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Your Tribe Awaits You

IFT Student Association

You’ve determined the right profession for you and now you want to explore all it has to offer. There is no better way to do this than to attend IFT’s annual event where you will be able to immerse yourself and fully explore, network and learn with a focused sense of purpose. At IFT18 you will be surrounded by over 20,000 individuals, just like you who are passionate about the science of food.

As a future leader of IFT and the food science and technology professions, undergraduate and graduate students of the Institute of Food Technologists Student Association (IFTSA) are an active and integral part of IFT18. This includes opportunities to volunteer, participate in competitions, network with peers across the industry, and socialize.

This can’t miss event provides numerous fun and engaging activities sponsored by and for the IFT Student Association. Advance registration begins March 1, 2018. Please note, you must register for the event in order to reserve a hotel at the discounted rate. Housing early reservation discount deadlines vary by hotel. Visit the Hotels webpage for details.

Student Basics

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  • Top 10 Tips for a Great Food Expo Experience

    You’re headed to Chicago to participate in the premier food science and technology event where you’ll experience the latest developments in food, and begin building your professional network. Here are some tips to help you make the most of your trip.

    10. Make a List – Before you arrive, decide which companies on the expo floor you want to visit. Heads up: The dress code is business casual (or better), so leave your flip-flops at the hotel.

    9. Time Your Entrance – The best time to talk with booth staff is when they’re free and not talking with buyers. Inside scoop: The best time to visit the food expo is between 2:00–4:00 p.m.

    8. Be Yourself – You’re your best champion. Introduce yourself confidently with a smile – and let them know you are a student.

    7. Have a Purpose – When you choose which booths you’re going to visit, have an identified reason. Be sure to ask thoughtful questions about the company. Listen to what they have to say, and be ready to respond. However…

    6. Don’t Overstay Your Welcome – Keep your conversations brief. Don’t tell your research “life history” unless they specifically ask. (And bombarding them with too many questions is a major faux pas.)

    5. Manners Matter – Mom was right; good manners always make a great impression. Before helping yourself to literature, samples, or giveaways, ask – but only if you really need them. And, please take only one. Insider note: Doing a grab and dash is not cool.

    4. It’s OK to Ask – You’re interested in career opportunities, so it’s OK to ask about the company’s hiring practices and to whom to direct your résumé, but…

    3. Avoid the “Spray & Pray” – Randomly picking up business cards and blasting your résumé out to everyone is ineffective and generally a waste of time. Instead…

    2. Choose the Right Time & Place – Making new contacts at the food expo is a great start, but the best and most productive place to have job search conversations is at Career Center Live Networking Event.

    1. Have a Great Time! – This is your opportunity to meet the people who are using food science every day to innovate and address important global problems like food safety and sufficiency. Take advantage of your time on the show floor!

  • First-Timers Session for Students

    IFT17 Attendees

    If you are you attending the IFT annual event for the first time and would like to learn how to navigate the event, plan to join us for the First-Timers Session for Students Sunday, July 15, 2018. More details to come!

  • Networking/Social Events

    IFT17 Attendees

    Past participants have noted the ability to network and socialize with peers from all over the globe is one of their favorite parts of the event. The IFT Student Association provides several opportunities to meet new friends, and network with peers.

    Here is just a sample of the many social events you’ll be able to tap into:

    • IFTSA Student Lounge 
      Students are encouraged to visit the Student Lounge for networking opportunities, as well as an onsite guide for students and OFG swag.
    • IFT18 Division Networking Reception
    • IFTSA Mixer
    • Feeding Tomorrow Student Celebration
    • IFTSA Closing Ceremony
    • IFTSA Networking Party

    And these are just the beginning of all the great opportunities you will have to meet and learn from other science of food peers and professionals.

  • Student Schedule at a Glance

    We are currently developing our IFT18 schedule.

    Each year we take the invaluable feedback from our student participants to build the coming year’s program. Please check back in spring 2018 for our IFT18 schedule of event. The IFT17 schedule provided below provides you a good example of what will be offered at the IFT18 event.

    IFT17 Student Schedule

    Sunday, June 25

    • 12:00PM - 12:30PM - IFTSA Competition Kitchen Tours, Meet outside of the Venetian Ballroom B
    • 12:30PM - 3:00PM - Division Poster Competitions, Venetian Ballroom DE
    • 3:00PM - 6:00PM - Student Lounge Open, Lido 30001AB-3002
    • 3:00PM - 4:00PM - First Timers Session for Students, Lido 3104-3106
    • 3:30PM - 4:20PM - Phi Tau Sigma/Division Poster Awards, Veronese 2402-2406
    • 3:30PM - 5:30PM - Lounge Kick-off Sponsored by PepsiCo, Lido 3001AB-3002
    • 4:15PM - 5:45PM - Chapter Leaders Workshop, Lido 3003-3004
    • 6:00PM - 7:00PM - Awards Celebration, Venetian/Sands Ballroom ABC & L
    • 7:00PM - 8:00PM - Welcome Reception, Casanova Ballroom (501-507 & 601-607)

