Lauren Murch – Seizing opportunities and striving for more
By Charlotte Carlaw
As students we have incredible opportunities in our daily lives. Despite learning about numerous options for scholarships, awards, and bursaries, we sometimes disregard them, feeding that we are not deserving of them. Lauren Murch, recipient of the Dietitians of Canada (DC) Undergraduate award, proves that it’s as simple as reaching out and applying. “You won’t know unless you try,” says Lauren, who was one of two recipients of the DC undergrad award, which is given annually as part of DC’s 2020 vision to improve the profession through critical thinking and evidence-based practice.
Lauren got her start at the University of Guelph where she received a degree in Biomedical Science with a minor in Music. Throughout her journey at Guelph she discovered her love of nutrition. She followed her passion and went on to do her Master’s degree in nutrition, also at Guelph, with a focus on nutraceuticals and probiotics. Before Lauren had completed her graduate studies, another opportunity came knocking this time for the position of research associate at Queen’s. This was a chance too incredible for Lauren to pass up, and it is a good thing she didn’t; it is through her work at Queen’s that she discovered her passion for dietetics.
While she enjoyed her work at Queen’s, Lauren wanted a new experience, which is what brought her to Brescia. She was initially impressed with Brescia’s academic advising resources and says, “Brescia was incredibly responsive to my needs throughout the admissions process; the people were amazing.”
Lauren graduated from Brescia in June of 2013 with an Honors Specialization in Nutrition and Dietetics and began her internship in Toronto at St. Michael’s Hospital last fall. She believes that her success in securing an internship is in part due to the preparation she received at Brescia and from the inspirational teachings of Dr. Colleen O’Connor, Dr. Janet Madill, and Professor Donnelly-Vanderloo. Although Lauren loved working in patient care, she decided she wanted to further her career and move in a slightly different direction.
Shortly after completing her internship, she was hired by Nestlé Health Science as a territory manager, where she represents Nestlé such products as oral nutrition supplements and feeding pumps. Lauren also works daily to educate her clients on how to use their products. She also frequently works with dietitians and helps them to learn and understand key issues through various clinical nutrition challenges. She is able to offer them resources and potential solutions to their problems. “My job is different every day and is rewarding because I can promote best practices in nutrition by working closely with clinicians and other staff.”
Prior to her success at Nestlé Health Science, Lauren applied for and later received a Judy Van Tilburg Memorial Bursary. This bursary is only awarded to two members enrolled in an accredited internship or practicum program and allows each recipient to register and participate in the DC annual conference. It is at this conference where Lauren had the opportunity to network with members of Nestlé and apply for the position that she is currently in. “As a young professional entering the workforce it is crucially important to talk to a lot of professionals in your field to learn more about the opportunities that you may not have come across on your own,” says Lauren.
Lauren’s parting words when asked what advice she would give to young students and new graduates is to “go for it and apply,” when referring to awards, grant applications, and opportunities. As in Lauren’s case, you never know what doors may open for you when you take advantage of an opportunity. The best leaders inspire. And after meeting Lauren Murch, I walked away with a new perspective on pursuing opportunities.