Foodie: Amy McHale
Program: Dietetics at University of Delaware (www.udel.edu)
Years to complete: 4 (Bachelor’s degree), 1 (dietetic internship)
Why food? Growing up, my mom would only let my brother and I “sprinkle” the sugared cereals on top of our Cheerios. When the choice was my own, I noticed I felt and looked better when I ate healthy. I became interested in which foods composed a healthy diet and the role food plays in various diseases.
Why this program? It prepares you for a variety of career opportunities as a registered dietician!
How did you find it? I started as a biology major because I had an interest in health, but wasn’t sure what career I wanted. My college roommate was a nutrition major and would talk about her classes, so I decided to enroll in a class and check it out.
Job opportunities: Registered Dieticians help people manage or prevent disease in hospitals or other healthcare settings. Others go on to become food service managers, academic researchers, journalists or sports nutritionists. Some work in the community at schools or non-profit agencies.
Career support: The nutrition community is big on networking! I keep in touch with people from my program, dietetic internship, as well as the dietitians from neighboring hospitals.
Food for thought: Volunteer in the area of your interest; it is a great way to find out what the field is about. Contact the nutrition department at your local hospital and see if they are willing to take students, or consider working in a kitchen or cafeteria. You can also volunteer to assist at community health events. Visit the website of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (www.eatright.org) for more information.
There are many interesting things to learn about food, from the science of how it builds, strengthens or even harms the body, to the art of its creation in the kitchen and presentation on the table. Two distinct program pathways are explored here by the foodies who found them.
Foodie: Mahira Sheikh
Program: Food Studies at New York University (www.steinhardt.nyu.edu/nutrition)
Years to complete: 4 (Bachelor’s)
Why food? Food has been my passion since I started baking with my mom in the kitchen at a young age. I am obsessed with food!
Why this program? It explores how food impacts our lives on a cultural, political and economic level, as well as its history.
How did you find it? I used the internet and, in particular, Google searches on “Food Programs” in the U.S. I also visited the websites for schools that I liked to see if they offered food programs.
Job opportunities: Graduates work in food journalism, food advertising or marketing, restaurant consulting, education, or as a chef or caterer.
Career support: The program at NYU places people in very well-known companies within the food industry, giving students great insider access.
Food for thought: Food Studies might not have the most obvious career path versus something like business or engineering, but there are so many ways to use your degree! The industry is growing and the demand for professionals in this field is sure to grow.
Alyvia Burkey is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) who is passionate about improving the health of America’s youth. She holds a bachelor’s of sciences in psychology from the University of Maryland, College Park (www.umd.edu).