Tessa Tietjen

Tessa Tietjen

Materials Technologist, Griffins

In a nutshell: Developing new products, which includes managing files on raw materials, ensuring documents are up to date and researching problems or opportunities.

Why? "I love this job because I can challenge myself – I'm given a lot of responsibility and that pushes me to try very hard to do my best."

Pathway: Woodford House, final year subjects: Art Design, Economics, Food Technology, Media Studies, Statistics
University of Otago: Bachelor of Consumer and Applied Science, majoring in Consumer Food Science and Marketing

Earning: $45-50,000

I enjoyed Food Technology and Biology the most at school, and they gave me a good grounding for university and the role I'm in now.

I've always loved making things and solving problems, whether food-related or something else, so Consumer and Applied Science stood out as the course for me – and from the first day I loved it.

I'm constantly involved in new projects or sorting out issues. I might be down in the factory, in the lab or working at my desk. Although I have deadlines, I can choose how to spend my day. A lot of my work is individual, but there is some team work and I always feel supported by the others.

I worked on an improvement project where we changed the packaging on a current product. The line speed had to increase – which meant oven bake time, programming, mixing and conveying systems all had to be critically analysed to ensure we were going to reach our target number of products processed and packaged per hour.

We recently launched our new and improved Toffee Pops and Squiggles. I had to do a lot of research and work with suppliers to come up with new flavours and textures. I also had to overcome problems such as how to reduce the base of the biscuit and increase the toffee and candy pieces.

The skills needed to do my job are persistence and good communication – when running trials you deal with a wide variety of people in different jobs and from different back grounds.

As Griffins is such a big company there are other roles I could move into, such as senior technologist and packaging technologist. I could also go into the business side of things in a management role.

Posted August 2014

Follow this pathway:

Degree in Food Science or Technology

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Futureintech is an initiative of Engineering New Zealand, funded by Callaghan Innovation