“New” Student Group Connects Students to the Private Sector 

by Matthew Moore

Following a brief hiatus, Friedman Business Link (formerly known as Tufts Food Works) will return this fall. Its goal is to provide resources for students interested in the private sector, food industry, and entrepreneurship through conversation, education, and connections.

After being dormant for over a year, Tufts Food Works has been rechristened as Friedman Business Link and is back to support students interested in possible careers in the private sector. The organization kicks off the year with a general interest meeting, Wednesday, October 1st from 4:30-6:00 PM in Jaharis 254.

Efforts to get Business Link off the ground were spearheaded by Kate Schaffner (AFE), along with co-chairs and fellow AFE students Emily Dimiero, Matt Hazel, Ravdeep Jaidka, Nathaniel Rosenblum and Abraham Faham.

Schaffner said they updated the organization’s name to more accurately reflect its mission and emphasized the importance of the private sector in today’s nutrition, public health, and agricultural fields.

“We wanted to implement a forum where students can explore how private interests can intersect with public policy related to nutrition and food systems,” Schaffner explained. “Businesses are key stakeholders and need to be part of the conversation. We want to help students understand what drives business decision-making so that they can prepare for jobs, determine what roles they’d like to play, and maybe even start their own businesses.”

While Business Link spotlights the private sector, its primary mission is to assist current Friedman students with enhancing their personal professional development. As Tufts Food Works, the organization previously created a directed study to help students build business development skills and hosted events such as tours of Sam Adams and Taza Chocolate as well as a monthly speaker series that featured panels of alumni working in the private sector.

Schaffner plans to reestablish several of these resources and revealed that speaking events — while not confirmed — are currently being planned for the spring. One of her goals is for Business Link to provide students with interview skills practice as well as resume and cover letter writing workshops.

Dimiero also stressed the importance of networking as one of the organization’s components.

“We wanted to allow students to have a formalized outlet to explore potential careers in the private sector,” she said. “That includes providing them with networking opportunities they might not have otherwise, whether it be with peers, faculty, or outside speakers and guests.”

Business Link’s co-chairs have already begun to build alumni networking connections for its members. While their ideas have kick-started Business Link’s activities for the upcoming year, they intend for the organization to evolve based on input from new members’ individual, professional development goals.

Reiterating the importance of communication in Business Link’s mission, Schaffner said, “Conversations about the role businesses ought to play in these fields can be contentious. However, their impact is significant, and this is a chance to facilitate mutual understanding between private and public sector among students who care about food, nutrition and agriculture.”

Matt Moore is a first-year AFE student and is prepared to fill up an October devoid of Tampa Bay Rays baseball with horror movies no one has ever heard of.

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