This October, I joined over 10,400 dietitians and dietetics students in Boston for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE). I could easily fill this post with nutrition information, diet trends, or emerging research I learned about during the four full days of sessions I attended, but instead I want to talk about something different: networking. We’ve all heard the phrase “it’s not what you know, it’s who you know” but what I really want to emphasize is that networking is so much more than knowing someone’s name or exchanging cards with as many people as possible.
During the closing session, Porter Gale said, “networking isn’t about who you know, it’s about who you’re becoming”. This absolutely resonated with me after what I experienced over the previous few days. One of the most amazing things about FNCE was how passionate everyone was about food and nutrition, and how excited people were to share their resources and insight to help others reach their goals. This collaboration was an incredibly empowering experience and taught me how to make meaningful professional connections with others.
My biggest takeaway from FNCE is that successful networking involves being authentic, sharing your dreams, and approaching the people around you with the goal of learning how you can work together to make an impact. I’m so inspired by the individuals I met and I’m excited to take my passions and utilize my network to change the world.
About the author:
Lauren Newman attends The University of Texas at Austin where is in the Coordinated Program of Dietetics. She is the SDA Chair at The University of Texas at Austin as well the UT liaison for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.