Alumni Profile: Roxanne Tan

We sat down with Monash Nutrition graduate Roxanne Tan to find out about her role as a Graduate Nutritionist with Simplot Australia. Starting out in a Commerce degree, Roxanne realised early on that her passion lay with food and its role in health. After completing her Bachelor of Commerce, she enrolled with Monash University and has never looked back.

You only need to take one look at her Instagram account to see that her passion for food is also explored through photography (@roxanne_thelemonandjar). Roxanne also produced the photography for the Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food’s e-recipe book ‘Using Food as Medicine: Fighting Inflammation’.

“Say ‘yes’ to as many opportunities as you can; work hard and don’t doubt yourself; and always have time to make real connections with the people around you.”

What do you love most about your job/career?
The diversity of my role at Simplot and the amazing people I get to work with every day. The great thing about being a Nutritionist in food industry is that I get to work closely with other professions such as Marketing, Product Development, Sensory, Culinary and Corporate Quality. There are always new projects to work on and exciting things to be involved in… and at the end of a project, you get to see a product you worked on, on the supermarket shelves! It is also a very rewarding career. Food industry nutritionists are able to positively affect the food supply (i.e. the food people buy at their weekly grocery shop) and hence influence the health of many Australians.

How did you get to where you are today? Was there a pivotal decision or occurrence?
It was a pivotal decision. Halfway through my Commerce degree, I realised that my passion was in food. Nutrition in particular had always fascinated me because I had experienced firsthand how powerful nutrition was in health, both physically and mentally. From there, I made the conscious decision to complete that commerce degree and pursue a degree in Nutrition Science at Monash.        
I think it was this passion for nutrition that ultimately drove me to do well; I really challenged myself to do well in my course and also participated in activities (at and outside university) that I knew would help me gain the fundamental skills I would need to succeed as a Nutritionist. Mind you, it was fun too! I met an awesome group of likeminded people and we supported each other through the course. They were quintessential to my university experience and I still see them all the time!

To summarise – it was hard work, good friends and passion.

How has Monash University influenced your career?
Honestly, Monash has been enormously influential in shaping my career thus far.

My faculty brought in external speakers to talk about all the different career paths we could take from our course. That really helped me get a proper grasp of what my options were, what they entailed, and more importantly, where I wanted to go. My lecturers were fundamental to my learning experience and were even so kind to offer their support when it came time to finding a job; they gave me some amazing and very practical advice, which ultimately helped me find my dream job!


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