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What I Took Away from My Last Networking Event

The Canadian Institute of Food Science & Technology (CIFST) Annual Conference wrapped up on Tuesday.  I thought it would be a good moment to share what I learnt there.

I was lucky to be able to represent Taste Your Future + FoodGrads alongside Nicole Gallace and Veronica Hislop as a FoodGrads Campus Ambassador.

Related: Become a FoodGrads Campus Ambassador

Networking, interesting presentations, and amazing food made for a great day!

A Food Science Degree Does Not Have to Mean Lab Work or QA

Many professionals I met with a food science educational background have gone on to try out a variety of different areas. Experience in product development can complement a future job in technical sales nicely.

An interest in law and policy could be a good match for regulatory affairs. You do not have to limit yourself to the bubble of your major there are other opportunities out there!

There is Lots of Space for Non-Food Science Students

Not having a formal food science background does not mean that a food job won’t be a great fit for you. Everybody needs to eat, so there will always be opportunities related to food. I met people who studied business, biology, and forestry who have found their way into the food industry.

To merge your way in as a student, consider apprenticeships and co-ops! They can provide you with a great taste of the different food jobs!

Network

There are so many people with a variety of experiences in the food industry, learn from them!

Maybe you’ll be intrigued by a new company’s work, or even a cool job opportunity. Another advantage of networking is that it pushes you to speak with professionals in a more casual setting. It can give you confidence for that next job fair or interview.

Universities and colleges often host job fairs, a free way to practise your networking skills. Food really does bring people together! Everyone at the conference seemed happy to be there and very passionate about food! As Veronica and I organized video interviews with different attendees, we were overwhelmed by their enthusiasm for the food industry. We were offered free samples, flavour pairing advice, and even job leads!

It was a lovely way for us to make connections and continue to learn more about the food industry.

Overall, I had an amazing time at the CIFST conference! One thing I kept hearing was I wish that there had been something like FoodGrads around when I was a student.

I was able to attend the CIFST conference through my work as a FoodGrads Campus Ambassador. To learn more about how YOU can become a FoodGrads Campus Ambassador, click here.

CIFST

(Image: Left to Right – Leah Brodovsky, Nicole Gallace, Veronica Hislop)

Author: Leah Brodovsky  is a Food Science student at the University of Guelph. She likes to run and try out new recipes in her free time.


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