Reading student takes the biscuit
Huge billboards of your student project being plastered all over London's Victoria Station is no mean achievement.
This is what Ellie Read, a fourth year student on Reading's BSc Nutrition and Food Science with Professional Training, experienced when she went on placement with Graze, the British 2008 start up that is blazing a trail around the country and across the Pond with "healthy snacks worth getting excited about". Ellie played a key role in developing Graze's new Oat Millionaire bars, which are currently making a big splash with their huge promotional advertising boards in central London. Reflecting on her year as New Product Development Intern at Graze, Ellie points to the many opportunities and challenges she enjoyed. She clearly rose to these with aplomb, as her success with the Millionaire bars attests. Ellie credits her grounding at Reading for giving her firm foundations on which to build her success:
"Industry year allows you to apply the knowledge gained whilst studying at Reading. For example when generating recipes it was essential to have an understanding of the functionality of ingredients. Additionally, the nutritional element of my course at Reading gave me awareness of what would be desirable and what would not."
As well as the high standard of training Reading offered leading up to her internship, Ellie also appreciates the invaluable support she received during the placement.
"My tutor came to visit whilst I was on placement to check my performance and ensure the company was providing me with the best opportunities to expand and apply my knowledge. In addition, every term I submitted reports of projects I had worked on, which was a good reflection exercise for me allowing me to build up my CV in preparation for jobs after university."
"The interview for my placement took place at the University which saved me time and travel. Reading also provided support on writing CVs, cover letters and completing online applications, which culminated in this fantastic opportunity with Graze."
Ellie has been a foodie since childhood; preferring to watch The Great British Bake Off or Food Unwrapped over the latest series on Netflix, she says, laughing. Mary Berry and Delia Smith were her 'idols' from an early age, and to this day, baking for her family is Ellie's happy place.
Unsurprisingly, Ellie excelled at Food Technology during her school years. Her food tech teacher was highly influential and introduced Ellie to the renowned course at Reading. As someone who was undecided whether to pursue nutrition or food science, the degree at Reading allowed Ellie to study both and still achieve accreditation by the Association for Nutrition.
"I chose this degree as it allowed me to combine my love for science alongside the opportunity to apply my knowledge to real life scenarios and my everyday home baking."
"Good quality, tasty, visual and innovative food has always been important to me; and growing up on a farm provided me with an understanding of the entire supply chain and the importance of knowing how my food is produced."
"People will always need to eat and studying such a respected degree in food science opens you up to a broad range of career opportunities within a fast paced and ever-evolving industry."
There were other draws for Ellie at Reading, as she explains.
"I came on a visit day and instantly fell in love - the staff and students were so friendly, the campus instantly felt like home and the course seemed varied and interesting. The facilities on offer at Reading are fantastic, evident in the Sensory Science Centre, Hugh Sinclair Unit of Human Nutrition and the pilot plant, which are major assets to the Department."
"Furthermore, the campus is lovely! The lakes are perfect for an afternoon walk and the lively town centre is not far away. Reading now feels like home; I will be sad to leave but I am excited to see the potential opportunities it has helped open up for me in my future career."
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