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Instructor Snehil Dua

Bringing work-integrated learning into the classroom with Dr. Snehil Dua

Nutritional Sciences students get a true taste of the real world!

May 16, 2024 — 

Part of the Experiential Learning Spotlight Series

The Experiential Learning Spotlight Series documents the diverse and innovative ways in which UM faculty and instructors incorporate experiential approaches to their teaching. The series is curated by The Office of Experiential Learning within The Centre for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning.

Join UM’s growing Experiential Learning Community of Practice!


In March, UM students were able to access healthy, 4-course meals for only $7 at the Human Ecology lounge. Compared to other food options available on campus, it was a steal of a deal! The menu and all the prep were courtesy of fourth-year Human Nutritional Sciences students in the Quantity Food Production and Management course.

The hot lunch project is one of many ways that Dr. Snehil Dua incorporates Experiential Learning (EL) into her teaching. She is always looking for ways to help her students prepare for the dynamic demands of the food industry.

“The students simulate real-world scenarios by organizing the lunch sales,” says Dua, who is an instructor in the Department of Food and Human Nutritional Sciences. “Through role-playing as managers and workers, they gain firsthand experience in menu planning, recipe standardization, inventory management, food preparation and sales.”

Dua understands the value of integrating real-life learning at all course levels. “In lower-level courses, I incorporate decision-making activities and case-study discussions, gradually progressing to more hands-on experiences such as laboratory work,” she says.

In advanced courses, students benefit from a range of EL opportunities. 

  • Students write a comprehensive business plan for a for-profit or non-profit food service, where they consider all aspects of the business, including location, menu, human resources, break-even analysis and profitability, waste management, sustainability, and quality control. “The consistently impressive quality of the business plans students present surpasses my expectations,” she says.
  • Guest speaker Randy Dagasdas, CEO of Me-Dian Credit Union, visits classes to share details on securing loans for small businesses and navigating the financial landscape.
  • Students engage with local businesses to work on projects tailored to their course objectives with an entrepreneurial focus. “This fosters meaningful connections with potential employers and cultivates an entrepreneurial mindset.”

The feedback from businesses and students regarding EL initiatives has been overwhelmingly positive, with several students securing job offers due to their outstanding performance, says Dua. “It’s incredibly rewarding to receive emails from students, even a year later, expressing gratitude for the valuable skills gained through WIL experiences, particularly when navigating the job market.”

Dr. Dua’s story is one example of the many ways to incorporate work-integrated learning into courses. From industry projects to entrepreneurship, The Office of Experiential Learning is here to help you prepare your students to thrive in the real world!

For more information about how to teach through entrepreneurship,  get in touch with Janine Carmichael, Faculty Specialist: Entrepreneurship.


If you would like to be featured in this series, or know someone who should be, email The Office of Experiential Learning at OEL [at] umanitoba [dot] ca.

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