Throughout the academic year, we will feature our professional mentors through a series of #MentorMonday blog posts. Stay tuned to learn more about these alumni and friends of Kansas State University and the College of Human Ecology!
This week’s featured mentor is Kristi Thaete, Director of Nutrition Services at Children’s Mercy Kansas City.
Kristi Thaete – MS, RD, LD, CNSC
Degree/Year/College or University:
B.S. in Dietetics / 2002 / Kansas State University
M.S. in Dietetics / 2007 / University of Kansas Medical Center
Current Job Title and Location:
Director of Nutrition Services, Children’s Mercy Kansas City
Talk briefly about your experiences in the College of Human Ecology at K-State. Specific major, any clubs you were involved in, memories that stick out to you and how your degree prepared you for your career:
I had a great experience in the College of Human Ecology! I have very fond memories of my time at K-State. I was involved in the Student Dietetic Association and Alpha Xi Delta. Dr. Deb Canter was my advisor and she always provided supportive guidance to any question or need that I had. I completed my internship requirements through the coordinated program in Dietetics which was such a blessing for me at the time because it allowed me to complete my requirements while also staying close to home. I was able to complete the internship with the guidance and support of the program.
Please explain your current job position and how long you have been in that role/with the company?
I am the Director of Nutrition Services at Children’s Mercy Kansas City. I oversee all of the Clinical Dietitians in our hospital system. We are fortunate to have a robust staff of over 45 Dietitians working at eight different locations each day. I have been in the Director position for three years now and have worked at CMH for almost 10 years. I feel extremely proud to work for an organization that values Dietitians in the way Children’s Mercy does. Clinical Dietitians are an equal part of the multidisciplinary care team which help improve the care of children each day. Our Dietitians are passionate about children and helping them grow to be the best they can be.
Touch on the benefits of a mentor/mentee relationship and the big takeaway(s) you’ve had through the program.
I am just getting started with the mentoring program and l look forward to learning more and more as the months go on. I see a few of the big takeaways as an opportunity to connect with students as they are the future of the workforce so developing a strong relationship can help our business stay current with students and their needs as they are finishing their program. I also see an opportunity to provide guidance to someone who I may be working with someday.
If you could give college students once piece of professional advice, what would it be?
Be confident and share your experience. Employers want to know why you are the best candidate and past experiences are a good indicator of your best skills.