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Young Professional Profile - Marie Kettlewell

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Can you tell us about your current role?

I have recently begun working for Jordans Dorset Ryvita, where I will be on secondment for 6 months within the Regulatory and Nutrition team.

Jordans Dorset Ryvita is part of the Associated British Foods (ABF) group, and the secondment is part of my role as Specification Technologist at Allied Bakeries, which is also part of the ABF group.

After graduating from the University of Reading, I began working for Allied Bakeries. The role involves ensuring compliance of food labelling with legislation and policies, writing finished product specifications and helping to develop recipes to meet certain nutritional requirements.

Being on secondment is exciting as I am able to gain exposure to a different business with different products and brands. This gives me an opportunity to apply the skills and knowledge I have gained, whilst developing these further, for example learning about international labelling requirements.

How was your transition from university to industry?

As part of my course in Nutrition and Food Science at the University of Reading, I did a placement year working for a fruit and juice supplier. This definitely helped with the transition after graduation as I was able to develop an understanding of how the industry works and what skills are important.

I would encourage graduates or final years looking for a role to keep an open mind when applying for jobs – although graduate schemes have a lot of benefits, going into an entry level job has advantages too, such as giving you the opportunity to build up responsibility and expertise within an area.

You can grow your career in different ways, such as going on a secondment, which is something I didn't really think of as an option until recently, and yet is a great way to broaden your experience. I would recommend asking employers about the possibility of doing one.

What IFST offers that is unique to you

For me, IFST offers the opportunity to network with others in the industry, for example at events such as the Spring Conference. Being able to meet other young people in the industry and learn of others' experiences is helpful.

As well as networking, IFST helps me to keep up-to-date with what's going on in the industry – which I find especially important in the fast-paced food world!

Having the opportunity to get involved with IFST, for example presenting at the Student LaunchPad event, allows me to feel I am giving something back by inspiring students about food industry careers.

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