|A typical day at work looks like…|
|I work in the Policy and Programs branch at the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) where I collaborate with scientists, inspectors and policy officers to gather information and analyze the risk of certain food/hazard combinations (for example: the risk of unacceptable levels of pathogens in fresh fruits and vegetables). We consider the risk intelligence gathered and evaluate the effectiveness of CFIA’s current control measures (e.g. inspections) in place to mitigate the risk, and review how we can improve these controls to better allocate our resources. The changes that come out of our work informs program design and direction for the Agency. I enjoy the investigative and collaborative nature of the work and I am continuously learning new things every day.
In my previous job, I worked at a flour company’s bakery mix facility as a Quality Lab Technician, where I tested products manufactured in real-time to ensure they performed to our customer’s specifications. I would have to make decisions to hold a product if it was non-compliant; troubleshoot issues; and release the product in a timely manner after gathering enough evidence of what the problem was. I supported the QA manager in doing internal audits; environmental swabs; micro testing and allergen testing.
|My future goals are…|
|To keep learning and experiencing as much as I can to gain expertise that can be valuable to future work. I also would love to try working in one of the CFIA Food Chemistry laboratories, specifically in the food fraud section, where they receive samples from inspectors and test them for adulteration and contamination. Working strictly in Science, as opposed to Regulatory Science, would be an interesting new challenge.|
|My degree has helped me get to where I am today by…|
|The research, writing, and presentation skills developed from my degree has helped immensely in my current position where I do the same thing – except instead of presenting the final product to professors, it is to senior management! Also, the breadth of courses offered in the Food Science program exposed me to things I never would have thought I’d be interested in (like food safety and regulation), and the vast possibilities and paths I could go down after completion.|
|My advice for current students is…|
|Get to know your professors – they are always there to help and are great mentors.
Try to gain as much ‘food science’ work experience as possible while in school, like seeking opportunities to support a professor with their research, applying to the Federal Student Work Experience Program (FSWEP), and taking advantage of the Co-op term.
Don’t forget to have fun – undergrad passes by quicker than you think!