School of Food Science and Nutrition

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Robert Unwin

BSc Food Science



Victoria Johnson

BSc Food Science

Can you tell me about your career journey since graduating? 
After graduating from Leeds I started my career at Hotel Chocolat as a QA Technologist. Having little factory experience this gave me the confidence to go on to apply for the Bakkavor Graduate Scheme, it was the perfect stepping stone between the two jobs. I was accepted onto the graduate scheme the following September and have been here for the last two years. 

What is your current position and who do you work for?
I am currently working as a Lead Process Development Technologist for Bakkavor Meals. 

What does your current role involve?
I am currently leading a small process team; using my technical skills and experience to run factory trials of new products and also continuous improvement of existing lines. 

What has been the highlight of your career so far?
Seeing the products I have worked on successfully launch into a store, especially the difficult ones!

Did having a Food Science degree help you progress your career?
Yes, absolutely. Each job I have applied for has required a food related qualification, plus I have found many subjects studied at University can be directly applied to my day to day job role.

What are the links between your studies and the jobs you have worked in?
The microbiology modules have been particularly useful in my day to day role, having a base understanding really helped me when I first joined the food industry. I have also found the processing and technical aspects of the food science degree gave me a great insight into how factory processes worked, including food safety, quality and legality. 

How do you think that Food Science graduates would benefit from following your chosen career?
The graduate scheme has been a great way to build on my knowledge and skills from university. It can offer you first hand real food manufacturing experience alongside great training and workshops for skills across all functions of the business. Throughout my graduate scheme I have been constantly pushed to achieve the best and given opportunities to  excel in all areas. 

Do you think that having a food science degree is of value to employers?
Yes, definitely. I have found is it also really valued to have experience, in particular factory experience.