Adenike Shittu

MSc in Chemistry with concentration in Food Science and Nutrition (2017)

  1. What field of work are you in, and what duties are required in your position?

I am a Scientific Project Coordinator in the Food Directorate at Health Canada. Some of my duties includes reviewing scientific and regulatory documents to provide advice for decision making by management, analyzing food product databases for informed policy decisions, and reviewing nutrition label information, in addition to contributing to stakeholder engagements.

  1. What challenges did you face when looking for work after graduating?

One of the challenges I faced was transitioning from working in laboratory settings to a policy / regulatory environment. Most of the experiences I gained while obtaining my bachelor’s and master’s degrees were in laboratory research. Therefore, it was a bit difficult to find an opportunity to apply to positions in policy offices within the government. However, because I was very proactive with job applications while in grad school, I was fortunate to receive a job offer at Health Canada before I completed my grad studies.

  1. How did you arrive at your current position?

I was a research student within the department that I work at right now. However, I was doing my research in the laboratories. I started networking and speaking with a lot of employees that worked in areas that were of interest to me. I continued to apply to so many other positions that I felt passionate about. So having a research or co-op program in the school curriculum definitely was a great idea, and working very hard while a student to prove to your employer that you deserve the position is the way to go.

  1. What advice would you give to a graduate student looking to follow a career path similar to yours?

My advice is for grad students to not wait until after graduation to start looking for jobs. I’d encourage students and the department to keep up collaborations with the government and industries. The government is always posting job opportunities for recent graduates and research affiliation opportunities. You just have to keep looking, keep networking, keep applying and NEVER GIVE UP!