In a nutshell: Developing new drinks including testing ingredients, developing prototypes, consumer testing and running factory trials.
Why? "It's satisfying to physically see the results of all your hard work. And the Frucor environment is a great place to work – there's real team culture and you can be yourself and enjoy yourself at work."
Westlake Girls' High School, final year subjects: Biology, Chemistry, English, German, Statistics
Massey University - Albany: Bachelor of Food Technology (Honours)
Earning: $45-50,000 starting salary
I develop new drinks from flavoured waters to fruit juices, energy drinks and fizzy drinks. I'm in the New Product Development Team at Frucor Beverages, and we launch new drinks into the market every year.
My first product to be launched onto the market was the new peach-flavoured Mizone Active Water. It was definitely an exciting project to be part of.
I've always enjoyed anything to do with food and the sciences were some of my favourite subjects at school, especially Biology and Chemistry. I also really enjoyed English, which you need in order to communicate your results in a concise but informative way to the right people.
I love the really science-y aspects such as functional ingredients – things in food that provide health benefits such as vitamins and antioxidants – and the role they have in the human body. Food systems are all based on chemistry – so you need to know about the reactions that take place between ingredients and during processing into food and drink products.
To support my studies I received a $4,000 Food Technology Scholarship, which is awarded to 10 people in each first-year class. You also need to do about 300 hours of related work experience, so during my summers I worked at Shaw's Berry Farm, where I learnt about manufacturing; on a statistical project at Red Seal Natural Health; and doing research and development at Frucor.
Anyone who loves variety and challenges, and is creative and self-driven, would enjoy working in New Product Development. You need good time management skills, the ability to juggle multiple projects, and the ability to work alongside a range of different people.
Posted January 2013
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