After 4 years of studying Biochemistry at Oxford University I was keen to gain some industrial experience and embark upon the ABF Technical Graduate Scheme. My interest in food science developed during my Master’s project at University, where I was based in a Human Metabolism Research lab, looking into how diet and exercise affects metabolism; in particular in relation to diabetes and cardiac metabolism. This combined with my personal interest in food led me to pursue a career in the industry!
Since joining ABF I have been exposed to a wide variety of opportunities, experiences, teams and locations. This has included laboratory research, looking into nutrition, specifications and customer requests during office-based roles, whilst also getting exposure to sites and food manufacturing processes. I really enjoyed both my Mill and Bakery site based placements where I threw myself into the experiences and became a fully integrated member of dynamic, challenging and exciting teams and environments. In each placement I have had a project to work on which involves real responsibility and challenges – my favourite to date was working on the launch of four new branded loaves which I now see every day on the shelves!
A typical day in the life of a Technical Grad…variety springs to mind! A day might start with some research; this could range from looking into a new ingredient, to trying to understand which microbes grow at different temperatures! Often data analysis is key – understanding the root cause of a problem based on historical trending, current research and other parameters. This is combined with some hands on real life experience – I spend a good portion of my time on plant seeing what is actually happening and working with the teams on the lines to come up with solutions and improvements. This has allowed me to combine a logical, analytical approach, with real-life hands on experience; a rewarding challenge where no day is ever the same!