In a nutshell: Developing new food products from concept to launch, and improving existing products.
Why? "Working in product development allows me to use my creative side as well as my technical knowledge, and it's really exciting when you see a product that you have developed on the shelves in the supermarket."
Marlborough Girls' College, final year subjects: Biology, Calculus, Chemistry, PE, Physics
University of Otago: Bachelor of Applied Science, majoring in Food Innovation
My favourite subject was actually PE, but I also really enjoyed science and maths and knew that pursuing these subjects would be important for getting into a stable career. Chemistry, Biology, Physics and Maths were the key subjects for my degree.
I wanted to pursue a science-based career, and with my love for healthy and nutritious food I initially wanted to study nutrition. Then my mum suggested I look at a degree in Food Science, which sounded interesting so that's the direction I took.
I did a 10 week summer studentship at Otago University, which really helped when I was applying for my first job.
The best thing about my job is the variety. My work days differ a lot - some days I'm in the factory working with our electricians and engineers, other days I'm in the lab, at my desk or meeting with people from other departments such as our marketing team.
There are opportunities to contribute to the community while working for Sanitarium. We can volunteer to help with the Weet-Bix triathlons for kids, and every year a team of Sanitarium workers go overseas to do aid work for a week.
I've traveled to Australia for work with Sanitarium Australia, and I also visit our suppliers' factories.
A food technologist needs to be practical and creative, good at working independently and with others.
In the future I could become a senior food technologist or a manager, and I could move out of cereals into other industries such as dairy, meat and bakery. There are a lot of opportunities for food technologists in New Zealand.
Posted October 2013
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