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A Guide To Food Science And Nutrition Internships

Introduction To Food Science And Nutrition Internships
Walking along the aisles of your local supermarket; shelves stacked high with all those familiar foods and famous brands. Household names. We all have your favourites from sweet treats to savoury snacks to frozen meals and health foods. Those brands build a trust in us as customers that what we buy from them is top quality and safe to eat.

If you are doing a food science and technology degree, or similar, at university then the food industry is probably already your passion. And if you are hoping to carve out a food science career in the future then food science and nutrition internships and placements can be a great way to get that career started.

Nutrition, food science and food technology are all concerned with keeping the population fed, with food safety obviously being paramount. Whether you want to be a food scientist or a food technologist, or you want to work in an environment where you can combine the two, internships will give you a taste of working life and help you to picture your future career.

Food science internships can also prove valuable in some cases because you could be an intern for a company who might be offering places on their graduate programmes in food science and technology. A successful internship can stand you in good stead for getting full time roles on graduation.
Who Can Apply For Food Science And Nutrition Internships?
First of all, if you are looking to work in the food industry and you are thinking about doing food science and nutrition internships, let’s take a look at the qualifications you will need to be heading towards.

If you are doing a food science degree then there could be a relevant placement as part of your course. This subject will obviously qualify you to apply for internships for food science. Other relevant degree subjects include:
  • Subjects related to food, nutrition and health
  • Subjects around food quality control, food safety and food technology
  • Chemical engineering
  • Biochemistry
  • Microbiology
If you are not studying a relevant degree and feel that working in food safety is for you, then all is not lost. You can do postgraduate study in a relevant subject and apply for internships, too. It will also be useful to gain some work experience in the broader field by doing part time jobs in catering or other food related roles, for example.

As well as relevant qualifications, if you are applying for food technology and science internships, there are different qualities that employers will be looking for. You will need:
  • Good analytical skills
  • A passion for science and how it relates to food and the food industry
  • You will need to be able to work alone, under your own initiative
  • You will also need to be able to work as part of a team
  • Problem solving and investigative skills
  • Excellent communication skills - both verbal and written
  • High hygiene standards and an awareness of how important these high standards are for food safety.
What Are The Different Types Of Food Science And Nutrition Internships?
There are different areas of food science and technology that you can focus your attentions on to build your food science career. Internships can give you the opportunity to work in particular areas so that you can get a feel for the day to day work that people in your chosen area do.

Soil & Plant Food Science Internships
These types of food scientists are working at the very source, researching ways to keep food crops plentiful and in the best condition they can be in. These crops might be for animal feed or for human consumption. Findings are communicated to professionals within the food industry. An internship in this field can see you working with food scientists, assisting them with their research.

Food Science Internships With Animals
If you like the idea of working with farmers to advise them on the best ways to rear their animals for the best quality meat and dairy products, then these types of food science internships could be for you. Again, you could be assisting senior food scientists with their research and also visiting various farms around the country.

Food Science and Technology Internships
Food safety and health is behind these types of internships. If you are passionate about nutrition and enjoy researching new ways to process and store foods safely, then these types of internships could be for you.

Working in food technology will also give you the opportunity to see how the food technologist carries our research to develop new ways of processing, packaging and distributing food. Food technology also allows you to use your creative skills because you can come up with different recipes for newly discovered ingredients or with new information that has been discovered about a particular ingredient.

These internships where you are working with food and beverage can take place in variety of environments, depending on your employer. For example, you could be working in manufacturing, retail or the public sector. As well as using your research skills and building your knowledge of constantly changing legislation around food safety, food technologist internships will also give you the opportunity to build relationships with both suppliers and customers as well as working with your food technology team.

You will also be making use of your all important maths skills as you will be responsible for making sure any new creations and developments are still profitable for the company.
When Do I Apply for Food Science And Nutrition Internships?
If you are doing a food science degree - or similar - where there is a placement as part of your course, your university should keep you informed about dates for applications to various companies. Make sure you are aware of these, especially if you really want to work at a particular company for your placement.

Larger food and beverage companies often have food science internship programmes as well as internships in other fields and these will have set recruitment dates. Again, if you are keen to work for a particular company and you know they offer an internship programme, make sure you are aware of dates and you are prepared for your application. Competition for places on these internships can be stiff.

For some of you who are looking to get a bit of work experience or work shadowing, you could make speculative applications for summer internships or other types of placements at places close to where you live or study. These can be especially useful for those of you who might not be doing a food science degree or similar but you are looking to work in this field in the future.
Apply For Food Science And Nutrition Internships In The UK Now
Internships are a valuable tool, not only for gaining hands on work experience but also for getting your face known in a particular field. Food scientists and technologists often look for experience as well as knowledge when recruiting for graduate jobs. Give yourself the best chance of landing future food science graduate jobs by applying for relevant internships, now. Don’t forget, if it goes well, there could be a chance of you being offered a permanent role with the company once you have graduated.
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