Exploring the Food Industry Through Internships – Sarah Massey Hester

As a food and nutrition major, vice president of the Nutrition and Wellness Association, and a student leader at Campus Kitchens, Sarah Massey Hester, ’17, ’19 (M.S. in nutrition) always had a passion for the food industry.

During her undergraduate studies at Meredith, Sarah completed undergraduate research, which was a pilot study on a compost shed at the Three Sisters Garden, an organic garden on Meredith’s campus. She presented her research on Celebrating Student Achievement Day.

Other achievements included being a member of Kappa Omicron Nu, which is the Food and Nutrition Honor Society, and interning with Freshpoint, a large wholesale produce company.

Most students who major in food and nutrition intend to pursue a career as a dietitian, but Sarah brought a different passion to the program. “I was the oddball and was also interested in agriculture and sustainability,” said Sarah.

Because of her interest in the food system and agricultural side of nutrition, her professors encouraged her to attend conferences and find internships that were unique to her interests. In the beginning of her college career she wasn’t sure if she would be able to pursue her passions and compared herself to the other students in the program. Over time, she learned to move past the doubt and gained the confidence to follow her own path.

“My professors saw the spark in me to be something different. They invested in me and sent opportunities my way, like internships and speakers,” said Sarah.

Sarah’s career path continued to evolve. She retained her passion for agriculture, but also saw value in earning the more traditional registered dietitian credential.

As a result, after earning her undergraduate degree in 2017, Sarah returned to Meredith to earn a Master of Science in Nutrition program at Meredith College. She then enrolled in the Dietetic Internship at Meredith in fall 2019 with a plan to earn her Registered Dietitian credential, which she successfully completed in 2020.

By Molly Horton, ’17

Learn more about the food and nutrition major