In a nutshell: Managing a team of food technologists to develop innovative new fish products.
Why? "I love working with food and there's nothing like walking into a supermarket and seeing your product there on the shelf or seeing friends using the food you've been involved in developing."
Pakuranga College, final year subjects: Biology, Calculus, Chemistry, Physics, Statistics
Massey University - Palmerston North: Bachelor of Food Technology
I always liked Chemistry and was good at it, so I looked for a career that would use those skills but didn't involve working in a lab.
Luckily my mother worked with a food technologist who explained to me how the job is about chemistry and food. You have to be able to do science, although you don't have to be brilliant at it, and you need to love food. That's what decided it for me.
At Sealord it's my job to find new ideas for seafood. These ideas can then be developed into products for sale around the world, either in our factories or in partnership with companies in other countries.
I've previously worked at Hubbards Foods, where I managed a team of three food technologists who come up with the recipes for all the new cereals, and at Heinz Wattie's, where I developed new dips and pâté.
Before that I worked in London, where we did this project that involved researching what sausages were like 100 years ago, then converting the recipes so that they worked with modern ingredients and processes. It took 18 months but the 'London Banger' won our company the British Manufacturer of the Year Award.
I enjoy the team work and creativity in developing food products. We all have our own individual projects to work on but we're always there to help each other out. And I'm not stuck in a lab or office – I like being out in the factory and talking to people.
It's a hard job but it's really rewarding – it's challenging and worth every minute. You can see the results of your work on the shelves in the supermarket, and you know you're doing a good job when the sales go up.
Food technologists can work in lots of different areas of the food industry, including marketing, operations, quality control and packaging.
Updated March 2014
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