Graduate Focus, Hayley Purtill-Quin

I am a territory manager and nutritionist for Nature's Plus; a leading manufacturer of vitamins and natural products. Alongside this i practice part-time in my nutrition clinic mainly working with mental health and migraine. I am also a mother, a purple belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and am currently on the path to becoming certified as a functional medicine practitioner with the IFM.

I took an interest in nutrition and health in my early 20s when a lifetime of personal health challenges came to a head. My mother had been diagnosed with a brain tumour and I myself had been battling different health issues since childhood from debilitating migraines, eczema and gastric ulcers to the shingles, countless urinary tract infections and mental health challenges. Since I was a child i was always the type of person to ask a lot (A LOT!) of questions and I found myself wanting to know more about why these health issues were occurring over and over again and wanting to gain some insight into what I could do about it.

I always loved science and biology and had gone to university to study biomedical science however I knew I didn’t want to be working in a lab. I loved food and had grown up in a family of food lovers and great cooks so when I started reading some nutrition books I realised I had found something that could not only marry my two passions- science and food.

I started to make some lifestyle changes and really started to connect the dots and see how these changes impacted health and so I really wanted to learn more and take my interest to the next level. I began looking at how I could turn this into a career and what different areas there were available to study. I spent a long time looking at different options but Nutritional Therapy really stood out to me as the most up to date, forward thinking and effective application of nutritional science. When choosing a training provider I looked everywhere across the UK and Ireland and I distinctly remember reading the course overview for the IHS and instantly getting really excited. I really loved how in depth and well rounded the curriculum was and how the IHS included in depth functional medicine training and included the important aspect of client coaching as well as the full Nutritional Therapy training. Since graduating in 2015 and working in this field for years I have really come to appreciate the level of education I received at the IHS as being unmatched elsewhere.

Along the years of studying with the IHS and with my newly gained knowledge I managed to completely transform my own health and wellbeing and my life took a new path. Towards the end of my studies I was recommended for a job with a leading manufacturer in vitamins and natural health products. I was a big fan of their products and really liked the idea of working with them. I have been working for Nature’s Plus for 6 years now as Nutritionist and Territory manager. My day to day job includes working on training information and doing technical training with staff, meeting with buyers in health food stores and working on new product formulations and I really enjoy every aspect of it. I also work part time in clinic which is extremely rewarding for me.

Something that is wonderful about working in the area of nutrition and health is that it is not a static science and there is always room to expand your knowledge further; which is something I love to do. As an IHS Nutritional Therapy graduate I have had the opportunity to further my studies and broaden my knowledge by taking many different courses over the years and at current I am working towards my certification with the Institute for Functional Medicine.

These days I also am a mother to a toddler and have a very active hobby in the martial art of Brazilian Jiu-jitsu. Without gaining the knowledge from the IHS to enable me to transform my own health and find this new path I’m not sure all of this would be possible.