In a nutshell: Creating new ice cream products – from formulating new flavours through to mass production and marketing.
Why? "I love food and have an interest in science, so this role combines the two. I get to be creative while being guided by my knowledge of science."
Avondale College, final year subjects: Biology, Chemistry, Economics, English, Geography, Statistics
University of Otago: Bachelor of Science, majoring in Food Science with a minor in Marketing Management; Graduate Diploma in Science, majoring in Consumer Food Science
University of Auckland: Bachelor of Science (Honours), majoring in Food Science
Earning: $55,000 starting salary
I received a Portage Trust Scholarship, which funded three years of university study, and started a degree in Human Nutrition.
Part way through, I changed to Food Science. The idea of creating new food products and eventually seeing them in the supermarket really appealed to me, and I was interested in the processes and science behind what I was eating. I enjoyed my degree study immensely.
Food Science is an applied science, so I could see how it was relevant and applicable on an industrial and commercial scale. You're not confined to a laboratory all day.
Having part-time jobs in hospitality and commercial kitchens while I was studying helped me understand food production on a larger scale than home cookery.
At university I worked in a team on a full-year product development project. Working with a food manufacturer, we created a new sauce to be commercialised.
My role is varied. I work closely with others in my R&D (Research & Development) team as well as the marketing, operations and finance departments. There's a huge opportunity to be creative with flavours when developing a new product. The main restrictions are budget and the processing capability of the factory.
I helped develop Popsicle Junglicious, an ice block now available in supermarkets. It was the first project I'd worked on from start to finish. It gave me an insight into what the new product development process involves, including the coordination between many departments.
Anyone who likes eating ice cream would enjoy my job! You need the ability to work well in a team, multitask and organise, as well as good communication skills.
Posted March 2015
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