Career opportunities for graduates of our program are excellent and include position titles such as nutritionist, dietitian, entrepreneur, food technologist, new product developer, owner, researcher, senior scientist, and food systems manager, among many others.

 

Explore your return on investment

Job and Internship Opportunities

Internships typically take place during the summer and offer excellent opportunities to develop valuable skills, learn about potential future positions and earn money or academic credit.

College of ACES Career Services

Graduate School

Potential Careers in Food Science and Human Nutrition

Dietetics

  • Clinical Dietitian
  • Dietitian in public, private or government health program
  • Dietetic manager within a business or clinical setting
  • Sports nutrition dietitian

Food Science

  • Food Chemist
  • Food Manufacturing Supervisor
  • Food Microbiologist
  • Food Product Developer
  • Quality Assurance Technician
  • Food Industry Sales Representative
  • Food Quality Analyst
  • Flavor Chemist
  • Sensory Scientist

Human Nutrition

  • Production Chemist (i.e., Bio-Rad Laboratories)
  • Nutrition Product Developer
  • Quality Assurance (Food Industry)
  • Nutrition Scientist (pharmaceutical)
  • Health professional in Public Health
  • Health professional in Dentistry
  • Health professional in Veterinary Medicine
  • Laboratory Research Technician

Hospitality Management

  • Careers focused in the restaurant and food business
  • Assistant Restaurant Manager
  • Catering/Banquet Manager
  • Account Executive
  • Event/Sales Manager

Explore Career Possibilities

Food Science

Amanda Pizarek

Amanda Pizarek, Qualitative Sensory Scientist, PepsiCo
A qualitative sensory scientist guides product developers and project teams to design products based on consumer expectations. This includes facilitating sessions with consumers to gather feedback on sensory attributes of products, facilitating internal idea sessions to identify future product opportunities, and partnering with chefs to guide product developers.

Daniel Margulis, PepsiCo, Product Development Scientist
Daniel Margulis graduated from Illinois in 2018 with a Bachelor's degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition, with a Food Science Concentration. Margulis is a Product Development Scientist at PepsiCo R&D in Barrington, IL. He always knew he wanted to be a food scientist. After an awesome product development internship at Newly Weds Foods the summer after his sophomore year, and an equally amazing internship at PepsiCo after his junior year, Margulis knew this was the field for him. Upon graduation, Margulis began his career at PepsiCo and has been with the company since.

 

Claire Bollinger-Savage, Nestlé, Factory Management Development Program
Claire Bollinger-Savage graduated from Illinois in 2019 with a bachelor's degree in Food Science and Human Nutrition, with a concentration in food science. After college, she joined Nestlé’s Factory Management Development Program in the quality assurance stream. She has spent the last two years in the factory setting. She has even gotten to live in three different states already. Each day, she makes decisions that impact food safety. She has had the joy of producing ice cream, mac and cheese and now chocolate chips.

 

Hospitality Management

Mark Cherry

Mark Cherry, National Sales Manager, Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino
The National Sales Manager for Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino manages a sales territory for large meetings from clients with headquarter locations in California and Nevada.

Brandon A. Bertsch

Brandon A. Bertsch, Drury Hotels – Corporate Manager of Food & Beverage/Special Projects
U of I, FSHN Featured Hospitality Management Alumnus

“I collaborate across all corporate departments to support field F&B Operations for 130+ hotels. I focus on developing and implementing standards for our F&B layouts, equipment, complimentary breakfast and nightly manager’s reception menus, our retail markets and meeting break packages. I also consult with our purchasing department on our food and beverage vendor relationships (both suppliers and distributors). Finally, I am responsible for developing our annual F&B budget and guidance to each property in all previously mentioned categories, plus labor. In the last 2 years, I have transitioned into managing the entire hotel revenue and expense budget process."

“The relationships forged in my time at UIUC have been invaluable for my career. A UIUC connection got me an interview for my first management position post-college, and the skills I sharpened during my time in FSHN have positioned me for many advancement opportunities since.”

Emily Green

Emily Green, Event Manager for Pear Tree Estate and L.A. Gourmet Catering in Champaign. IL
U of I, FSHN Featured Hospitality Management Alumna

“I manage special events and all things that are involved on the day of the event. This includes coordinating with other vendors, acting as a point of contact for clients, and communicating with back of house staff to ensure things run smoothly. I am responsible for event staff management, training, and hiring. I also manage alcohol purchasing, costing, and recipe development. Working for a small business allows me to experience many aspects of the event industry."

