During the last 25 years, we’ve certified over 110,000 professionals. To celebrate, we’ve selected 25 grads to showcase. Meet our next featured grad, Brett Bennett, an AFPA Master Level Nutrition Consultant, who left her career in management consulting to pursue a more fulfilling career in the health, fitness, and nutrition industry.
How did you originally become interested in health and wellness?
I became interested in becoming healthier in my early 20s because, while I wasn’t obese or severely overweight, I didn’t feel good. I felt hungry all the time while also feeling full and bloated, and I was sleeping poorly. At that time, the public was becoming more health conscious, and there was a lot more information available about the long-term effects of sugar and alcohol intake. I noticed that these were all big parts of my life and could be some of the reasons why I wasn’t feeling so well.
As I began seeking more information and noticing the positive effects that improving my nutrition had in my life, I became kind of obsessed with finding the way to be my best and to feel my best.
Why did you choose to get certified with AFPA?
As I was trying to transform my health and body, I received a lot of questions from friends and peers about what I was doing. I found that I really wanted to be able to answer their questions with information that I knew was credible. As I began learning more, I found that I actually was passionate about helping people transform their lives as well. I found that I could continue my education and my own personal journey in health and wellness while also learning how I could help others. I felt the most credible and professional way to get this information was through a program like AFPA. So, the AFPA Master Level Nutrition Consultant program was perfect for me.
Why did you select the AFPA Master Level Nutrition Consultant Certification Program?
Instead of just getting the Nutrition & Wellness Consultant Certification, I saw there was the option to get four certifications, which included the Holistic Nutrition, Sports Nutrition, Weight Management, and Nutrition & Wellness Consultant Certifications. They all had material that built on one another. Since I was interested in and having them all at one point, I just dove in and got all four at once.
Why did you choose to get certified with AFPA?
AFPA instantly gives you credibility. They’re super well respected in the industry, and clients know, that if you have that certification, that they’re getting credible, reliable information.
I also chose AFPA because of the course structure. They were very flexible with how you did your work. You essentially are your own boss, and you really get to make your own schedule. They’re flexible with the assignment deadlines, and you basically just have an ending deadline at which you must have met your assignments and take the test. It was perfect for anyone who may have another job or is going to school, like I was, or who has a family and is looking to switch careers or get some skills.
What was the certification process like?
The certification process was super straightforward. A lot of the material in the four courses built off one another. It was so convenient, and I was so thankful that I did the master course where I was able to get all four certifications at the same time essentially.
What was your career prior to getting certified?
Prior to getting my AFPA certification, I was actually a management consultant, which was a very competitive, intense office environment job. I was traveling five days a week and generally not spending much time on my own health or fitness. So, as I became personally interested in fixing my body, fixing my life, fixing my health, I became really passionate about health and exercise. I left my job in management consulting to go back to school to get my MBA, with the intention to go back into management consulting. But right before classes began, I made the decision to do the AFPA Master Level Nutrition Consultant course, initially thinking that it would be a side job while I was in school. But I really fell in love with helping people, and AFPA’s certifications made it possible for me to make it a full-time career.
What surprised you the most about the course?
I was surprised by how much I actually enjoyed the course. It was engaging material, and I felt like the assignments actually were keeping me on top of some of the most important parts of the material. They also have served as references for me to go back to when I’m working with clients or when I have a specific issue. My assignments have served basically as outlines of the material. They’ve been really valuable throughout my nutritionist career.
Do you have any client success stories?
Perhaps my most memorable and favorite client has been my younger cousin Katie, who has struggled with obesity her entire life. Once I started the AFPA certification process and was learning about how to work with clients that had emotional issues with their weight and health, I was able to approach this with her in a whole new way, where nothing she had really tried in her 25 years had worked. Eventually, we were successful. Katie is now happier and healthier than ever. There’s a big part of me that thinks this would not have happened without me learning from AFPA.
The way AFPA taught me to be able to support my clients and work with them in a way that I could provide guidance and information, while also being a friend and someone on the journey with them, was also really helpful and important. I think it makes my whole approach much more effective.
What’s your favorite part about working in this industry?
Working in health, fitness, and nutrition is so rewarding intrinsically. This is one of those careers that just makes you feel good. You’re putting things into your body that feel good, and you’re helping other people better their lives and themselves and the way they feel about the world. And that’s just so incredibly important today.
What advice do you have for others who are contemplating getting certified with AFPA?
The advice I would have for people who are even contemplating getting an AFPA certification is definitely do it. And honestly, I was so glad that I did the Master Level Nutrition Consultant course where I was able to get all four nutrition certifications at once. I didn’t know initially if I was going to make a career out of this. I simply wanted to learn more for myself and then learn how to share the information. And while there was a financial commitment, it was not so expensive that it was a big risk.
After working as a nutritionist with my AFPA certifications for a couple of years, I am now returning to AFPA to get my group fitness instructor certification, which I intend to use as I start a dance studio!