“I missed home. I wanted to move back to Cincinnati.”
A familiar story. Drawn away by opportunities and education, but pulled back by the Queen City’s charm, the presence of family, and a feeling of being home and part of a community.
Born and raised in Cincinnati, Lauren Cohen is a proud graduate of Sycamore High School and had been an involved member of the Jewish community.
During her senior year of high school, her parents encouraged her to apply for a Hilb Scholarship, which is administered by JVS Career Services of Blue Ash, to help with the cost of college tuition. She had been accepted into the Nutrition program at Ohio University.
“JVS Career Services made it possible for me to pay for college,” Lauren said. “I received a Hilb Scholarship each year at OU. That was the only tuition assistance I received, and it was critical to my success.”
When she approached graduation, she turned again to JVS Career Services, who helped her successfully apply to graduate school.
“I was one of a handful of people in my graduating class of 30 to be accepted into a program to become a licensed dietician,” she said.
So Lauren packed up and moved to Portland, Oregon, where she was part of Oregon State’s Dietetics Internship program. However, two and a half years later with license in hand, and despite a budding career—something was missing.
She longed for her family and her community.
“I’m a very family-oriented person,” Lauren said. “I grew up in a tight-knit Jewish community, and to me, that sense of community is core to being Jewish. I knew I would be better off being closer to home.”
She called once again on JVS Career Services and her “personal” career coach Dedra Perlmutter, who helped her prepare for a cross-country job search.
“Having been gone for a long time and being out of town during the search was really daunting. JVS Career Services provided that local connection. The second I saw an opening for a Retail Dietician for Kroger, I called Dedra, and she was there!”
Dedra helped Lauren freshen her resume, write a compelling cover letter, and feel confident going into her interview, and she landed the job.
“Dedra is a real person with a real family, and she cares deeply about the people she works with,” Lauren said. “She wants you to succeed, and that personal touch makes a difference. She really wants you to thrive.”
Thrive Lauren did. She now works as a grocery dietician at three Kroger locations—Anderson, Milford, and Amelia. She helps shoppers make healthy choices and helps patients at Kroger’s The Little Clinic accomplish their health goals through nutrition counseling. In addition, she writes a blog for Kroger on healthy eating and recipes.
Lauren says the skills she developed through JVS Career Services will help her in the future as well.
“They didn’t just update my resume for me; they taught me how to do it myself,” she said. “They didn’t just write a great cover letter for me; they taught me how to develop my own cover-letter-writing skills. And, more than anything, they cared about me.”