Unique degree - now where to apply?
July 12, 2012 9:00 AM   Subscribe

I just graduated from a unique/specific master's program and now I'm searching for jobs. Are there any places I'm leaving out of my search?

I graduated with a degree in gastronomy (the study of food and culture) in May and now I'm searching for a job. It's hard because this is one of those degrees that doesn't have a straightforward career goal in mind and I'm not even sure what I want to do (which I know is not great). I also have certificates in the culinary arts, baking arts, artisan cheese, wine, and I'm ServSafe certified. Basically I wanted to learn food hands-on AND also study the ideas behind food choices, culture, etc. Food is the only thing I have an unwavering passion for.

Before the program I worked in politics and copywriting. I have been applying to a lot of food-centered organizations and companies that are in need of communications people. When I first entered the gastronomy program, I imagined I would work for a food policy nonprofit or the like. But now I can see myself doing many different things. I kind of "fell" into all of my previous jobs and they really worked out well.

So far I've looked at jobs at food publications, with the government (USDA), with the Food Network, PR agencies that specialize in chefs/restaurants and various nonprofits. I am not super-picky about where I live, but I have mainly been focusing on Boston, Chicago and New York for various reasons. I am extremely interested in Scandinavian food culture and would love to live in Norway, Finland, or Sweden, although I don't even know where to start and I know how expensive it is. (Money is a big issue as I have to pay my student loans - I can't afford an internship).

I know this is a very open-ended question, but sometimes it helps to talk about your job search with people because they come up with companies, organizations, and even types of jobs that may never have crossed your mind.

posted by theuninvitedguest to Work & Money (9 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I hate to say publishing, such as cook book publishing, only because the pay is so dismal, but it is an avenue.

How about a TV network, like Food Network or Cooking Channel.

A large restaurant chain, like Cameron Mitchell. I have a family member who works for them in one of their restaurants.

A Corporate job with a Grocery Store's marketing department.

Good Luck!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:48 AM on July 12, 2012

Best answer: Would you have any interest in teaching? I feel like a food science or nutrition and dietetics program at a university might have a pretty niche role for someone like you.
posted by taltalim at 10:29 AM on July 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

posted by hooray at 10:55 AM on July 12, 2012

This isn't a job, but more a professional development thing - since you have been a professional writer and have a lot of knowledge in this area, what about starting a blog? You could start writing regular posts, then approach bigger blogs about cross-posting, guest-blogging regularly, etc. This could be a good way to raise your professional profile and might even lead to some paying jobs, though of course it's best not to bank on blogging as a career.
posted by lunasol at 11:20 AM on July 12, 2012

Best answer: Also, if you're interested in doing new media and/or communications work for progressive advocacy nonprofits, definitely check out the NOI Jobs google group, in addition to the standard sites like Idealist.
posted by lunasol at 11:25 AM on July 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: There is a pretty lively Nordic culture community in Chicago (a friend is involved with this theatre company there) -- there might might be some food culture opportunities in that network.
posted by pantarei70 at 11:40 AM on July 12, 2012

Best answer: theuninvitedguest: "I am extremely interested in Scandinavian food culture and would love to live in Norway, Finland, or Sweden, although I don't even know where to start and I know how expensive it is."

Maybe a travel company that needs someone to lead tours to these places? Do cruise lines go there? You could be the resident expert on board, who designs the menu or leads the cultural opportunities.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 12:23 PM on July 12, 2012

Agree with lunasol. You could gradually add video and really make it a pro site.
posted by jgirl at 12:50 PM on July 12, 2012

Response by poster: Thanks, everyone! Great ideas! I do have a food blog already that I update with recipes, photos, etc. I also check GoodFoodJobs every day. I had not heard of the NOI Jobs group - thanks!
posted by theuninvitedguest at 8:16 AM on July 13, 2012

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