How A Random Summer Job Turned Into My Full-Time Career

Hi! My name is Leah Maxey + I am a Registered Dietitian + Registered Yoga Teacher. I joined CHAARG in the fall of 2016 where I was a founding Event Coordinator [EC] for Ohio University [OU] CHAARG. I was an EC for 3 semesters before becoming the Ambassador during my senior year. Once I graduated from OU in Spring 2019, I continued on to become a Chapter Leadership Consultant [CLC] for Team CHAARG for two years, then in the spring of 2021 I became a Regional Chapter Lead [RCL] for Team CHAARG : ) 

At OU, I majored in applied nutrition: dietetics, minored in business administration, and have a certificate in diabetes. I went on after graduation to become a Registered Dietitian [RD] which is a goal that I know many CHAARG members have!  As someone who ended up finding a full time job as an RD from a seasonal job (that I was able to complete before my dietetic internship) I wanted to share more about that in case any CHAARG members are looking to gain experience while they are in college! 

During my last semester of college, I was trying to figure out what I would do with my summer since I only had a little bit of time between graduating in May and before my dietetic internship started in August. I got an email from a professor with a job flyer for KANDLE — it was a seasonal job, good pay, opportunity to travel, + food service experience, which was perfect for dietetics. I interviewed with the company for the dietary lead role, which they had told me they filled, but they were interested in me being a director of a camp. I accepted the job, graduated college, + moved for the summer to the Blue Ridge Mountains in Hiwassee, Virginia where I managed the dining hall + kitchen staff at Camp Ottari, a Boy Scouts camp, where we fed ~400 scouts per meal.

I enjoyed my summer working at Camp Ottari immensely. It was incredible to disconnect after being so plugged in during undergrad! The job challenged me + allowed me to continue developing my leadership + management skills. I had experience working in food service, but this large scale cooking is much different than what I had done in the past. Luckily, I had great mentors during my first summer that helped me learn more about KANDLE’s mission and how to run a successful kitchen. 

After my first summer was over, I worked a few weekend camp events in the fall before heading back for round two in the summer of 2020. Given the circumstances of COVID, I was thankful to be placed at a camp that year. I was at Camp Laramie Peak in Wheatland, Wyoming. I was primarily the dietary lead, a position we have at each camp, being in charge of making all the special diet/allergen meals for staff + campers. Learning about allergies is a neat experience because there are so many differences amongst them all. Meaning there is a lot to learn and attention to detail is very important. 

I knew I had the opportunity to make this a full time job in the future with my career path asn an RD. The great thing about KANDLE is that it’s a small business and the opportunity to connect one on one with the owners and other employees is an important aspect of a job culture. I had spoken with Kevin & Leslie, the owners of KANDLE, about my goals of working with them and their goals for me as an employee. Thankfully, we were on the same page and they were looking to have me join the team full time. I passed my RD exam in December 2020 + then was hired full time as an Area Manager with KANDLE in March of 2020! 

If you’re interested in learning more or working with us, you can go to or email

  • Roles we have available:
    • Director of Dining Services
    • Front of House Team Lead
    • Dietary Lead
    • Kitchen Team Lead
    • Kitchen Staff Team Member
  • Typically work with but not limited to
    • Nutrition students
    • Culinary students
    • Hospitality students
    • Hotel & Tourism students 

If you’d personally like to chat with me more about my experience with KANDLE, email me at

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