Food technology student ready for the real world

Jeen Hwang graduates with a Bachelor of Food Technology with Honours next year and is keen to get into the workforce.

After four years studying the Bachelor of Food Technology with Honours at Massey University’s Auckland campus, 21-year-old Jeen Hwang is ready for a job in the food technology industry.

Born in South Korea, Mr Hwang moved to Auckland when he was 10 years old, and now calls Auckland home.

He loves creating and trying new foods and is particularly interested in the food regulation and safety aspects of the industry. “I would love to work for the Ministry for Primary Industries. With my degree, I have learnt the significant role food plays in public health. I felt a need to consider food safety more seriously, as a contaminated food product can cause severe illness. As someone who grew up in New Zealand, being provided with the most secure foods in the world, I wish to maintain the safe food environment for our future generations.”

His experience at Massey was fascinating, he says. “All my lecturers and colleagues supported me and helped me whenever I was in need. Every time I had enquiries regarding a course, the lecturers were always there to go the extra mile.”

Mr Hwang says while he found the programme challenging, it was exciting. “The whole degree required a lot of science knowledge as well as creativity for product development. I found it very interesting as the programme offered various aspects of food industries, ranging from process operation to food chemistry and industrial improvement.”

He has always had a love for food, and says Massey was a natural choice for study. “When I applied to study at Massey, they called me in personally, and explained to me what food technology was in detail and the advantages of doing this degree at Massey University. I was really impressed by Massey’s long history in this area and the connections they have with New Zealand’s food sector.”

Mr Hwang says the highlight of the programme, was his placement at Much Moore Ice Cream Company last summer, where he was a technical assistant and worked with product development. “I was involved in new product development of milkshakes. Continuous improvement as well as critical and logical thinking that I have acquired from my degree really helped me in the placement.”

He also helped out with judging for the 2016 and 2017 New Zealand Food Awards, which have been run by Massey University for the past 30 years. “It was so much fun to be part of. I was able to see and taste the most innovative products in New Zealand. The event also made me more passionate about product development. I dream of one day entering a product for consideration by the judges.”

His advice for aspiring food technologists? “Do not give up, even when it’s tough. As I got closer to the end of my degree, I found that everything I have learnt throughout the four years were very practical and applicable in the food industry. It is a fascinating degree that challenges you a lot. You will not regret it!”

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