1) What does a typical day look like for you?
Being a Nutrition Scientist means you are supporting not only external customers but also cross-functional internal customers. My responsibilities span across all stages of a product’s lifecycle. Emerging nutrition science developments may drive upstream innovations. During product development, nutrition literature review may be needed to determine the product’s safety and support regulatory submissions. For products that have the potential to benefit human health, nutrition scientists will design clinical research and draft manuscripts to publish scientific findings. Unlike the product development scientists who spend part of their day conducting benchwork, most of my work can be completed with a laptop and a phone. A few trips to scientific conferences or to meet external research collaborators may be needed every year.
2) What excites you about your work?
I am very lucky to wake up every day feeling excited about the knowledge that I am going to gain. This is not a repetitive job that I will ever get bored. I am constantly following new scientific developments in the food ingredient industry. I also enjoy being the subject matter expert in nutrition science and working with cross-functional teams to ensure that the company develops safe, healthy and tasty products for customers.
3) What kind of person do you wish to be when you “grow up”?
I want to be a person who can have a conversation with anyone. Growing up in China and then studying and working in the US (where many cultures meet), I sincerely appreciate diversity. I hope that I will be conscious not to only accept the information that I believe in, but also actively seek to understand other viewpoints.
4) 2020 is filled with uncertainties and challenges, how do you calm yourself down with the chaotic surroundings?
Meditate… Think of what is important for your life. Do not be bogged down by small troubles in life. I love to travel and experience different cultures in person. This year I am stuck at home. However, this gives me time to read books that I did not have time to get to. There is a book that I would recommend to anyone who is puzzled by the chaotic world and desperately wish to find their purpose for life: Man’s Search for Meaning. It is written by a professor of Psychiatry who is also a survivor of the Holocaust. This is not a cliché book, but a book filled with the glory of humanity and wisdom, highly recommend to other fellow young professionals.