Last week, I was accepted into NYU’s Masters of Food Studies program, starting Fall 2017. I’ll be going part time (not quitting my job) and it will take me anywhere from two to three years to complete. Ever since I shared the news, many people are confused about what the hell I’ll be doing, so I wanted to help answer some of the most common questions I’ve received below:
Q: Will you be bringing me soufflés?
A: No. This is not a culinary degree. Cooking is not part of the curriculum, although I’m sure I’ll be cooking more on my own due to being a poor grad student.
Q: So if you’re not bringing me soufflés, what will you be doing?
A: According to NYU, studying “the ways in which individuals, communities, and societies produce, distribute, and consume food”.
Q: Okay, that’s pretty vague. Can you be more specific?
A: Gladly. The program has three suggested tracks: Media & Cultural Analysis, Policy & Advocacy, and Business & Social Entrepreneurship. I’m most interested in the latter, but I plan to take classes across all areas.
Q: What kind of classes?
A: Some core courses include Food & Culture, Food Policy & Politics, and Nutrition in Food Studies. Within the Business & Social Entrepreneurship track, I’ll take things like Economics of Food: Consumer Behaviors and Food Entrepreneurship. I’ll also be taking some of my courses at the NYU Stern School of Business like Financial Accounting and Foundations of Social Entrepreneurship.
Q: But it’s not an MBA? Or a JD? Or an MD? Wait, what’s the point of this? What does someone do after they get this degree?
A: Nope, it’s not one of the more common graduate degrees that many of my friends and colleagues have gone on to obtain. Kudos to them, but if you’ve been reading this blog or know me at all, you know that food is my passion and this is where I belong.
People who graduate from the program go into a lot of different fields like food writing, food marketing, supply chain management, operations, nonprofit work, advocacy, and entrepreneurial food ventures.
Q: What do YOU want to do after you get this degree?
A: Great question. Right now, I’m really interested in reducing food waste, urban farming, and food policy. There’s a hell of a lot of problems in the US food system, and I know I’ve only scratched the surface of what’s out there. I’m sure my interests will change 100 times as I learn more about the issues and what I can do to help solve them.
Q: Cool. Thanks for the clarifications.