    Monday, June 26

    • 6:45AM - 5:00PM - Registration Open, Hall G Foyer
    • 6:30AM - 7:55AM - Feeding Tomorrow Fun Run + Fitness, IFT Booth
    • 7:30AM - 8:30AM - IFTSA & Feeding Tomorrow Fun Run + Fitness After Party, IFT Booth
    • 7:45AM - 8:45AM - Primer Sessions, TBD
    • 8:00AM - 6:00PM - Student Lounge Open, Lido 3001AB-3002
    • 9:00AM - 10:15AM - Featured Session: Processed Food: The Good, the Bad, and the Science, Venetian Ballroom ABCL
    • 10:30AM - 1:30PM - 27th Annual IFTSA & MARS Product Development Competition - Oral Presentations, 3103-3106
    • 10:00AM - 5:00PM - IFT Food Expo, Halls A-D & Venetian K-F
    • 12:00PM - 2:00PM - Poster Sessions, Venetian D-E
    • 12:00PM - 5:00PM - Career Center Live Networking Event, 904-907 & 1004-1007
    • 1:00PM - 3:00PM - PepsiCo Meet & Greet in Lounge, Lido 3001AB-3002
    • 1:45PM - 3:00PM - Undergraduate Research Competition, 3005-3006
    • 2:00PM - 3:00PM - Featured Session: A Conversation with Dr. Andrew Pelling, Venetian Ballroom ABCL
    • 2:00PM - 3:30PM - ePoster Sessions, Venetian D-E
    • 3:00PM - 5:00PM - Disney/IFTSA Product Development Competition - Oral Presentations, 3103-3106
    • 3:00PM - 5:00PM - Poster Sessions (26th Annual IFTSA & MARS PDC Poster Session), 3103-3106
    • 4:00PM - 5:00PM - Division Oral Presentations

    Tuesday, June 27

    • 8:00AM - 5:00PM - Registration Open, Hall G Foyer
    • 8:00AM - 5:00PM - Student Lounge Open, 3001AB-3002
    • 8:30AM - 5:30PM - Career Center Live Scheduled Interviews, 904-907 & 1004-1007
    • 8:30AM - 10:30AM - Featured Session: FOOD EVOLUTION Film Premiere with Panel Discussion to Follow, Venetian Ballroom ABCL
    • 8:30AM - 10:00AM - College Bowl set-up, 3005-3006
    • 10:00AM - 5:00PM - IFT Food Expo, Halls A-D & Venetian K-F
    • 9:30AM - 11:30AM - College Bowl Preliminary Rounds (CLOSED), 3005-3006
    • 10:00AM - 12:00PM - PepsiCo Meet & Greet in Lounge, Lido 3001AB-3002
    • 10:45AM - 12:15PM - Chapter Leaders Workshop, Lido 3003-3004
    • 10:30AM - 12:00PM - ePoster Sessions, Venetian D-E
    • 11:00AM - 1:00PM - Poster Sessions, Venetian D-E
    • 12:00PM - 2:30PM - College Bowl Finals (rounds 7 - 12), Venetian Ballroom A-C, L
    • 1:00PM - 3:00PM - 27th Annual IFTSA & MARS Product Development Competition - Tasting (CLOSED), 3101
    • 1:30PM - 5:00PM - Disney/IFTSA Product Development Competition - Tasting (CLOSED), 3102
    • 2:15PM - 5:00PM - Developing Solutions for Developing Countries Competition, 3103-3106
    • 4:45PM - 6:15PM - Division Networking Reception, Casanova 501-507 & 601-607
    • 5:30PM - 6:30PM - IFTSA Student Mixer, San Polo 3401
    • 6:30PM - 7:00PM - Feeding Tomorrow Student Celebration, San Polo 3401
    • 7:00PM - 9:00PM - Closing Ceremony - College Bowl championship rounds/ Announcement of winners, Venetian Ballroom ABCL
    • 10:00PM - 12:00AM - IFTSA Networking Party, Gold Coast Bowling

    Wednesday, June 28

    • 8:00AM - 2:00PM - Student Lounge Open, 3001-3002
    • 8:30AM - 5:30PM - Career Center Live Scheduled Interviews, 904-907 & 1004-1007
    • 10:00AM - 4:00PM - IFT Food Expo, Halls A-D & Venetian K-F
    • 10:00AM - 12:00PM - Poster Sessions, Venetian D-E
    • 10:30AM - 12:00PM - ePoster Sessions, Venetian D-E
    • 10:00AM - 12:30PM - Chapter Leaders Workshop, Lido 3003-3004
    • 12:30PM - 2:00PM - ePoster Sessions, Venetian D-E
  • Chapter Leaders Workshop

    The Chapter Leaders Workshop is where chapter leaders come together to hear from IFT and IFT Student Association leaders to learn about exciting new leadership techniques. This year the Chapter Leaders Workshop will be held on Sunday, July 15, 2018.
    Schedule of Events: Coming Soon

  • Career Center Live
    IFT17 Career Center Live

    Get noticed by some of the top companies and job seekers in food science and technology from around the globe. IFT’s Career Center Live combines informal networking opportunities for potential job seekers and hiring companies, as well as formal pre-scheduled interview opportunities for companies with immediate hiring needs.

    Visit the Career Center Live webpage to learn more.

Get noticed by some of the top companies and job seekers in food science and technology from around the globe.