Our team was thrilled to be a part of FNCE in 2022, which was held in Orlando, FL. Marketing Manager, Bri Tobritzhofer, represented BWS DI, and two of our Spring 2022 Cohort interns had the chance to attend as well. We interviewed both interns to get their best tips and tricks for navigating FNCE and how to make the most of the event as a student or dietetic intern. Read their valuable insight below if you are thinking about attending FNCE 2023!
What is FNCE?
FNCE, or the Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo, is the world’s largest meeting of dietitians and nutrition experts. The conference, held each fall, is sponsored by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and features educational sessions, networking functions, foundation events, and an expo hall. FNCE 2023 will be held in Denver, CO from October 7-10.
There are many opportunities for students and dietetic interns who attend FNCE, including special educational sessions, a Student Center, and networking events. The Academy often offers FNCE scholarships for students and interns as well.
FNCE Dietetic Intern Interview: Jessica Kreger
What was your favorite part about FNCE? My favorite part about FNCE was getting to connect with potential future employers. I also loved getting to sample lots of yummy snacks from a variety of healthy food companies.
What advice would you give future interns who attend FNCE? Come prepared! There is going to be so much to see and do when you are there. Plan out an itinerary beforehand of what sessions you want to go and see. This will help you not feel so overwhelmed.
What was your biggest takeaway from attending FNCE this year? The role of plant-based diets being used as medical nutrition therapy to treat certain chronic diseases.
What was your role as a Student Host? Would you recommend this opportunity to future dietetic interns? I loved being a student host! Being a student host meant I got to receive hours towards my internship while attending FNCE. Only 4 hours of your time at FNCE will be spent on your student host assignment. The rest of the time is yours to spend doing whatever you like. You receive a reduced registration fee by being a student host and having this experience to add to your resume is also a plus. Lastly while working as a student host you never know who you’ll meet. I was approached by the president of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics while working my booth! I definitely had a fan girl moment and it was an experience that I will never forget.
Is there anything else that you would like to share about your FNCE experience? I loved getting to represent Be Well Solutions and talk to fellow internship applicants about my personal experience in the program. This was very easy to do since I always felt that Be Well was the perfect fit for me and I enjoyed the in-person orientation process so much. Be Well Solutions DI is such a supportive program and I’m so lucky to have such an amazing cohort.
FNCE Dietetic Intern Interview: Jessica Gamble
What was your favorite part about FNCE? I honestly enjoyed so many things about my first in-person FNCE experience! The sessions were insightful and a truly valuable opportunity to learn about a variety of topics from some of the leading voices in the field.
- The Expo was a blast! I loved visiting the booths, learning about new products, and eating all the snacks! I was also glad to be able to spend time at the BWS DI booth. Not only was I able to get to know Bri and one of my fellow interns, it also provided a fantastic opportunity to have some great conversations with many dietetics professionals who stopped by the booth.
- As a long-time huge fan of Chef Jose Andreas, seeing him speak in person was a huge highlight for me. I deeply appreciate his wisdom, hearing how much he values the dietetics profession, and his encouraging words.
- All of that being said, I think the aspect I loved the most was just being surrounded by like-minded dietetics students, interns, and professionals! After graduating from a distance DPD program, and now being a distance intern, it was really motivating and exciting to see so many of us in one place at one time.
- Overall, this was an incredibly valuable experience and I highly recommend taking the opportunity to go for anyone who is able!
What advice would you give future interns who attend FNCE?
- Plan ahead!
- Read over the session descriptions, slides, and speaker bios ahead of time. Have a tentative idea of which sessions you want to prioritize.
- Take time to look over the layout of the conference center. The facilities are large and it can be easy to get a bit lost.
- Be prepared!
- Wear comfortable shoes, the days are long and you’ll do a lot of walking!
- Bring water and snacks! You can never be sure what the lines will be like at concession areas during your breaks, and it never hurts to have a backup plan if you get in a hurry.
- Have an elevator pitch or at least an idea of how you’d like to answer the question- “tell me about yourself.”
- Pack a notebook & pen, or tablet/iPad to take notes on during sessions.
- Bring a bag to collect expo items! (Or find a booth giving away bags 1st thing! haha)
- Keep an open mind, don’t be afraid to introduce yourself, and get out of your comfort zone! Challenge yourself to attend at least 1 session that’s outside of your wheelhouse.
What was your biggest takeaway from attending FNCE this year? My biggest takeaway is to dream big, don’t be afraid to get involved and put yourself out there, and never give up. Promote the value of the profession at every opportunity, we need to collectively be advocates for our dietetics community and contribute to a stronger public presence. Public policy and legislation are far more vital to the fabric of everything we do than many may expect. Stay informed and always get involved where you can.