Brian Lilly credits UB’s Dietetic Internship with helping him land his dream job, a corporate nutritionist for Wegmans, a major supermarket chain and one of the largest private companies in the United States.
In the role, he answers customers’ questions about nutritional needs and advises about the products and resources available to meet those needs.
Lilly brings a unique and well-rounded background to the position. He’d always been interested in exercise science and culinary arts and after being trained and working as a chef, he began exploring athletic performance. He then transitioned from being a member of the U.S. biathlon team to a coach.
“Coaches study exercise physiology and kinesiology, so I thought I’d distinguish myself from others by looking more into the role of nutrition on athletic performance,” said Lilly. “With my previous experience in the culinary world, it was a natural fit.”
After completing a didactic program in dietetics, he chose to attend UB to complete his Dietetic Internship, the final preparation for taking the national exam to become a registered dietitian. He had a family connection with the school—his sister had earned a bachelor’s degree from UB and had always spoken highly of her experience.
“One highlight of my Dietetic Internship experience was definitely my time spent in the research rotation,” said Lilly. “It gave me a good opportunity to assist and even participate in several studies, which I could use to develop the protocol for my own thesis proposal. The research experience also made the idea of conducting my own research a little less intimidating, and certainly more doable. Another highlight was researching and presenting my case study during clinical rotation. I found a really interesting subject and found the literature related to his conditions relevant and applicable to what I was learning in my classes.”
In addition to these skills, Lilly also learned valuable time management and study skills during the graduate study portion of the program, 15 credit hours leading to a Nutrition Advanced Certificate. “As good as my undergraduate education was, my professors at UB were really in a class by themselves,” he said. “Though the subject matter was much more in-depth than I had expected, and it seemed at times I was just struggling to keep my head above water, I was forced to learn how to complete my assigned tasks in a satisfactory and timely manner.” It was this ability to complete tasks under pressure that he felt helped distinguish him during his rotation at Wegmans, and led to his employment there.