Career-seeking students score food science advice - Macphie

Earlier this month (15 Feb), we hosted 20 budding young food scientists from Glasgow Caledonian University, Robert Gordon University and Abertay University at our Glenbervie factory in Aberdeenshire for the Institute of Food Science and Technology’s (IFST) annual Student LaunchPad event.

The students were introduced to the ins and outs of working in the food and drink industry, learned more about graduate careers from members of our team and were taught how to improve their CVs and interview techniques.

One of the presenters at the event was 26-year-old, Jamie McDonald, a former Abertay University graduate who secured a vital innovation role with us last year following a successful three-month placement in our product development team.

Caption: Product designer and former Abertay student Jamie McDonald

Jamie shared his experiences as someone who has recently kicked off his career in food science, reviewing the fat, salt and sugar content across some of our product lines, perfecting recipes, while ensuring our products maintain a high-quality taste profile.

Dr Jon Wilkin, Senior Lecturer in New Product Development at Abertay University said: “It was great to see Jamie sharing the many wonderful skills he has picked up during his new role at Macphie and how his placement helped him on this journey.

“It was clear that Jamie’s experiences and the success he has already achieved in this ever-growing industry resonated with students at the event who I’m sure will be inspired to follow in his footsteps.

“Macphie has provided our students with an abundance of fantastic opportunities and we are looking forward to witnessing the development of the future food and drink workforce.”

Other speakers at the event included our Open Innovation Manager, Paul McKnight, and two experts from our Employee Experience team, Jayne Dutch and Victoria Goodyear, who discussed their career path journeys and what we look for in potential employees.

After the presentations, the students were able to join the speakers for lunch and had the opportunity to ask any questions they had. They then received a tour of our Glenbervie factory and development facilities.

Tim McLachlan, Chief Executive at the IFST said: “The Student LaunchPad event is a great opportunity for budding food scientists, food technologists, and product developers to familiarise themselves with the exciting and dynamic world of the food and drink industry.

“By organising these events annually, we aim to provide students with an experience to strengthen their insights and experience of the food sector beyond the lecture theatre and help provide a snapshot of possible careers in the industry.

“We are grateful to Macphie for hosting the event this year and to their leading team of experts for sharing their valuable experiences with the students – we are expecting a lot of inspired youngsters to try and secure further opportunities with this highly respected food firm!”

Community commitment 

Our dedication to the future workforce doesn’t stop there. In the last year, we hosted a number of on-site placements, having recently given seven Aberdeenshire school pupils the rare chance to concoct and simulate the commercial development of their very own dessert sauces.

Caption: school students on work placement at Macphie

Since 2017, we have run a number of workshops and presentations on job skills to support the national curriculum with our school partners – Mackie Academy in Stonehaven and Mearns Academy in Laurencekirk – as part of our ongoing commitment to the young community.

Mark Duncan, Technical Director at Macphie said: “It’s a real delight to be able to help inspire and develop careers and provide practical support for the next generation.

“At Macphie, providing opportunities to school pupils and students is something that we pride ourselves on and being able to host this fantastic event is a real feather in our caps, showcasing our passion to teach and encourage.”