Student experiences

Emily Davies on placement

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9 October 2013

The development technologist

Emily Davies, 22, is studying BSc (Hons) Food, Nutrition and Well-Being. She spent her placement year working as Assistant Development Technologists for the dairy food company Dairy Crest.

“Dairy Crest is the largest UK owned dairy company and produces well-known brands such as Cathedral City, Country Life and Clover. My role was to work in the Innovation and Ingredients department,” says Emily, who is from Shropshire.

“A typical day on placement would be working in the development kitchen on various innovative products and setting up and carrying out sensory evaluation on products. I gained a lot of experience from practical work at Dairy Crest. The visits to other sites and flavour houses were also very interesting.

“Overall, the placement exceeded my expectations. I was made to feel like an important team member and kept in the loop about current projects. Placement is great for your career opportunities because it builds up confidence and experience and your skills develop, such as technical knowledge, as you are working so closely on projects.”

Emily chose her course because it was focused on food science and would enable her to work in a range of roles within the food industry. “My course covers a range of topics directly linked to the food industry. The information is current and the staff ensure they are up to date. The modules build up knowledge that we can apply in the working world.

She adds: “The facilities are also extremely good as there is a whole building dedicated to food studies – the Regional Food Academy.”

Watch a video about Emily here: harper.ac.uk/cmvdairycrest

More from Emily on Harper Adams and her career plans

What attracted you to a land-based university?

I chose it because it had excellent facilities for the course I wanted to do.

Why did you choose your course?

I felt it was focused on food science, which will enable me to work in a range of industries such as New Product Development and the public health sector. The lectures are small and everyone knows each other. 

Tell us a little about what it involves.

The course involves more lessons than practical work in year one. There is an exam and assignment in each module (the assignments help towards the exam and final mark so do not feel scared if exams are your weakness). In year two there is a lot of practical work (including cheese making!)

Did the fact that Harper Adams offers a placement year influence your decision to study here?

Yes, I felt that the placement year would offer a good level of experience, something that a lot of companies are keen on when employing. Not all universities offer a placement year and some are optional.

What have been the highlights of university so far?

Being given the opportunity to work with Jimmy Doherty on a new product he wanted to launch.

What extracurricular activities have you been involved in?

I have passed my Ocean Diver qualification with Harper Adams with the aid of BSAC.

Has being on placement made you think any differently about your future career plans?

The placement year has enhanced my enthusiasm and determination to get a job in New Product Development. The placement has opened my eyes and made me realise I have the creative side to succeed in this field.

What are your career plans? 

Once I finish at university I want to take a year out exploring the world and different cultures. I will look for jobs in Australia and New Zealand before pursuing a New Product Development role within a food company. Eventually I would like to manage innovative projects and a team.

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