I had an amazing time, achieved a first-class honours degree and now I’ve got my dream job.
I was drawn to food science because it has clear links to manufacturing food alongside the science and safety of making it. At an open day all the staff and students were friendly, welcoming and caring, and was impressed by a campus tour and all the facilities.
We learnt in a range of ways, from small lectures and large cross-course lectures to working in the food, chemistry and cell biology labs. Additional opportunities included competitions, working with local businesses and industry events. The module assessments were varied and included written assignments, exams, lab reports, team projects, presentations and posters, which all developed my knowledge and transferable skills. I also loved modules such as food safety, bacteria, the science behind cooking processes.
My dissertation and the lab work to go with it. I made crisps from Maris Piper potatoes and explored four pre-treatment methods comparing texture, colour, reducing sugar content and microstructure. I gained confidence using a fryer alongside specialist equipment such as a textural analyser, colorimeter and scanning electron microscope.
I did a voluntary six-week placement at SK Foods. It was amazing. I learnt so much about the food industry and new product development which helped significantly with my studies. I worked in the kitchens with the chefs to make new products, completed manufacturing specifications, quality assurance documents, participated in product tastings sessions, and carried out product reheat verifications. It gave me an insight into what I wanted for my career, which helped when I was applying for jobs.
I loved how close the campus was to the shops in the centre of Middlesbrough. I also enjoyed going to the café, bars and restaurants surrounding the University. Most days I would visit the University’s cafes and Students’ Union.
I was a student ambassador and loved every minute of it. Some days could be challenging, with lots of walking and early starts but it was an amazing team and it was a privilege to promote the University and higher education to schools and colleges. I also volunteered as a Girlguiding Rainbow leader.
I was very fortunate to receive two scholarships from the University. I used the money for a variety of things including attending the London Produce Show, buying essential textbooks and equipment. The show gave me a greater knowledge of the fresh food industry, food production. I networked with other professionals, and it was a great to talk to food students from other universities.
I worked as a graduate ambassador at the University before my current role as a development technologist at SK Foods. It’s such a varied job, my role includes sampling new products and trialling them at our manufacturing sites, through to photography of samples and packaging.
The staff were fantastic and were always available if you had any problems. The feedback on my work was excellent, personal, and useful. I had an amazing time, achieved a first-class honours degree and now I’ve got my dream job.
*Now BSc (Hons) Food Science and Technology