Imaginative Teaching Resources & Inspirational Career Ideas from the Chilled Food Industry

Atif Allam

Atif is in the second year of a four-year Microbiology degree at the University of Nottingham. He’s currently on a year-long placement with Moy Park, one of Europe’s leading poultry producers.

What ‘A’ levels do you have?

Biology, Maths, Geography and Business Studies.

Did you have a career goal in mind when you applied for University?

I’m really interested in Microbiology and wanted to work in the field because there are so many options on offer. I’m also interested in food and how microbiology relates to food safety. I’m keen to get to the source of a problem and enjoy the investigative elements of microbiology in the food industry, particularly at the factory and technical levels.

What have you been doing on your placement?

The year is split into two sections and so far I’ve worked on a 3 month project which involved me presenting my learning to a large group. So, as well as applying my technical knowledge I’m also learning about communication.

I will also continue to work with Moy Park once I’m back at university as my 3rd dissertation will involve testing traditional microbiological techniques and planning for new technologies.

Why Moy Park?

I heard about the company at a career fair and spoke to the HR team about the opportunities. My course has been perfect – giving me a blend of academic learning and practical experience.

Moy Park are very good at spotting talent and nurturing it and I’m enjoying the opportunities and support they are giving me.

What’s the best bit so far?

Definitely the microbiology project which focussed on our poultry production. We have to manage the welfare of the birds throughout their lives so that they are healthy, well-cared for and the meat produced is safe and of the highest standard.

Laboratory work is detective work and I especially enjoy the problem-solving elements of the work.

I see my future in this industry. I’m 100% determined to stick with microbiology and food!

What advice would you give to someone thinking about Food Science as a career?

Try and get as much work experience as possible. Don’t feel that you have to get lots of academic experience – practical experience is just as important, if not more. You can always come back to studying later in your career.





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