Feed your future
June 2-5, 2019 | New Orleans, LA
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For Students

Your Tribe Awaits You

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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 IFT19 you will be surrounded by over 17,000 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 IFT19. 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. Please note, you must register for the event in order to reserve a hotel at the discounted rate. You must secure your hotel by May 6, 2019 to receive discounted hotel rates. Visit the Hotels webpage for details.

Student Basics

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  • Travel Assistance

    Looking for opportunities to support your attendance at IFT19? There are a variety of ways for students to receive financial support. Here are a few:

    • Volunteering – Are you an IFT student member looking to get involved in IFT19? We are pleased to offer complimentary registration and hotel nights during the event to those who qualify.   Volunteering at IFT19 is a great way to network and learn. Volunteer Applications were due February 28.
    • Travel Scholarships – Students can receive assistance in paying for their travel to IFT19 by applying for a travel scholarship. Applications were due February 28.


  • 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, June 2, 2019. More details to come!

  • Student Food Innovators

    Interested in how to make the most of IFT19? Collaborate with other students to solve global food issues, meet and network with experienced professionals, explore the food expo, and learn how everything at IFT19 can help you to Feed your Future.

    The Student Food Innovators (SFI) program is a catered experience that will help students to better navigate the IFT annual meeting and form powerful connections with their peers that will continue beyond the event. Created for first-time attendees but open to all students at the annual event, SFI will kick off with the First-Timers Session on Sunday afternoon. Participation in SFI will help students to have a meaningful experience at the IFT annual event and feel prepared and excited to return to future IFT’s.

    Participants will choose a case study and use the annual meeting to explore a solution to a global food issue. Students will also be encouraged to take part in a variety of other opportunities to network with their peers and to learn from experienced and passionate professional mentors. The program will run throughout IFT19; officially beginning Sunday afternoon and wrapping up with a mentor-participant session on Wednesday morning.

  • 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.
    • IFT19 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
    IFT19 Student Schedule Coming Soon...

    Check out the IFT18 schedule for an idea of what happened last year. 

    Sunday, July 15, 2018
    8:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    IFTSA Chapter Leaders Workshop
    12:00 PM - 12:30 PM
    IFTSA Kitchen Tours
    3:00 PM - 6:00 PM
    IFTSA Student Lounge Open
    3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
    First Timers Session for Students
    4:00 PM - 5:30 PM
    IFTSA Global Challenge Kick-off
    6:00 PM - 7:00 PM
    Awards Celebration
    7:00 PM - 8:00 PM
    Welcome Reception
    Monday, July 16, 2018
    8:00 AM - 6:00 PM
    IFTSA Student Lounge Open
    10:30 AM - 1:30 PM
    The 28th Annual IFTSA & MARS Product Development Competition - Oral Presentations
    12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
    IFT18 Career Center Live
    1:30 PM - 3:00 PM
    IFTSA Undergraduate Research Competition
    3:00 PM - 5:00 PM
    Smart Snacks for Kids Product Development Competition - Oral Presentations
    Tuesday, July 17, 2018
    8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    IFTSA Student Lounge
    8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
    IFT18 Career Center Live
    9:30 AM - 11:30 AM
    IFTSA College Bowl Competition - Preliminary Rounds
    12:30 PM - 3:00 PM
    IFTSA College Bowl Competition - Rounds 7-12
    1:00 PM - 3:00 PM
    The 28th Annual IFTSA & MARS Product Development Competition - Tasting
    1:30 PM - 5:00 PM
    Smart Snacks for Kids Product Development Competition - Tasting
    2:15 PM - 5:00 PM
    Developing Solutions for Developing Countries
    4:45 PM - 6:15 PM
    IFT18 Division Networking Reception
    5:30 PM - 7:00 PM
    IFTSA Student Celebration
    7:00 PM - 9:00 PM
    IFTSA Closing Ceremony
    10:00 PM - 11:59 PM
    IFTSA Networking Party @ Fado’s Irish Pub
    Wednesday, July 18, 2018
    8:00 AM - 4:00 PM
    IFTSA Student Lounge
    8:30 AM - 5:30 PM
    IFT18 Career Center Live
    9:00 AM - 12:00 PM
    IFTSA Board of Directors Meeting
    12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
    IFTSA Area Meeting Chair Training
    12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
    IFTSA Competition Chair Training
  • 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, June 2, 2019.
    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.