• Intern Opportunities

    The Cleveland Metropolitan School District (CMSD) is located in Cleveland, Ohio. We serve 35,000 students in 87 school building locations breakfast and lunch throughout the school year. We also have afterschool snack programs, summer meal service, and supper programs. In addition to serving meals, we help educate our students, staff, and communities on how to use nutrition and wellness to fuel their bodies and minds.

    We have two Registered Dietitians who work together to give interns the best food service or community rotation experience. Learn about us below:

  • Alli Thirion-Blasius, MPH, RD, LD, FAND

    District School Dietitian


    Alli is the Dietitian for CMSD and handles the food service rotations. Alli attended Case Western Reserve University to complete her Bachelor of Science. She then attended the University of Minnesota to complete a combined dietetic internship and Master's program in Public Health.

    For foodservice rotations, we focus on themes such as:

    • Menu Development
    • Special Diets
    • Food Safety
    • Procurement
    • Equipment
    • Finance
    • Staffing
    • Other School Nutrition Program
    • Additional food service projects that tend to the interest of our interns

    Fun Facts about Alli:

    • Favorite snack: String cheese
    • Favorite meal to cook at home: Anything in the air fryer!
    • Favorite school menu item: Chef Tim's Fajita Chicken Bowl
    • Coffee or Tea: Iced Tea
    • Why Alli loves working in school nutrition: 
      The people! Our staff goes above-and-beyond every day to provide both meals and compassion. Our scholars themselves amaze me with their intelligence and resilience. Getting to work in partnership with them rocks!
  • Leilah Absi, MS, RD, LD

    Project Manager


    Leilah is the Project Manager for School Nutrition and handles the community rotation interns. Leilah attended Kent State University for both her Bachelor's and Masters in Nutrition. She completed her distance dietetic internship through Be Well Solutions in Solon, OH.

    For community rotations, we focus on themes such as:

    • Marketing
    • Nutrition Education & Wellness
    • Child Health Issues
    • Sustainability
    • School Gardens & Farm-to-School
    • Legislation & Advocacy
    • Ethics & Research
    • Continuing Education & Staff Training
    • Nutrition Informatics
    • Any community topics that interest interns

    Fun Facts about Leilah:

    • Favorite snack: Carrots and ranch
    • Favorite meal to cook at home: Anything with pasta!
    • Favorite school menu item: Whole-Grain Chicken & Veggie Potstickers
    • Coffee or Tea: Iced Coffee
    • Why Leilah loves working in school nutrition: 
      I love being able to make an impact on what the scholars want to eat. We always ask for feedback to make sure they're always getting something they enjoy. I also love being able to get out on-site and educating our scholars (and educators!) on healthy eating habits!

  • Projects past interns have completed:

    • Created in-service training material for staff
    • Created social media content and designed a branding kit for future content
    • Created a wellness newsletter
    • Wrote a grant for new equipment
    • Researched new USDA school meals regulations and the CDC and FDA best practices for COVID to create a 1-page document for staff
    • Hosted taste tests
    • Taught classroom lessons to 2nd graders
    • Analyzed meal service data using nutrition software programs
    • Participated in National School Lunch Week, National School Breakfast Week, and National Nutrition Month activities on behalf of the department
    • Assisted with Bid writing and vendor meetings
    • Created new community partnerships for CMSD
    • Wrote business plan for new CMSD sustainable operations
    • Developed recipes and theme meals days, including Back to School Cook-out meal and Super Bowl Day
    • Attend diabetes camp (summer only)
    • Completed sustainable practices audit
    • Updated department key buying practices 

  • Read about past interns' experiences:

    "Alli did a great job of thorough communication without handholding. She was also very available when I did have a question or needed guidance. I really liked the meetings at the beginning and end of the weeks to communicate. Also, the amount of information and communication before the rotation was very helpful."

    "Allison was very organized that made the experience a lot more streamlined and smooth for me to jump right in."

    "I think all topics covered were appropriate for my competencies. While some were less enjoyable than others for me personally, all topics covered were good for my learning. I particularly appreciated the guidance on interviewing, salary negotiation, and future jobs. While this was not exactly required, I felt it really helped me gain confidence in my ability to get a job and perform in that future job."

    "Alli is an incredible teacher. Any question you threw at her, she was able to provide a lot of information in her answer."

    "Leilah made sure there was time for feedback and a review of assignments in the schedule. She was kind when giving positive or negative feedback."

    "The availability of Alli and Leilah and their willingness to learn about me as I also learn about them and their careers made it an excellent rotation. I liked how some but not all of the assignments allowed for me to come up with my own ideas. I liked discussing these types of things with my preceptor."

    "Leilah was extremely organized which I appreciated. She also was very good with communication skills"

    "I loved this rotation and miss it already. It completely changed my mind on school nutrition and I think it is something I could see myself doing for a future job."

    "I had such a great experience at this rotation! I think that if I had known what a good experience it would turn out to be, that I most likely would have completed my entire food service rotation at the facility."

Complete your Internship with School Nutrition!

  • If you are interested in completing part of your dietetic internship with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, please download the PDF below for the application process:

    Process for Selecting Dietetic Interns


    If you are interested in volunteering or completing other work other than through a dietetic internship with the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, please download the PDF below for the application process:

    Process for Selecting non-Dietetic Interns