KP Snacks: Chloe Perry - Careers case study

Chloe Perry is an Advanced Technical Apprentice at KP Snacks

Tell us about yourself, what do you do?
I work in Technical predominantly working within ingredients however I have been gaining experience from the QA Team by taking part in Audits with the likes of M&S and Waitrose and taking part in traceability exercises. I have also been helping other sites during the transfer of lines. I have also been involved in looking after complaints for the Ashby site. I have been working on my own flavour project where I have been looking at a poorly performing flavour and conducting tests to assess how to improve this flavour with regards to either the flavour profile or the whether it is the process that effects how the flavour performs.

What do you enjoy most about your role?
I enjoy the variability and how every day is different, I also like the problem solving aspect of the role, and there is never one way of doing something there is multiple. I also enjoy working in different departments, I feel like it is good to gain an understanding of all the different teams' functions and how everyone can work together on the same project but see things from different perspectives. I think that it is good for me to get involved with these different teams as I can then see problems and solutions from different perspectives.

When did you start working for your company?
August 2014

What are the qualifications needed for this field?
Some work experience in the food industry previously and 2 a-levels (or equivalent in UCAS points). Also you have to be motivated and have a genuine interest in the food industry as it's quite fast paced you must be able to adapt to the changing situations therefore you need to be quite flexible. You also have to put yourself out there and gain the most you can get from the opportunities given and be prepared to do some things that you may not enjoy as much as others as this is the only way to find out what part of the food industry that you want to work in.

What was your route into the sector?
I completed my 3 A-levels (Biology, Psychology and Art), I was a bit unsure whether university would be the right route for me as I knew I was interested in the food industry however wasn't set on what part of the food industry I wanted to go into, I didn't want to commit to 3 years and potentially a lot of debt if I wasn't exactly sure what I wanted to do.

What attracted you to joining the industry?
Initially I was interested in the nutrition side of the food industry however as a career I feel like it wouldn't have been as varied enough for me. The attraction to manufacturing and technical was the variability of the role. Also by gaining a qualification in Food Science and technology allows a good career in the food industry going forward. Having experience in one sector of the food industry can be transferable to other areas which gives many job opportunities.

What are your/your businesses key achievements to date?
My biggest achievement is being part of a 10 week secondment covering for the Process Development Technologist. It has given me more responsibility and a greater understanding of the processes at the factory.

If you had to give one reason why young people should consider this career path, what would it be?
It is a great start to your career in the food industry and will give you the chance to gain a lot of experience whilst having the support from your work colleagues. It's also a great alternative to University; it gives you the chance to experience full time work whilst also studying instead of having 3 years studying with not much experience to back it up.

What advice would you give to other people looking to pursue a career in this sector?
Research into different companies and which sort of company you might like to work for before applying to any companies; the food industry is very variable and with different types of production can give different challenges. Don't be afraid to ask questions the whole part of the structure is to gain experience so make sure to take every opportunity given as it will only benefit you and your knowledge of the industry. I would also say make contacts, where you can meet different people you should take the opportunity as these can help you in the future if you make a good impression. I'd also say before applying try and get some previous work experience to understand what part of the food industry you might be interested in.

Do you think it's important for women to consider similar careers? If so, why?
Yes because I think it is a presumption that it is going to be all manual work however there is a lot of problem solving involved and there are many different roles that you can go into in the food industry not just within the manufacturing side of the business but also within the Science & Technology side of things which I personally enjoy most. There also will always be career opportunities in the food industry and it is always changing.

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Last reviewed: 23 Jun 2014