When Melina Lund entered Humber's Food and Nutrition Management and Culinary Management programs, she never imagined that path would lead her to a career in food sales. But now, she admits, she couldn't imagine her life without it. Melina landed her Account Manager job at Shalit Foods after completing her Humber work placement at the company. Melina talked to us about why she owes a good deal of her success to the experiences and knowledge she gained during her time at Humber.
Job: National Healthcare Account Manager at Shalit Foods
"Humber offered a wide range of classes that covered absolutely everything in the industry and gave me a great starting point to grasp the crazy, fun and ever-changing world of healthcare." - Melina Lund
Q: What do you do in your current role?
A: As a National Healthcare Account Manager, I manage national and regional accounts including LTC chains, independent businesses, hospitals, retirement homes and distributors. My job is to listen to businesses and give them what they need in terms of food and nutrition. I really value the opinions of my accounts and consult with them before pushing a product. I care about my clients’ procedures in day-to-day life and that is more important than pushing a certain product.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: Shalit Foods has amazing products that I, myself, cook with at home. I would not support products that I wouldn’t use myself. My job consists of both working at home with emails and phone calls, but also going out on account visits. I love my job because it’s always something different every day. I also love going into the homes of residents and especially the elderly. People say if you talk to a toddler you see the world completely different but I think the same goes for the elderly. The stories they have are so amazing and truly humbling.
Q: How did you end up with the job you have now?
A: Shalit Foods was my second spot in my internship and halfway through they offered me a job to begin when I graduated. I happily accepted. I never thought I would end up in sales, but I can honestly say that I don’t think I would ever leave now.
Q: How did Humber help you in your goals?
A: Humber was an amazing school. I can’t thank everyone at Humber enough! Nutrition and food are truly my passion – and when the two mix it’s magical. Humber not only had theoretical classes but also practical classes that tied it all together. They offered a wide range of classes that covered absolutely everything in the industry and gave me a great starting point to grasp the crazy, fun and ever-changing world of healthcare. I also got a great professional start by learning management skills, LinkedIn necessities and many chances to network.
Q: What advice would you give to students in the Food and Nutrition Management or Culinary Management programs?
A: Do not have a closed mind. There are SO many jobs that you can do with a degree in nutrition and even more if you combine that with a culinary degree. Never be afraid to volunteer and get yourself out into the Humber community. There are so many great opportunities. Finally, work hard and ask lots of questions. You have a great team of professors available that are knowledgeable and kind. Stay on top of trends in the industry – this will be very important no matter what path you choose.