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Interview with Nutritionist in Training - Rachel Fletcher

Rachel has changed career from working for Derbyshire Police as a Detective Inspector to training as a Nutritionist. She is in her second year studying an AfN accredited BSc Nutrition, Diet and Lifestyle degree at Sheffield Hallam University.

She tells us why a career change appeals to her, when she made the decision, and what impact she wants to make through her future work.

Why does a total career change appeal to you?

I had been in my previous career in the police for 19 years and whilst I had achieved a lot, due to a significant change in my personal circumstances, my heart was no longer in it and I felt I needed to go in a completely different direction.

I initially took a job which was quite similar in many aspects but quickly realised it wasn’t for me. Again, the pull for something very different was there but I didn’t quite know what that looked like. I knew that a total career change was needed.

What was the moment that you made the decision?

I have been interested in the world of health and wellbeing for a while and increasingly felt pulled towards this as a career change. I had been following nutrition related accounts on Instagram and buying books. I’d also done a Level 2 nutrition course through work. This, along with my love of cooking led me to research careers in this field.

Via the Association for Nutrition I found a degree I was interested in at Sheffield Hallam University. I rang them to see if I would be eligible to apply, not thinking I would as I don’t have a science academic background. In all honesty, I almost rang them to rule it out…! 10 minutes later they offered me a place.

My immediate gut instinct was to take the place, I felt really excited by it but the rational part of me was saying not to quit a well paid job to study for 3 years. I’m usually quite methodical and sensible making decisions but with this, I really did follow my gut. And whilst I spoke to close friends and family about it, my decision was made as soon as I had the offer. In fact, it was my Dad who said ‘you’ve already made your decision’. It was a huge leap for me but I don’t regret it at all.

How do you want to make an impact through your future work?

I’ve always been in a career that helped people; directly and indirectly and I still want to do this. I passionately believe in accessible evidence based nutritional advice, which is tailored to the individual. I want to cut through all the nutribollocks that you see on social media. It’s not just about weight loss for me, I want to help people achieve their optimum health and feel great.

Where does your sense of adventure come from?

I did smile at this question because I’m not sure I have a great sense of adventure! However, I do like to challenge myself and learn new things. Studying for my nutrition degree is a huge adventure for me.

When do you think is the best time to make an important decision?

This is a hard one to answer as I think it can be different, sometimes you just ‘know’, other times circumstances can dictate. For me, I’d usually make a list of ‘pros’ and ‘cons’ because I find that helpful in taking a step back. Also, getting a clear head. This can be by going outside, taking a walk, doing something completely different, or sitting in silence for a while. I like mindfulness meditation for this. Listen to your gut. It will tell you. I had the fear when making my career change decision but it was an excited fear.


The best place to find Rachel is on Instagram where she posts tempting recipes and nutrition information along with her lovely photography. Click here for her food and nutrition account. Over on her personal account you'll discover photos of nature, retreats and more lovely food! Click here to connect.

I met Rachel during her first year at Sheffield Hallam University via their career mentoring scheme. Since then we have continued to meet up for coffees, delicious food and great conversations. She inspires me to cook and eat better, to keep learning, and to experiment with recipes.


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