The Food Bank’s internship program offers students with mentorship and hands on experience in applying their knowledge and skills to help improve Central Texans’ health. There’s no time for fetching coffee here.
Qian You joined us as a spring nutrition education intern starting in February and ending in May. She shares her experience with us:
What kind of projects did you work on?
As an intern and volunteer, I have been doing a variety of tasks in facilitating the nutrition education classes. For example, I prepared snacks for the kids and I observed how nutrition knowledge is interpreted and passed on to the public, particularly with children.
What was your most rewarding experience?
The most rewarding experience I have had at the Food Bank is assisting our Nutrition Education manager, Angela Henry for the Food Bank’s employee wellness program which just launched April 1, 2014. I felt lucky to be able to see the birth of our wellness program and to be able to contribute to it. Each month, our program will have a health-related challenge for our employees to accomplish. I have been responsible for creating the handouts for the theme of the corresponding month.
April being the National Cancer Control Month, our nutrition department decided to challenge employees making cancer-fighting dishes and participating in a recipe contest. The handout I created introduced the basics of cancer and how to fight cancer using natural foods. I also included all the current well-studied cancer fighting foods and their bioactive phytochemicals, beneficial nutrients that have protective, health promoting properties when ingested. This information was critical for our recipe contest because it can be used as an ingredient list for our employees to pick food items and create their dish.
We evaluated the dish in two aspects, cancer fighting capacity and applicability to daily life. I was very excited to sit on the judge board and evaluate the participating dishes. Fortunately, I didn’t have lunch before the contest because the dishes were so delicious and I got stuffed when evaluating the eighth dish. The 18 participating dishes were all of high quality with plenty of cancer fighting foods. This contest allowed our employees to explore the cancer fighting foods and really apply the knowledge into action.
It was really fun to be a recipe contest judge because that was actually my childhood dream career!
What makes this internship unique and valuable?
As a graduate student in nutrition, I have fairly good knowledge of the science side of nutrition. However, I highly value the volunteer experiences at the Food Bank because they are great opportunities for me to get exposed to the community side of nutrition. I really enjoyed my internship experiences here at the Food Bank as it is relevant to my knowledge and allowing me to work on variety of tasks.
If you would like more information about our internships, please visit our careers page.