Dietitian, foodservice director and recruiter: what do these positions share in common?
Amanda Corrigan would say they are all jobs that she has held—and enjoyed—within the past eight years at Morrison. As someone who has boldly pursued her career interests, Amanda now encourages others to do the same on a daily basis as a Dietitian Talent Acquisition Manager.
People switch career paths for myriad reasons. For Amanda, the changes she has made have been rooted in her belief that people’s skills and interests are fluid and applicable in different types of jobs. She thinks that if people come across opportunities that really interest them, they should be open to exploring those possibilities, even if it means diverging from their original paths.
Her own journey reflects her adherence to this belief. Coming from a Clinical Dietitian background, Amanda had always loved her profession, yet she noticed her budding interest in business operations after being exposed to it at Morrison. Eager to learn and challenge herself, Amanda sought after an operations role and ventured into the business world.
Despite having minimal business knowledge from the get-go, Amanda possessed skills and experience that were essential to being successful in her new role. This is because some of the skills commonly associated with dietitians intersect with the ones coveted in the operations world. For instance, dietitians are great at doing calculations, a very handy skill for budgeting. As a former dietitian, Amanda also understood the unique challenges dietitians face. Her previous experiences and empathy enabled her to better manage clinical teams, and guide her team to identify solutions for frequent issues they faced.
“I learned that I was able to surprise other people as well as myself,” she says.
Nonetheless, Amanda was aware that she did not know as much as others about business, so she worked hard to acquire a whole new set of knowledge. But there was an individual who kept questioning her ability.
“He told me, ‘Do you really think you have enough business experience to be successful in your role? You’re just a dietitian. I’m not sure that you will be able to make the impact we need,’” Amanda recalls. “It made me feel like my value and skills were being discredited just because I hadn’t been provided the chance to learn and gain that experience.”
After hearing the same comment from him on multiple occasions, Amanda decided to politely let him know her thoughts. “I didn’t want to be disrespectful, but I wanted to remind him that we all had to start somewhere and be given the opportunity to succeed or fail. Allow me the opportunity to take this and run with it,” she says.
The same remarks that irked Amanda fueled her desire to grow her professional knowledge base. To pick up the trade as quickly as possible, Amanda paid close attention to people’s conversations to learn, took detailed notes and spent her free time educating herself on business terminology. As she progressed in her career, she found it entertaining to converse with business leaders and see their surprise when she could not only carry on a conversation, but also offer a new perspective and innovative ways to solve challenges. From time to time, she replays the memories of exclusion in her head to check her self-awareness and remain open-minded about others.
Amanda continued to pursue her interests as they evolved. Today, she is part of the Dietitian Talent Acquisition team, which recruits Registered Dietitians across the country for Morrison. Because food is indeed medicine when it comes to helping patients heal, one of Morrison’s recruitment focuses is hiring qualified dietitians who can ensure that patients are getting proper nutrition care. Morrison currently has more than 950 dietitians working across 35 states and 324 hospitals. Amanda’s job is to find dietitian talent, help them identify what they want in a job and match them with one that achieves their career goals.
As someone who chases fearlessly after her dream job, Amanda is thrilled to help others do the same. “I discovered my underlying passion that drives my day-to-day focus of what I do in any job that I’m in, and that’s the passion of helping others to succeed,” she says. Amanda enjoys learning great stories about dietitians every day, connecting with them and finding roles where they grow their careers. Even if those jobs turn out not to be a perfect fit, Amanda will stay in touch with the dietitians and inform them of opportunities right up their alley whenever possible.
At the end of the day, no matter what capacity she works in, Amanda is happy knowing that her job contributes toward achieving Morrison’s common goal of taking care of others. “In some form or fashion, my decision in what I do every day openly affects that [mission] and can make a positive difference in how we take care of a patient.”
Thankful for the support she was given to experience various job functions, Amanda considers working for Morrison and Compass Group USA the best career decision she has made. “The opportunities at Morrison are endless as long as you believe in yourself, put your mind to it and go for it,” she says.
As a professional recruiter and someone with a winding career path, Amanda advises others to be proactive when it comes to advancing their careers.“Speak up if there’s something of interest.” She encourages others to ask for opportunities to get more exposure like shadowing a director, other dietitians or chefs. Amanda says, “Ask for the resources and work hard. There are so many ways you can grow your career.”
Speaking from personal experience, Amanda thinks that being a young female dietitian and a young female leader impact people’s perceptions. In her experience, people often make assumptions about the capabilities of others based on age, gender, background and profession.
“Whenever you’re labeled as a dietitian, people’s first thought is that you’re a dietitian and that’s what you do and all you can do. As far as being a young female leader, until you’re given the opportunity to show what you’re capable of, people will disregard your potential,” she says.
That is why we should always keep our mind open, welcome others to the conversation and recognize that somebody without experience can still bring valuable soft skills to the table.
One of the things Amanda learned over the course of her career is that the more diverse a team is, the more successful it tends to be. “Diversity in the workplace is not only the right thing to do for humanity, but it is absolutely essential for business growth,” she says. And this pertains to not just physical differences, but also differences in personalities.
“Have an open mind and take a closer look at your surroundings. If others around you all look the same, you should shake it up,” she says.
As a board member of Compass One Healthcare’s Diversity and Inclusion Action Council (DIAC), Amanda feels blessed to be able to work alongside inspiring individuals who initiate important conversations and actions that foster an inclusive work culture. On a personal level, she believes that we can all make an impact by being aware of diversity and inclusion (D&I) in our work environment, engaging peers and leaders to discuss D&I issues and define goals that the team strategically works together to achieve.
In the future, Amanda would like to see Morrison’s internal interest and participation in D&I continue to multiply. “Compass Group made the 2018 list for Forbes’ ‘America’s Best Employers for Diversity’ and long-term, it would be amazing to see all of our employees be true D&I leaders and experts within the foodservice industry,” she says. “We have the opportunity to model by example for those who are outside of our organization looking in.”
Looking for more stories of inclusion? Check out these latest ones:
Amanda Corrigan chose Compass One Healthcare and Morrison because of the opportunities she has to touch the lives of patients and staff. Morrison is a proud part of Compass One Healthcare and Compass Group USA. If you’re interested in a career in healthcare, be sure to check out team member or management opportunities to join the Morrison family through Compass Group Careers.