I now have financial freedom and a flexible work schedule
CNM Graduate and Director of Studies, Aisling Kelly, explains how studying nutrition at CNM changed her life, giving her a career that she loves and the financial freedom and flexibility she was seeking.
What did you do before studying nutrition at CNM?
I was a Montessori teacher which I enjoyed but the job became stressful and more focused on paperwork, as opposed to being interactive with the kids, so I decided to change careers. Food and helping people are two passions of mine – studying nutrition allowed me to do both.
Why did you choose CNM’s Naturopathic Nutrition diploma?
CNM always stood out to me at events; I loved their ethos and the Naturopathic Nutrition diploma is unlike other courses. I wasn’t in a financial position to do the course for many years but I eventually took a leap of faith and enrolled at CNM. What appealed to me most was the classroom setting and that the study programme was so flexible, enabling me to study at the weekends and fit classes around my work and family.
What did you enjoy most about the course?
The clinical experience was fantastic and really helped me to cement all the knowledge I had learnt. The holistic nature of the course and learning how to use food as medicine was amazing. I also formed great friendships with my classmates which has been invaluable – being around like-minded people with the same passions as me was so uplifting. We are still in contact now and continue to support each other, often swopping advice and clinical experiences. The lecturers were so supportive and knowledgeable; hearing their clinical experiences was phenomenal.
How has studying at CNM changed your life?
Studying nutrition at CNM has changed my life completely! Not only have I been able to improve my own health and help others, I’ve also got a new career which is flexible and rewarding. As a single mum, being able to support myself financially and work around my family has been lifechanging. I can pick and choose what hours I work so I can be around for my family when needed. Having work-life balance is crucial for me.
My job is now so varied and no two days are the same. I work in a holistic health centre doing private one-to-one consultations where I specialise in digestive issues, skin health, inflammation and weight loss. I also run talks and events for corporates and SME’s which I love doing as education and empowering people to take control of their health is important to me.
Tell us about your role at CNM
I’m the Director of Studies for CNM Cork which is such a rewarding job as I get to inspire and support students in achieving their goals. After graduating I wanted to do more with CNM as I love the college so much. The Director of Studies (DOS) role came up so I reached out to the DOS at the time who put me forward for the job. Having just graduated myself, I was in a good position to help students as I knew the challenges they were facing.
My role as DOS is incredibly diverse. I support the students in any way they need, whether than be answering questions they have about assignments or clinics, helping them understand what is coming up in the course or popping down to college to interact in person. I also provide tools and support, organise regular Zoom catch ups and prepare students for graduation. I’m always available and students can contact me anytime via email or phone.
What do you love most about your job?
In my role as DOS, I love helping students get over the line and cheerlead them on to successfully complete the course. Towards the end of the diploma, it can get stressful and many students go into panic mode; I champion them and help them schedule their time effectively so they can organise their study load. Continually meeting new like-minded people is one of the best parts of my job as I’m such a people-person.
As a practitioner, being able to educate my clients and pass on my knowledge is such a huge motivator. Helping clients to understand the healing power of foods and empower them to take control of their health makes me feel so good.
What advice can you give to those thinking about studying nutrition?
Just go for it! I held back from studying for a number of years due to finances, but I managed to get the money together and follow my dream. When you have a passion, you can’t let anything stand in your way – I had no money but I found a way! My motto is to feel the fear and do it anyway.
Tell us about CNM’s Cork campus
The college is located in Cork city. It’s such a lovely college with bright, airy, warm rooms – a great place to study nutrition. It’s very accessible with good transport links and we have students travelling in from Limerick, Tipperary and Kerry. There is parking onsite too which is a huge bonus. Being right in the middle of city means there is lots to do in the lunchbreaks too. The college attracts students from all walks of life, from mums wanting to improve their family’s health right through to those looking for a career change.
Do you have any graduate success stories you can share?
We have so many graduate success stories from the Cork college! CNM gives students and graduates a platform to get noticed and an abundance of opportunities to progress their careers. Two graduates are now lecturing at CNM. One graduate opened his own healthy café in Cork which has a brilliant concept behind it. Another launched her own bone broth brand which is now thriving with products flying off the shelves. So many students and graduates have overcome health issues and helped family members get their health back on track. One lady in particular helped her son with a health condition for which he was told he would need life-long medication. Without her training and knowledge, she wouldn’t have known to question things and look for alternative solutions. Her son is now medication-free and living a healthy life. The skills and training you get on the Naturopathic Nutrition diploma are invaluable and completely lifechanging.
Aisling can be contacted at www.aislingkellynutrition.ie or on social media @Aisling Kelly Nutrition.