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

Ellie Davenport

Ellie’s mother worked in the food industry and told her daughter about the opportunities on offer. Encouraged by what she heard, Ellie applied to Greencore’s graduate scheme. She’s enjoying her first taste of the exciting variety of roles on offer.

What is your current role? When did you join Greencore?

I joined as a Technical Graduate in July 2017. I’m based at Greencore’s Manton Wood site, the world’s largest sandwich manufacturing sites.

What is your degree? Where did you study?

After taking ‘A’ level Physics, Maths and Psychology I went to Leeds University to study Food Science.

 When do you first become interested in Food Science?

I always loved science and especially applied science, so food science looked like the ideal option. My ‘A’ level choices differed from fellow students who had mainly studied Chemistry and Biology. But this didn’t hold me back at all. In fact there were often times when I had the advantage. Everyone was very helpful with areas where I had less knowledge.

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

I was familiar with all about the opportunities in food science – thanks to my mother. She worked in the industry and so I knew what great careers were on offer. She encouraged me to follow the food science route into the industry, which was different from the engineering path she’d taken.

I’m lucky to have had this knowledge. There’s still a lot of misunderstanding surrounding Food Science, my school friends asked me why I’m going to university to learn about cooking!

What made you apply to Greencore after graduation?

My degree included an industry placement with PepsiCo in the R&D Department. I enjoyed the work but wanted to join the Greencore Graduate Programme as this offers a variety of modules. By moving between areas I can experience the wide range of roles that make up the industry. I am not pigeonholed into one section.

Greencore also encourages its graduates to try all the options – they want us to benefit, make progress and develop.

What does your job involve?  Is it fun, interesting?

It’s full of variety – from auditing to traceability to compliance, I’m getting a taste of all elements of a technical role. I’m the only technical graduate on this site and am especially enjoying the traceability work. This involves tracking every ingredient included in our foods, both forward and backwards. Ie we know where all our ingredients come from, and where there are going. This is vital for food safety.

What are your long term career plans?

It’s too soon to say. This scheme is two years long and I’m just enjoying the variety.

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

There are so many opportunities – there really is something for everyone. We’ll always need food so this is the ideal industry.

It’s also never too early to start looking for opportunities, get some industry experience, join the Summer Schools (sadly I missed out on doing that, I was too late). Never underestimate the importance of work experience or a placement – they give valuable insights into the sector.





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