Internship Spotlight: Hannah Elliot-Higgins, NEXTern for FoodMinds

Hannah Elliot-Higgins is a second year NICBC student. Hannah worked as the NEXTern (intern) for FoodMinds, a food and nutrition communications and consulting company. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from William & Mary College.

For more about FoodMinds, check out our past interview with the founder: Always Tell a Better Story — Takeaways from Nourish Café Panel Session with Bill Layden

Today, Hannah tells about her summer internship experience.

1. In just a few sentences, please tell us about your summer internship. How does it connect to your personal and professional interests? 

This summer, I worked as an NEXTern (intern) for FoodMinds. In this position, I have honed my skills translating nutrition science into accessible information for the public; learned the ins and outs of influencer research, vetting, and contracting; and gained a greater appreciation for the importance of consuming daily news daily to provide timely and relevant strategic counsel to clients. My long-term career goals involve starting a private practice, for which communications will be critical. This internship has provided me with the foundational skills necessary to determine how best to communicate information to clients and also how to communicate important concepts in an accessible manner. In terms of personal interests, I am fascinated by the intersection between social media and any public-facing media and nutrition. Currently, disinformation is rampant in the field which makes the need for science-based communications even more important, and companies like FoodMinds are filling that need.

2. How did you land your internship? (e.g., networking, found on the Block Career Center or another website, etc.)

I learned about FoodMinds through attending the Virtual Midwest Career Fair through the Friedman School Block Career Center. After attending, I reached out over LinkedIn to a Tufts Friedman School alumna who is currently an employee of FoodMinds. She was generous enough to agree to an informational interview so I could learn more about the company. The application process took a few weeks and several rounds of interviews, but was a great experience.

3.  What do you enjoy about your internship? 

I love all the different skills I have been exposed to and projects I’ve been able to join. I have had one long-term project to work on from start to finish, and I’ve also been called into many other projects with a wide variety of clients. Because of this, I’ve been able to learn a range of skills, from influencer research and vetting to communicating nutrition science to the general public to nutrition analysis.

4.  What are the necessary soft and hard skills needed for your position? 

Communication is absolutely a critical skill for this position — it is a communications company after all! It is also important to be able to read and comprehend scientific studies as well as write well and be able to adjust your writing style depending on the audience. A general knowledge of the landscape of nutrition and dietetics, including important figures in the field, is also quite helpful.

5. If you could offer one piece of internship search advice to fellow students, what would that be? 

Network as much as possible! Take advantage of the alumni network of the Friedman School and set up meetings early. Often, these alumni will be able to connect you to other people who may be working at your dream company.

By Ingrid Zhou
Ingrid Zhou Student Ambassador