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Lorna Kuriakose came to the University of Reading in 2014 to study a Master's in Food Science, after graduating with a degree in Life Sciences and Biochemistry from St Xavier's College, Mumbai.

"While I loved my subject, I always had an affinity for food and wanted to pursue a career in it. While researching the different ways that I could do this, I came across the field of food science. It was a perfect blend of my two interests – science and food."

Although Lorna hadn't met any graduates from the University of Reading before she applied for her master's, she was reassured by our high ranking in food science, as well as the varied and fascinating modules on offer.

"Along with food chemistry, the subjects on sensory evaluation and entrepreneurial management were of great interest to me."

Coming to the UK

Lorna was nervous when she was accepted onto her master's at Reading, as it was her first trip to the UK.

Living in a different country is a significant change in anyone's life, but Lorna felt instantly at ease upon her arrival at Heathrow Airport. She was greeted by student volunteers from the University, there to welcome new students and help them find their way to the University – just 40 minutes from the UK's main airport in London.

Before classes began, Lorna was given a tour of the Food Science building and its world-class facilities, as well as the opportunity to meet her fellow classmates. As a result, she felt more confident and comfortable in her first lecture because she already recognised friendly faces.

"Studying at Reading gave me the opportunity to meet with people from different parts of the world. It was a culturally enriching experience. The course is very comprehensive, and the subjects are covered in much detail."

Lorna also appreciated the practical sessions at the University's pilot plant. These helped her to grasp the subject better. Group projects and presentations helped her to develop soft skills, such as teamwork and public speaking.

Beautiful, award-winning campus

"On seeing the Whiteknights campus for the first time, I was amazed at how expansive it was. The campus is equipped with all the necessary amenities, including on-campus accommodation, a library, a gym, a catering outlet and a small shopping centre and a bank."

Lorna, like thousands of other international students, had the opportunity to get acquainted with the campus, the buildings, and other students during orientation week at Reading.

"Completing important formalities like registration and setting up a bank account were made easy because of the presence of different stalls set up on campus, and the presence of student volunteers willing to help when needed."

Orientation week also allows international students time to explore the local area of Reading, which Lorna remembers fondly.

"There are multiple restaurants available to enjoy different cuisines and the Oracle shopping centre is a one-stop shop for all things necessary, with a beautiful view of the riverside."

Working for a global leader in the flavour industry

After graduating from the University of Reading with a Master's in Food Science, Lorna secured her first job as a Flavourist Trainee.

"My choice of dissertation project is what intrigued me to pursue the world of flavours and seek an opportunity in this field."

She is currently working as a Flavourist in Mumbai, at Givaudan, a global leader in the flavour and fragrance industry. It's a creative role that allows her to use her scientific understanding of flavour volatiles to create flavours for various food applications.

Lorna feels that her experiences at Reading were an excellent preparation for her career in the food industry.

"The fact that I was able to meet people from different cultures made the experience of studying at Reading even more memorable. Therefore, I would recommend the University of Reading to those considering studying Food Science."

Athena SWAN Silver Award