Andrea Zarfl, BSc

Making the transition into the world of freelancing was a matter of following the heart for Andrea Zarfl. The training and sports science student has been working as a self-employed dietician in Vienna since 2017.


Key data

Job description: Freelance dietician
I work in: Vienna
I've worked here since: 2017


Social URLs

What I do:

  • Advise and support people in achieving their personal nutritional goals
  • Provide theory-based and practical content tailored to the target group through talks and workshops
  • Prepare and write nutrition-related articles

Why I love my job:

  • Helping people to feel good in their own skin again
  • Drawing on the latest studies and findings in the field of nutrition and exercise
  • Because nutrition is multi-faceted, individual and imperfect

What I don’t like so much about my job:

It is difficult not to work on weekends or public holidays.

Important skills in my job:

  • Empathy and enjoying working with people
  • A passion for good food and preparing dishes
  • Good powers of observation and motivational capabilities
  • A high level of self-organisation

My biggest accomplishment so far:

My greatest experience to date was working with primary school children during a food tasting workshop at a school in Vienna. I spent two hours telling the children exciting things about fruit and vegetables. At the end, we tasted lots of local fruit and vegetable varieties. I was really pleased to see such enthusiasm and involvement from the children and I discovered a fantastic new aspect to my profession.

How I found my current job:

After completing my Dietetics and Nutrition course at FH JOANNEUM in 2017, I became a self-employed dietician. I initially used rough mind map planning to work out my strategies and goals. A few weeks later, my website went live and I moved into my practice office in Vienna. I am now proud to be able to work with so many cooperation partners and clients.

What I learned for this job during my studies:

I learned to work independently, which has been very valuable in my work as a freelance dietician. Other skills which I acquired at FH JOANNEUM include networked thinking and interdisciplinary working methods.

Job prospects in my field:

It is certainly possible for interested graduates to get a foot in the door as a freelance dietician with plenty of commitment and an organised and independent style of working. Networking with colleagues helps with the initial steps and professional exchange.

I am:…

  • goal-driven and focused on solutions
  • empathetic and communicative
  • curious and creative

About my job:

I am a dietician with all my heart. It fills me with great pleasure to help people feel good again in their own skin with the right nutrition.

I followed my heart in making the transition to becoming freelance but initially was plagued by doubt. After two years as a self-employed dietician (as of 2019), I am happy to have taken this step and have no regrets. On the contrary. As a dietician and prospective training and sports scientist, I would like to enhance my work in nutrition by exploring exercise too. This would allow me to offer a more comprehensive range of services and I myself would like to grow in this direction as well.

As part of its interdisciplinary classes, the course at FH JOANNEUM showed me just how important it is to consider multi-disciplinary solutions. This motivated me to become self-employed and encouraged me to select a Master’s degree in a new subject area.

A multi-faceted day-to-day life is particularly important to me in my profession. Engaging with clients is just as valuable to me as preparing a presentation for a talk or preparing new offers.

Going freelance opens up some exciting new fields of work just waiting to be explored by us (dieticians). I would like to wish every graduate every success with pursuing their plans and goals.

Andrea Zarfl