“The hands-on learning lab classes were the most valuable to me. I learn best working through tasks and my time spent in the Spice Box allowed me to experience all of the different roles and aspects of running a restaurant. It was also an opportunity to meet other professionals in the industry and learn more about career options after graduation. As a local alum, I am fortunate to be able to network with current students and even have a few that work with me.”

Eric Fine

Eric Fine, Independent Food Service Business Developer for Gordon Food Service
U of I, FSHN Featured Hospitality Management Alumnus

“Since August of 2020, I have been a part of GFS’ Great Lakes West Sales Team focused on bringing in new restaurant/foodservice customers in Illinois and Wisconsin. We service restaurants of all shapes and sizes from your local bar/restaurant, food trucks, ghost kitchens and caterers, to little league concession stands, movie theaters and supermarkets. If your business prepares and/or serves food in quantity, then Gordon Food Service can deliver it and just about everything else a restaurant needs with the exception of alcohol."

“ACES was the best! FSHN’s Hospitality Management had the best students, faculty, staff and food on campus. FSHN taught me so much, but the most important lesson I learned was the value of the relationships I built. Colleagues and customers become friends and turn into family.”

Jianhao Zhai

Jianhao Zhai, Sous Chef at Joe E Cheesy’s Snack Shack Restaurant in Nova Scotia, Canada.
U of I, FSHN Featured Hospitality Management Alumnus

“Should I follow my heart on what I want to do in the future? Or should I follow what others think I should do? These questions bothered me for almost two years after I began studying engineering at UIUC. I did not have the courage to change my major completely until I talked to my hospitality management advisor, Jill Craft. She gave me the courage to pursue MY dream, not what I thought other people wanted me to do. This is the single most important thing I learned during my time in FSHN. She helped me become who I am right now. I will always be grateful for that."

“Keep humble, and always learn from others. The curriculum, especially the “SPICEBOX” project we completed with our senior classmates and freshmen, emphasized the value of learning from each other. I didn’t realize how lucky I was to have learned this early in my career until I saw so many chefs and cooks with potential become ordinary and get stuck in their comfort zones, becoming arrogant and no longer learning from others. There are always people with new techniques and new knowledge of flavor combinations in the restaurant business. Always be respectful of your coworkers. Keep reflecting on your own craft and never be full of yourself.”

Laura Nessel

Laura Nessel, Director of Marketing & Sales, Wildfire & Big Bowl division with Lettuce Entertain You
U of I, FSHN Featured Hospitality Management Alumna

"My daily goal is to continue spreading brand awareness and increase loyalty through a variety of marketing channels to excite diners, both new and old, with the restaurant’s mission to serve quality and consistent dining experiences by highlighting all aspects of our restaurants – from our people, to our food, to our culture. I work closely with our partners, management teams and corporate office."

"My 4 years spent at The University of Illinois Hospitality Management program solidified my passion for the hospitality industry. My senior year final project of creating my very own restaurant provided me with the opportunity to learn all facets of a restaurant. Working at Bevier Café taught me so many important lessons – from planning ahead to leadership skills, working with all different personalities, marketing, pivoting when things didn’t go as planned, teamwork and celebrating hard work – all skills I still use on a daily basis."

Tony Morano
Tony Morano, Regional Financial Controller with Chartwells
UIUC FSHN Hospitality Management Alumnus
 
"I am responsible for the financial reporting of all accounts within my region in the Midwest. I enjoy training and developing new account controllers/accountants and developing processes for clean and more accurate financial reporting. I also enjoy working on new business proposals and with business growth opportunities. Part of my responsibilities are to facilitate and review the annual budget process within my region. Compass has allowed me to pursue my passion for finance within the food service industry, and they continue to challenge me to grow in my professional career."
 
"My degree from Illinois has been so valuable and has enabled me to grow in my career. The Hospitality program at Illinois is well rounded, giving students exposure to every aspect of the business from cooking to finance. I was able to find what I enjoyed most in hospitality through my degree and have the advantage of a strong operational back ground. I felt well prepared after graduation to go into the workforce and use the tools and knowledge I gained while earning my degree."
Jenny Gulas

Jenny Gulas, Special Events Manager at Cog Hill Golf & Country Club, Lemont, IL
U of I, FSHN Featured Hospitality Management 

“I love the customer service aspect of the job and working one-on-one with the clients to make their vision of the event become a reality.”

