2pm on Thursday, August 15, 2019.

Online registration is $60 per person and is now open. Limited parking passes are available for an additional $20. The event is organized by the UW–Madison Office of Business Engagement.

Explore more professional development opportunities as well as online and flexible degrees and certificates from Continuing Studies.