Dietetic Career Spotlight on Diane Quagliani, Communications and PR Guru
By SARAH KOSZYK, MA RDN on FEBRUARY 16, 2015
Meet communications guru, Diane Quagliani, MBA, RDN, LDN, who knows business and PR inside and out. Learn how Diane has combined her knowledge of communications with her passion for food and nutrition to have a successful, self-employed career for over 16 years! – Sarah
What attracted you to the field of nutrition and dietetics?
Love of food and interest in how nutrition relates to health. Even though nutrition was not my first career, I’ve always read extensively about it and had a passion for healthful foods and cooking. After I was first married, I had the opportunity to change careers and jumped at it. I didn’t know about careers in dietetics the first time I was in college.
Your Job Title:
Nutrition Communications Consultant
Company you are with now:
Quagliani Communications, Inc. (self-employed)
A typical (or not so typical) day-in-the-work-life for you:
There is no typical day! I’m usually doing a variety of things for my clients such as writing a newsletter, article, web copy or nutrition education piece, moderating a webinar, helping coordinate a continuing education symposium, or managing a nutrition-related project from start to finish.
How did you get your current job in dietetics?
I’ve owned my own nutrition communications business since 1998. Before that, I worked on the nutrition team at a large PR agency for more than five years. That’s what gave me the skill set and contacts I needed to strike out on my own.
What skills were you born with and what skills have you learned along the way?
I’ve always had an affinity for writing and presenting ideas in an organized way. I’ve learned to be more strategic for my clients, and the mechanics of running a small business including financial management and all the tax forms required.
What advice do you have for others wanting to be just as successful and fulfilled as you?
I LOVE working in nutrition communications and running my own business, but it was a long road to get here.
I originally worked in marketing research and changed careers to become a dietitian. This meant taking time off from the working world to go back to school for another degree and an internship (I used to joke that I was the most educated person ever to work on the hospital trayline since I already had an MBA from my previous work life!).
I held many jobs I didn’t like—but that were good experience—before ultimately landing here. I also held several volunteer positions that enhanced my communications skills such as doing a weekly nutrition spot for a local TV station, writing a nutrition column for the local paper, and serving as an Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics media spokesperson in the Chicago market for six years. So, my advice is to keep working towards your long-term goals by adding relevant skills, and be patient because it could take a while to reach your goals.
If you could be paid for your job with something other than a paycheck, what would it be?
Good food and wine! I love to cook, grocery shop, grow vegetables, receive my weekly CSA box and dine out, so I welcome payment related to those activities!