From recipe testing to nutrition research, find out how one of our students spent her summer interning for Joy Bauer of the TODAY show!
If you’re a TODAY show fan like myself, then you’ve likely felt Joy Bauer’s enthusiasm for all things health, fitness, and nutrition greet you throughout your television screen and into the comfort of your own home.
And if the name Joy Bauer doesn’t ring a bell, then maybe this description will: A 5-foot something, Registered Dietitian with an obvious passion for all things health-related; the nutrition expert for the TODAY show; a #1 New York Times best-selling author; a columnist for Woman’s Day magazine; an Instagrammer with a delectable feed and a health figure who truly wants you to live your best life.
As someone with an appetite for communications, I’m constantly keeping my eyes and ears open for opportunities to combine my experience in digital content creation and public relations with my degree program at The Friedman School (Nutrition, Interventions, Communications, and Behavior Change). And, as a student on the path to becoming a Registered Dietitian, I welcome any opportunity to learn from field experts who have been in my shoes and helped to pave the way for myself and other Friedman students.
So, imagine my delight when an opening for a Nutrition Communications Intern for Joy Bauer Ventures presented itself at the onset of the summer semester.
As a first-year student with only one semester under my belt, the opportunity to earn an internship that aligned with my skills and interests felt like something I wouldn’t achieve until the Summer of 2020. But when the door to an invaluable experience appeared, I knocked; through writing samples, mock social media posts and one too many exclamation points that certainly showed my enthusiasm. Two finalist assignments later and the door opened.
The title of the position certainly caught my eye, but my excitement only grew when I read the responsibilities associated with the internship. Did I want to create weekly social media posts for Joy Bauer’s digital platforms? Yes, please. Brainstorm and conceptualize TODAY show segment ideas? You bet. Scan daily media releases peppered with the latest nutrition findings and dive into nutrition research? Sign. Me. Up.
While my day-to-day activities included all of the above, I was also able to flex my creative muscles through recipe testing and development; a win for both my skill set and my network of eager taste testers.
A welcome call with the Joy Bauer team certainly set the tone for my summer through a clear set of responsibilities, but the three months that followed exceeded my expectations by offering a rare magnitude of flexibility. My internship advisor, a Friedman alumna, and fellow foodie encouraged me to communicate my goals, including my interests and areas in which I sought to gain more experience, to help me truly make the most of my internship. My proudest deliverable? Assisting with the proofing of Joy’s upcoming book to be released in April of 2020, which will feature my name in the Acknowledgement page.
While I gained new skills in nutrition research and further honed an adaptable mindset, assisting with the development of Joy’s TODAY show segments provided an invaluable lesson: that nutrition experts must constantly evolve their efforts to meet the needs and interests of their client base or, in Joy’s case, their audience.
While Joy is renowned and trusted for her expertise in nutrition and health, her desire to debunk health topics that are glorified by popular media showcase her attentiveness to the needs, interests, and curiosities of her audience. Specifically, her willingness to present on popular health topics and identify the truths and myths behind diet fads demonstrate her viewer-first approach and on-trend perspective. By ensuring her messages provide meaning to her audience, Joy builds trust with those who follow her and reiterates the importance of both clear communications and connectivity. And that is a lesson I will take with me throughout all of my future endeavors.
Ali McGowan is an aspiring Registered Dietitian and a first-year graduate student in the Nutrition, Interventions, Communications, and Behavior Change Program at The Friedman School. A fitness enthusiast and frequent obstacle course racer, Ali comes to Tufts with a professional background in public relations, social media, and content marketing, and has assisted with the communications for Fortune-500 companies, including CVS and Hasbro, Inc.