American Society For Nutrition

The Energy Balance Equation of Marketing

The Energy Balance Equation of Marketing

Excellence in Nutrition Research and Practice
Posted on 03/04/2013 at 01:25:12 PM by Student Blogger

The ASN Membership & Communications Internship from a Dietitian's Perspective
By way of introduction, my name is Jennifer McCandless. I am a Certified Pastry Culinarian and recently became a Registered Dietitian. I chose to apply to be an Intern with ASN in order to experience firsthand exactly what communications and marketing is all about.

Some of my day-to-day duties include drafting promotional emails to members of the nutrition community – for example, the latest email was an invitation to reserve a table at the ASN University Mixer and Member Reception and was sent out to a number of universities within the greater Boston area. Additional duties include conducting data analysis and reporting on traditional marketing campaigns; Aiding in minor accounting tasks; Managing mail returned to ASN; Corresponding with members ranging from prospective to members of greater than 50 years; And facilitating the membership renewal process. Answering the ASN main phone line is sometimes the most memorable part of my day, as callers range from mainstream media outlets to ASN members to people inquiring about medical nutrition therapy. I also regularly attend professional development activities including webinars pertaining to social media platforms for Non-Profit Organizations (NPO's) and also in-person events such as NIH's 2012 Summit on the Science of Eliminating Health Disparities; as well as a couple evening events including ASN's annual New Year Reception and a networking event hosted by the American Society of Association Executives.

Recently I gave a presentation during one of our team meetings on communication styles in correlation to personality types using the “5 Minute Personality Quiz.” The presentation was well received and I encourage you to take the quiz.

One of my favorite days as an intern with ASN was the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology (FASEB, in which ASN is a constituent society) Lobby Day at Capitol Hill. The purpose of this event was to lobby for the prevention of sequestration and I attended with ASN's President, Teresa Davis, PhD and Director of Government Relations, Sarah Ohlhorst, MS, RD. Not only was I presented with the somewhat rare opportunity to experience the whole lobbying process first hand, but I was also able to chat with Dr. Davis, who is a prominent member of the nutrition research community.   

Another one of my favorite memories happened during a non-ASN networking event. After learning that I was working for ASN, my RD credential was inquired about and I was able to confirm that I was in fact a Registered Dietitian. I worked very hard for the RD credential and I really appreciate when it is acknowledged.  

A few things I have learned while working as the Communications and Membership Intern in the Advancement Division of ASN:
  1. It is impossible to completely satisfy every single person that calls ASN on the main line and sometimes they can just deal with the phrase: “I'm sorry, but the person who handles that issue is currently unavailable.”
  2. If that doesn't work, giving out staff email addresses usually does the trick.
  3. Never, EVER wear white socks with any business attire, even if boots will fully cover them. Metal detectors are everywhere in DC and white athletic socks DO NOT compliment a black dress suit.
  4. Don't just plan, first do some research, then plan, and then anticipate so that you may plan for likely future events.
  5. There are probably a million formulas to use in Microsoft Excel, all designed to make your life easier.
The thing I appreciate most about working as an intern with ASN is that professional development is encouraged and the opportunities are abundant. The staff members here are very approachable to my array of questions as well as my seemingly “optimistic” comments and suggestions.

I would recommend applying to this internship for anyone in the field of nutrition who wishes to see what marketing is all about. If you have any questions, please feel free to email

Eat Well,