May 24, 2024

Vancouver, BC – For Marianne Bitang, a graduating student from the Nutrition and Food Service Management Diploma Program, a work experience back in 2019 has resulted in an all-expense paid trip to the Canadian Society of Nutrition Management (CSNM) National Conference in June.

“It was always my childhood dream to work in healthcare, but my career journey took a different path,” she said. “I began my culinary career in 2008, and over the years, honed my culinary skills and learned about management operations, while completing the Red Seal program and obtaining my certification.”

Marianne's first job experience in a healthcare setting was during the COVID-19 pandemic when she worked as a server in an assisted living retirement home in Vancouver. The experience was a turning point for her.

“I realized the impact I could make in the senior community through my knowledge of food. It was a challenging yet enlightening experience, working with residents who faced issues such as loneliness, loss of appetite, and progressive dementia.” It ignited her interest in addressing seniors’ dietary needs, health, lifestyle, and nutrition, and she enrolled in the Nutrition and Food Services Management Program.

“It changed my perspective on healthcare. The hands-on practicums and site visits I participated in gave me the opportunity to meet great mentors and leaders in the industry who helped shape my nutrition management career,” said Marianne. “I still keep in touch with my former classmates and instructors; they are essential to my career journey.”

Marianne is the winner of a national competition from the CSNM, and will attend the national conference in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The competition required students to develop a presentation describing how they will begin their journey as a new leader faced with challenges, defining opportunities, and leading with positive changes in their work environment.

In her presentation, Marianne explored how she might provide clients and employees with the best care and service using available resources.

“I developed the acronym ‘Just K.I.C.K It!’ to represent the steps of knowing the situation, assessing priorities, investigating, effective communication, transferring important information, and utilizing the right resources,” said Bitang. “I applied these steps to challenges such as workforce recruitment and retention, adapting to changing dietary preferences, ensuring food safety and quality, meeting evolving technology and client expectations, managing supply chain shortages and rising ingredient costs, and providing sustainable and personalized dining experiences.”

Marianne says that being a nutrition manager is about more than just managing: you get to mentor new leaders, making a difference in others' lives.

“It involves continuous learning, and the CSNM is there to support and bring us new ideas to the evolving changes in this industry. Through this program, we can positively impact the healthcare industry and our communities."

About snəw̓eyəɬ leləm̓ Langara College
Located in beautiful Vancouver, B.C., Canada, snəw̓eyəɬ leləm̓ Langara College provides University, Career, and Continuing Studies education to more than 19,000 students annually. With more than 1,700 courses and 130 programs, Langara's expansive academic breadth and depth allows students of all ages, backgrounds, and life stages to choose their own educational path. Langara is also known as snəw̓eyəɬ leləm 'house of teachings', a name given to it by Musqueam, on whose unceded traditional territory the College is located.

Learn more. 
Mark Dawson 
Manager, Public Affairs 
Langara College