Welcome to “3 Questions with …”, a recurring feature on the Career Center blog. We’re asking alumni of all graduation years and career interests to share a bit of their experiences and advice.
Benjamin Filippo, ’21, Food Systems, ESG, and Supply-Chain Business Consultant
1. In just a few sentences, please tell us about your current job/graduate program/vocational endeavor.
I am an food systems strategy consultant, working to build and evaluate strategic, cross-sector value chains. With a background across the agricultural supply chain, working as a technical service provider to organic producers, consultant to industry and non-profit stakeholders, and grant researcher, I work to create value along the supply chain for stakeholders and clients.
2. How did your time at Tufts influence your career journey?
My time at Tufts heavily influenced my path. As an early undergraduate, I studied with a professor who had written extensively on food history, making my realize it was a potential field of study and work. This led to studying the Anthropology of Food during my Tufts-in-London abroad experience at SoAS, and then being a WWOOF volunteer at an organic basmati farm in rural North India. I came back from that experience knowing that I wanted to understand the complex U.S. food system, and improve it. Senior year, I interned at the New Entry Sustainable Farming Project at the Friedman School, expanding my interest in the connections between community, food production and healthy eating.
3. What advice would you offer to a student who wants to pursue a career path like yours?
The food systems field has changed dramatically since I first started, there are several big graduate programs that didn’t exist when I graduated, and there is even a newish professional network, North American Food Systems Network. Most importantly, food and agricultural work is built on meaningful relationships and trust, so I would recommend to get out there, get your hands dirty in the field, on a farm, in a hospital teaching kitchen, in a produce warehouse, and network and learn as much as you can from the folks who make up the complex food system!