Roisin Cook is using the skills and knowledge she developed at BU to help people lead healthier and more fulfilling lives as a Digital Health Coach and Registered Nutritionist.

Roisin graduated with a BSc (Hons) in Nutrition in 2018 and now works for Second Nature, a health tech start-up which helps people reach their health goals through nutrition advice, behaviour change tools, one-to-one coaching and group support. The Second Nature programme is available to private clients, as well to those referred by the NHS, and helps people change their health habits to support weight loss, prevention and remission of type 2 diabetes.

Roisin said: “My role is to support people to achieve their health goals, by guiding them through the programme, meeting with them online and facilitating group support. It’s hugely rewarding to help people realise the benefit of a healthier lifestyle, from those who have been able to come off their diabetes medication to others who can now play with their grandchildren again because their fitness and mobility has improved.”

Roisin chose the nutrition degree at Bournemouth University because she knew she wanted to work in a health-related career but was keen to keep her options open. After graduating, she joined a company developing cheese products and got involved in setting up tasting panels and developing new products. Keen to move into a nutrition role with more direct health benefits, she joined Second Nature in 2019 following a recommendation from a friend of a friend. Roisin said: “All through university our lecturers told us to be aware of our personal and professional networks and to think about how this could help us with career development. I never really understood how this could work in practice, but this is exactly how this job came about.”

“My university degree provided the foundation for what I am doing now. There is so much information about food and nutrition in the media and having the degree helps you to cut through the fads and evaluate information critically.”

Looking back on her degree and career to date, Roisin’s advice to other nutrition students is to take every opportunity to gain experience. She said: “I would encourage people to do a placement, or even a number of placements if they can. It gives you a real sense of what the job involves which can be helpful, even if only to rule certain areas out.”