In a nutshell: I develop new flavours for pastries and find new ways to make products.
Why? Seeing products that you have made or contributed to making on supermarket shelves is really rewarding.
Sacred Heart Girls' College, New Plymouth, final year subjects: Calculus, Chemistry, Digital Technologies (ICT), Geography, Statistics
Massey University - Palmerston North: Bachelor of Food Technology (Honours)
Earning: $45-55,000 approx. graduate salary
I work at The Pastryhouse developing new flavours for our pastries and new ways of making our products. Most of my time is spent in the factory running trials of new Danish pastries and croissants or doing small scale 'bench top' trials of new flavours and ingredients.
I enjoyed Maths and Chemistry the most at school. I needed Year 13 Calculus and Chemistry to get into the Food Technology degree, and also having a background in Statistics was very helpful. I didn't do Physics, which is the other required subject, so I had to do a summer school course before I could start my degree.
I didn't really know that I wanted to do food technology until I started doing it. I wanted to study something at university that would allow me to keep learning more about science.
As part of the food technology degree you need to do 900 hours of practical work during the summer breaks. This enabled me to gain experience in a range of different food industry areas, and helped prepare me for what it would be like after I graduated.
You get a good understanding of the rest of the business while working as a food technologist, which could open up opportunities to move into other areas. I'm currently a development technologist, so the next step is a senior technologist and after that possibly a management role.
My job would suit somebody who is innovative and who enjoys a job where you are constantly learning new things.
Posted December 2012
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