Role at Tegel a dream for food technology student

From left: Massey University food technology students Meghana Singreddy, Jinny Lee and Jessica Wahid at Tegel Foods Limited.

The saying goes, “It’s not what you know, but who you know.” For 24-year-old Jinny Lee, a combination of these two things has seen her land a job at food giant Tegel Foods Limited.

Having recently completed her fourth-year of study, Ms Lee says she was “super lucky” to be offered a job before graduating. “I worked at Tegel last summer for the practicum part of the programme and had a chance to do a project with them for my final-year project. By having a great connection with them from summer work to the final year of studying, I was lucky enough to get an opportunity to start my career with them.”

Born in Seoul, Korea, Ms Lee moved to New Zealand when she was 15 and currently lives in West Harbour in Auckland. Her new role will see her move to Christchurch in the new year.

“As technical coordinator at Tegel, I will help the technical services team provide assurances regarding processing and operations. My role will vary from time to time depending on the projects that I will be working on but, in general, I will be contributing to the technical services, by conducting internal audits and analysis of the operations. A key part of the role will be providing technical training and mentoring of others in the business as required,” she says.

Ms Lee says her studies at Massey set her up well for a job in the industry.

“By studying the Bachelor of Food Technology with Honours at Massey, we had to do 900 hours of practicum, which really gives you a chance to build up the relationship between yourself and the industry. I was able to understand the real side of the industry. The group project courses were a great exercise before going out in to the real world.

“For my role, most of the theories and information that I learnt from Massey will be useful at some point during my career but, particularly, engineering, microbiology, quality systems and continuous improvement will be very helpful for my role at Tegel,” she says.

Her time at Massey was challenging, “but totally worth it. We started by building up skills in maths and sciences, as well as the project courses in the first and second year, but then you jump into the food side of things, which is awesome. I loved doing some of the group-based assignments, and it was actually really helpful to understand how others work.”

She says the best thing about studying at Massey was the close-knit relationship between students and the lecturers. “The lecturers were available to us most of the time and always willing to help out. I loved that I could just knock on the door and say hello to them and ask them questions. They are so open to everyone, it was great.”

Her advice for people wanting to study food technology? “Be passionate and be confident of what you are doing. It’s not always easy, but you have to be motivated and believe in yourself that you can complete the degree and land in a great career. Also, never hesitate to ask your lecturers for help. They will be always there to help you out.”

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