Daphne Oz ’08, co-host of ABC’s food-centered talk show The Chew, shared her experiences in the professional world during a lecture on Thursday and advised students to embrace the opportunity to explore different career paths before choosing a long-term track.
“It’s not only amazing, it’s totally acceptable for people our age to have eight, 10, 15 careers,” she said.
Oz explained that upon graduation from the University, where she concentrated in Near Eastern Studies, she struggled to identify what she wanted to do as a full-time career. She noted that her first job, which she quit after six months, was with a news magazine program.
“It’s like a frog jumping off a lily pad, I didn’t have the next lily pad to get to,” Oz said.
Oz said that many young adults now find themselves having to switch career paths. Rather than something to be feared, she said, this frequent switching of career paths presents a unique and exciting opportunity.
“Take the time you have now and ask yourself the tough questions. What makes you happy?” Oz said. “Don’t be afraid if the answers don’t come to you naturally because it is a process of self exploration.”
In her time off work, Oz got her culinary degree from the Natural Gourmet Institute and became certified as a holistic health counselor. Oz also said that she began to recognize the importance of developing a personal brand during this period.
“No matter where your career ends up, being able to have that own one-line story, just that tagline for you and your personal brand, I think it’s huge,” she said. “It makes you memorable. It makes you stand out in a crowd.”
Oz explained that staying engaged and developing her skills in the national health and nutrition community allowed her to be considered to host The Chew. She was offered the position in 2011 and called her position as co-host “the most amazing life experience.” The show is now in its third season.
Oz noted that even after securing a job, it is important to find a mentor and always ask questions.
“People want to be your mentors. They want to help you, they want to give you guidance, they want to share their story,” she said. “You just need to ask the questions and be open and receptive to that advice that they are able to share.”
Oz wrote a book about maintaining a healthy lifestyle in college titled “The Dorm Room Diet” that was published in the fall of her junior year at the University.
During the lecture, Oz also gave the audience practical advice on eating healthy in college, including her “count to my age before I cheat” and her two-bite rule.
“I did an eating club, which isn’t really an eating plan because their food is so terrible,” she joked. Oz was a member of Ivy Club, where she worked with the staff to improve vegetarian options.
Oz’s father, Mehmet Oz, is a doctor and television personality who also hosts his own talk show, “The Dr. Oz Show.”
The lecture was held in Frist Campus Center 302 at 4:30 p.m as part of the IMAGINE Speaker Series organized by the Office of Career Services.