Imaginative Teaching Resources & Inspirational Career Ideas from the Chilled Food Industry
Megan Afford is Quality Auditor at Moy Park in Grantham. She’s responsible for the product quality and ensuring the chicken-based products, from frozen to fresh are safe to eat.
When did you join your company? What brought you to Moy Park?
I joined in July 2017 straight from completing ‘A’ levels in biology, business studies and psychology. Unlike lots of colleagues I didn’t want to go to full time university and have entered the industry through the apprenticeship route.
I looked on the www.gov.uk website for apprenticeships within a 30mile radius of my home and Moy Park came up first.
My apprenticeship includes a Food Science and Technology degree at Nottingham Trent University. This means that 20 percent of my time is spent in study or completing tasks which relate to my study or development. The links between my academic work and Moy Park are really useful.
When do you first become interested in Food Science?
You could say it’s in my blood! My family ran a butcher’s shop for many decades and it’s been my life but I’ve always been fascinated by the science of food and we were using it every day. I have no ambition to be a cook.
What does your job involve? Is it fun, interesting?
I’ve been working in different departments – 6 months in the Craigavon factory as well as a month in a French factory learning about their processes. No two days are the same and I’m enjoying working with a wide range of people and not being tied to one thing.
It’s also giving me useful life experience, I feel I’m a more mature person now. Plus, I’m enjoying earning money.
What are your long term career plans?
I would like to work in management and take an MSc in Agri Food or Nutrition. But I will also take opportunities as they arise and am happy to move around.
What advice would you give to someone thinking about Food Science as a career?
Never underestimate the value of experience, don’t feel you have to get a degree. I have the best of both worlds – 4 to 5 years of experience and a degree.
Keep an open mind. Everyone has a bad day from time to time.
Anything else to add?
Age is also not a barrier! There are apprenticeships for everyone – at whatever stage of career they have reached.