Hope Padilla

Hope PadillaYear of Graduation: 2012
Major: Nutrition


Why were you interested in nutrition?

Nutrition has always been a subject I was passionate in. I love science, as well, so I was very excited to see that there was a lot of science involved in nutrition. The topic of nutrition is also very important in prevention of nutrition-related diseases.

Why did you join the HANDS program?

I really loved the idea of UMass having a program focusing on minority students who are interested in pursuing a career in nutrition and healthcare. I personally didn’t know of any other minorities (other than myself) who wanted to become a registered dietitian, although it was also great to see minorities wanting to pursue careers in healthcare and medicine.

What did you enjoy about the HANDS program?

I enjoyed meeting other minority students in the program and working with Dr. Cohen. Not all of the HANDS scholars wanted to pursue careers as registered dietitians, but it was good to see that they wanted to major in nutrition to learn more about it and use what they learned about nutrition in their future healthcare and medical fields. I really feel that people in the medical field lack some nutritional knowledge. Nutrition education is very important, especially when talking with patients about nutrition-related diseases.

What were your most memorable experiences at UMass and in the HANDS program?

I really liked meeting new people at UMass and getting to know them. The environment I was living in was awesome, as well. Amherst is such a beautiful area where you can do so much. I also enjoyed getting together and having our traditional end-of-the-semester dinner with the other HANDS scholars.

What are some study tips?

Take good notes during lectures. Look back at your notes and start studying them. Even when you’re not going to have an exam the following class, it helps to review the information early on so that it’s absorbed into your brain. Although difficult, try not to procrastinate so much.

What are your career goals?

I would love to become a registered dietitian specializing in eating disorders. I would also love to, some day, have my own private practice, and have an eating disorders clinic focusing on minorities who suffer with these illnesses.

What is some advice for nutrition students and prospective HANDS Scholars?

  • Plan some goals in what you want to do early on in your undergraduate career.
  • Get to know your professors. They are great networking tools for when you need references.
  • Meet new people. You may find those who also have the same major interests as you. They may also be good networking tools.
  • Do well in all your classes.
  • Get as much work and volunteer experience as possible while an undergraduate. The more you have on your résumé, the better chance you will have in getting into graduate schools or internships.
  • Manage your time wisely.