As a special events manager at Cog Hill Golf & Country Club (72 holes; 4 18-hole courses), Jenny Gulas is responsible for selling, planning, and executing private events. Meeting with clients allows her to describe what Cog Hill offers. She then works with them throughout the planning of their event, and ends with being on-site the day of the event to ensure things go smoothly.

“So much about the hospitality industry cannot be taught in a classroom & UIUC FSHN’s required practical work experience & professional internship made me more marketable. Knowledge gained in Bevier Cafe & Spice Box is directly relatable to my current position. The required practical work experience and professional internship made me more marketable to employers. Working as a TA in both the Bevier Cafe and the Spice Box definitely impacted my professional development; I was able to gain management experience while still in school. When I started as a special events manager, I already had those skills under my belt and it made coming into a company as a young manager, with many long-time employees, that much easier. Many of the management skills I learned as a TA translated to my current position.”

Jordan Arbus

Jordan Arbus, General Manager of Beatrix Streeterville with Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises
U of I FSHN Featured Hospitality Management 

"I am the current General Manager of Beatrix Streeterville with Lettuce Entertain You Enterprises. I graduated from UIUC in May 2013 with an HM degree. I started working for Lettuce when I was 16 years old at Wildfire Lincolnshire, and worked throughout college on school breaks. Upon graduating from Illinois, I moved to the Washington DC area to enter management at Wildfire in McLean, VA. After 4 tremendous years in VA, I moved back to Chicago in 2017 and transferred to Beatrix. In March 2018, I was promoted to General Manager."

"U of I prepared me because of the practical work experience working in the Bevier Cafe. Members of the hospitality industry deal with situations that you just cannot learn in a classroom setting. Getting that firsthand experience working to serve the guest was really a rush for me. It continued to drive my passion for the industry."

Leah Jacko
Leah Jacko, Owner, Meetings by LJ, LLC., Arlington Heights, IL
UIUC FSHN Hospitality Management Alumna
 
“I started my own business, Meetings by LJ, LLC, three years ago in Arlington Heights, IL. I am a meeting planner who fully plans and executes corporate events, meetings and incentives. I also act as onsite/event support for colleagues who need additional assistance during their events.”
 
“FSHN and specifically HM taught me how valuable teamwork is. We all need to succeed as an individual but especially in Hospitality Management – we really don’t succeed unless we work as a team to provide excellent service."

Human Nutrition

Honor Millette

Honor Millette​, Dietary Assistant at Eating Recovery Center   
Honor graduated from UIUC with many unique experiences diversifying her resume and preparing her for her current position as a Dietary Assistant at a residential care facility focusing on disordered eating. She shared “from the fundamental concepts in nutrition to the specialized experience as an intern working with NCAA athletes, I learned a great deal. And, my advisor helped me map out steps to help me reach my goals.” Even after graduation, Honor continues to partner with her Human Nutrition advisor as she applies to earn a Master’s of Nursing continuing to work with her passions and towards more advanced goals in the health professions. 

Lauren Moy

Lauren Moy, Current FSHN Undergraduate, Future Pharmacist 
As a human nutrition major, Lauren was able to holistically demonstrate that she would be an excellent candidate for pharmacy school. She took advantage of the many opportunities provided within the department of Food Science and Human Nutrition at the University of Illinois such as undergraduate research in the clinical sciences, serving as a mentor within a large teaching team, and acting as a board member of the registered student organization "Nutrition in Health". These experiences paired with her rigorous coursework allowed her early admission to the UIC Pharmacy School. Lauren will graduate May of 2021 with a BS in Human Nutrition and continue to Pharmacy School August of 2021.

Dietetics

Nikki DeAngelis, MS, RD, LDN, CNSC, Registered Dietician at Silver Cross Hospital
U of I, FSHN Dietetics Alumna

“I currently work at Silver Cross Hospital in New Lenox, IL as a Registered Dietitian. In this clinical role, I am responsible for assessing the nutritional status of my patients and implementing appropriate nutrition interventions to keep them nourished in the hospital. This includes managing tube feedings and parenteral nutrition for patients who are not able to eat orally due to swallowing issues, recent surgeries, or being on a ventilator. I also provide medical nutrition therapy in the form of diet education to ensure patients are confident in their food choices after discharge to help keep them healthy!

