Hannah Pettit wasn't always sure what she wanted to study, but after a chance encounter with a food scientist, she decided that she wanted to study the food sciences. After consideration she chose Nutrition with Food Consumer Sciences. Hannah was fascinated by the depth and variety of a subject that she hadn't previously recognised as being a field of its own.
“I don't think I realised how many opportunities there are in the food industry until you really kind of get involved in it. I always liked biology and psychology, and it all just linked together quite nicely."
Hannah realises how broad the subject is
As someone who had discovered the subject fairly recently, Hannah was surprised by just how much she was learning, and how many different futures it could open up for her. As time went by, Hannah decided that she wanted to change her initial direction. Would this cause a problem? No, it turned out. The BSc course was diverse enough that she didn't need to change her modules.
“I think realising that there were so many other opportunities available, and also I didn't really want to restrict myself. I thought, if I do want to go down the Dietetics route I can go and do a Master's after... but at the same time, you could still graduate and go into all these roles, just with the BSc degree!”
industry PLACEMENT TRAINING
As with most of our students, Hannah spent her third year studying on a professional placement. Supported by her tutor and the Department, Hannah found that the placement really put the science of the food industry into context. Hannah made friends, gained valuable experience - and was ultimately offered a job as a result.
Creating new food
In her final year, Hannah had the chance to innovate new food products in the New Product Development. project. Being in the position of a developer allowed Hannah to learn every aspect of production from design and conception to creation and marketing. As well as learning new innovative skills Hannah graduated with the knowledge of a product developer.
"The business awareness side of it, you got to think about all the other factors, not just the product itself. Same with any kind of group work, you're working with people you wouldn't normally talk to, so that's quite good and realistic of what it's like in working life. I just remember it being really fun and kind of a good opportunity to use what you've learnt on placement and get more of a feeling of all the commercial aspects that you may be not so involved in."
Hannah Pettit, Ella's Kitchen
Hannah is now employed by Ella's Kitchen as a Technician and Food Technologist, tasked with making sure that food is safe and legally compliant. The skills that Hannah learned during her degree have all been useful in this role, particularly with regard to the legal aspects of the work. Her time at Reading really helped to make Hannah's career what it is, and she has a message for anyone undecided about Reading:
"Never feel alone, there's always help and support there if you need it."
Hannah Pettit, Ella's Kitchen
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