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Louisa Andrews is already a high flyer in the food industry, having graduated from Reading in 2017 with a BSc in Food Science with Business with Industrial Training. She is enjoying a thriving career at Premier Foods and points to her time at Reading as pivotal to her success.

"I have always been interested in the food industry and how products are grown, made and sold, so the Food Science with Business course felt like the perfect fit. I find my work extremely dynamic; every day is different and there is always something new to learn."

Business modules set Louisa apart from other graduates

Louisa was able to apply transferrable skills learned in her business modules to case studies at graduate interviews. This gave her a clear advantage, setting her apart from other graduates, and the benefits continue to support Louisa’s professional growth.

"Now I am working in food manufacturing, my knowledge of management skills and decision-making gained at Reading have particularly benefitted me in understanding and assessing situations."

Coming to Reading

Louisa's decision to study at Reading came easily. As well as loving the beauty of the campus, she remembers being extremely impressed by the specialist food and nutrition facilities and the strengths of the academics who would be teaching her.

Real world training gives significant advantage

Louisa cites the value of the real-world training that enriched her programme, such as the New Product Development project she tackled in her final year.

"My team created ProPot, a novel pasta product providing a high source of protein. My business skills helped me as Project Manager and my marketing modules helped me to write persuasively in our report on how the product met the eco-innovative brief."

Career-enhancing balance of scientific and business learning

Louisa enjoyed the complementary scientific and business learning that drew on the expertise of other schools in the University, allowing her to learn from a wider range of lecturers. In her final-year Business Strategy module, Louisa was able to analyse a food business for her final project. This incorporated her knowledge from both business and science, which was not only satisfying, but added further strength to her CV.

Over the moon at Mars placement

Louisa was delighted to gain her placement at Mars Food, where she carried out audits independently and led her own projects to improve manufacturing practices. She also enjoyed the networking opportunities; she was able to visit colleagues in the chocolate segment, broadening her knowledge with some necessary product tasting!

Louisa threw herself into the work, rest and play environment and was pleased to be given the job of organising a Mars team for a charity event for Grocery Aid. She notes a further benefit of her placement was moving away from home and university to a place where she had to support herself, which she found improved her work ethic for her final year.

Career success

Louisa cites the importance of her degree in landing her exciting role with Premier Foods as Area Quality Lead.

"I believe leaving university with a vocational degree and a year's experience in food quality and safety was fundamental to securing the job."

"I have recently accepted the opportunity to relocate into a new role as Quality Systems Manager; a challenge that will advance my career."

Life at Reading

As well as studying hard, Louisa enjoyed the many social and sporting opportunities on offer at Reading. The range of sports clubs and other societies particularly appealed to her and she describes the Student Union as "a brilliant hub".

"The University and the surrounding area provided an environment I was happy and safe in, with easy access to great shopping, socialising and the joy of award-winning green space on campus."