“The curriculum and staff in the FSHN program at UIUC go above and beyond to ensure students are not only competent in academics, but also excel in asking good questions, communicating clearly, thinking critically, and being a leader. I truly believe these skills make me a better dietitian because I am able to foster interdisciplinary relationships and implement effective nutrition care. UIUC fanned my desire to always keep learning, and since graduating in 2015 I have also obtained a MS in Human Nutrition and obtained my Certified Nutrition Support Clinician (CNSC) credential. I am so grateful to this day that I completed my undergraduate Dietetics degree at UIUC and am proud to be an alumnus of this world-class program.”

Allison Vander Heyden, RD, Clinical Dietitian at a Wellness Center, Consultant for Foodsmart and Owner of Freshly Nourished, LLC
U of I, FSHN Dietetics Alumna

“I am currently employed in multiple areas of dietetics. I work part-time as a clinical dietitian at a Wellness Center specializing in pulmonary and cardiac rehab. I also consult for Foodsmart, a virtual telehealth-based practice with integration of a smartphone app. Lastly, I own my own private practice, Freshly Nourished LLC where I see a variety of different clients in my community.

“I highly value my education at UIUC for preparing me for my career. The program has a well-rounded approach to prepare you for multiple areas of dietetics with a diversity of classes in the curriculum (i.e. clinical, food service, community, etc.). There was a strong emphasis in obtaining a variety of dietetic-related experiences outside of the classroom to assist with building a strong internship application. I will always be grateful for my time in the program and the professors who helped shape me into the dietitian I am today.”

Heather Gibbs, PhD, RD, LD, Associate Professor in the department of Dietetics & Nutrition at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, KS
U of I, FSHN Featured Dietetics Alumna

Heather’s nutrition literacy research has produced a validated tool, the Nutrition Literacy Assessment Instrument (NLit), now used in nutrition research around the world. She is currently engaged in research efforts to improve the diet quality and health outcomes of patients with low nutrition literacy.

“During my PhD work in the FSHN department, I benefited from expert nutrition researchers and gifted instructors. I was able to build a network of trusted and highly esteemed mentors who prepared me to leverage my dissertation work into a NIH-funded project upon graduation.”

Suren Chiu, RD, Clinical Dietitian at Decatur Memorial Hospital.
U of I, FSHN Dietetics Alumna

“I work in an outpatient clinic helping patients with weight management, irritable bowel syndrome/disease, pediatric obesity, and cardiovascular disease. I also supervise and manage a medical weight loss program overseeing 65 patients helping people to achieve their weight loss goals.

The Didactic program at UIUC is a phenomenal program. The coursework has given me references, outlines, and tools to become successful as a dietitian. I am very proud of being a FSHN alumni.

Stacey Hoi Chi Kong, MS, RD, Clinical Dietician, Palomar Health and Alvarado Hospital, San Diego, CA
U of I, FSHN Featured Dietetics Alumna

Stacey’s daily routine includes screening new-admit patients, assessing patient’s nutritional status, identifying proper nutrition intervention, which includes oral nutrition supplements, enteral nutrition, and parenteral nutrition.

The UIUC dietetic program well prepared me for the dietetic internship with a strong foundation. The diverse curriculum was very useful and provided me with the knowledge that I can utilize during my dietetic internship. All the professors, TAs, and the teachers were very knowledgeable, supportive, and considerate. Every moment that I spent at UIUC was memorable and set me up for success in my dietetic career.

Tom Smurr, Customer Advocate & Education Team Member, Vital Proteins, LLC, Chicago, IL.
U of I, FSHN Featured Dietetics Alumnus

“My current position is as a Customer Advocate and Education Team Member at Vital Proteins. I help consumers with their questions and build educations using compliant language on our products. Both external and internal messaging is something I create!

“UIUC helped prepare for my current career by providing me a very in depth look at how nutrition affects the body. My current role has me needing to teach the nutritional benefits of many specific micronutrients and amino acids. I utilize my presentation, counseling, and speaking skills obtained from classes every day. Finally, the always-learning mentality all nutritionists need came through the advice of many of my professors.”