Toby Gundesen

Toby Gundesen

Confectionery Process Specialist, Nestle

In a nutshell: I have technical responsibility for all the confectionery products - including Minties - that are made in our Manukau factory, involving everything from improving manufacturing processes to working with the marketing team.

Why? "I'm Willy Wonka!"

Pathway: Pakuranga College, final year subjects: Biology, Chemistry, Classics, Physics, Statistics
University of Auckland: Bachelor of Science, majoring in Food Science; currently working towards a postgraduate degree

Earning: $70-80,000

I had always wanted to be a doctor but when I started studying Biomedical Sciences at university I realised that medicine wasn’t the right career for me. Luckily, a guest lecture got me hooked on Food Sciences and I haven't looked back.

I now have technical responsibility for all the confectionery made at our Manukau factory, from Minties to Scorched Almonds.

The most rewarding part of my job is seeing improvements in our products and how we make them. It's very fast paced, so there's always something new and no chance of ever becoming bored.

Some of the things I work on are taking new products into full scale production, major changes to manufacturing processes, and advising on new equipment and setup.

This job is a team sport. I interact with people right across the business, from managing our relationship with suppliers to working with the marketing department and our production teams. The operators on the manufacturing lines play a key role in the day-to-day running of the plant.

I enjoy the opportunities to find creative solutions and to solve interesting problems. We have team brainstorms where all creative ideas are considered as part of finding the solution.

It's important to be keen to learn, enjoy tackling challenges and be a good communicator. You also need to understand the science and having an interest in food manufacturing and confectionery is a must.

Nestle is the largest food manufacturing company in the world so there are many career paths and opportunities to go places.

Being involved in the very heart of confectionery manufacturing is exciting – we have everything from chocolate to throat lozenges under one roof so it's a great learning opportunity.

Updated November 2013

Follow this pathway:

Degree in Food Science or Technology

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