I recently met with Jessica McCann, a Final Year Food Technology Degree student, during a tea break at Loughry Campus, CAFRE (College of Agriculture Food and Rural Enterprise).
We talked about her recent work placement experience with Huhtamaki and life at Loughry.
Jessica could you tell us a little about Huhtamaki where you worked for the last year?
Huhtamaki is a global packaging company and they gave me the opportunity to work and learn in a great environment so I would like to thank Huhtamaki for the opportunity. The factory produces sustainable paper straws for numerous global brand owners and plan to invest around £12 million into this venture over the next five years so it’s a growing business. All Loughry Campus degree students get the opportunity to do a 48 week placement and it’s a great opportunity to earn as you learn.
So Jessica how come you are wearing #whitewellies?
Well I am just on a wee break from class here in the Food Technology Centre at Loughry Campus. The Food Technology Degree at Loughry involves practical sessions in the Food Technology Centre where we have to put on our white wellies and coats and manufacture products like ice cream, bread and jam. Its great fun to actually make the products we study about in class.
Jessica how did your studies in food lead to a placement in a packaging company?
Well, my Food Technology Degree course at Loughry Campus covers packaging which is actually a very interesting subject and also very topical at the moment thanks to David Attenborough Blue Planet series on TV which highlighted the environmental issues linked to plastics in our oceans and seas. I studied packaging fundamentals in first year and I won a £1,000 bursary for being the top student in the class. This module gave me an interest in packaging and my course tutor encouraged me to apply for the role with Huhtamaki. I have used the money wisely to help pay for my car insurance to get me to and from my placement.
So Jessica would you recommend Loughry to other school leavers?
Most definitely yes! It’s a lovely Campus with students who become friends for life and the staff are all friendly and very approachable, in fact I would say it’s like a home from home. All my class mates got good placements and there are excellent career opportunities at the end of the course. I know that there are open evenings coming up this month so I would encourage school leavers to drop into one of the CAFRE campuses or have a look at the CAFRE website and see what they have to offer.
For more information why not take Jessica’s advice and drop in for a cup of tea and a chat at our Open Day @ Loughry Campus, Cookstown on 8 October from 3-8pm.
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