I was born/grew up in: I was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. We moved around a bit when I was younger so I grew up in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada; St. Albert, Alberta, Canada; Elma, New York, USA; Etobicoke, Ontario, Canada and then finally Markdale, Ontario, Canada!
I now live in: Durham, Ontario, Canada
I completed my training/education at: After high school, I earned a B.Sc. in Food Sciences from the University of Guelph(Ontario).
What I do at work
My key activities include dealing with any issues that arise on the plant floor and creating solutions on how to prevent them from happening again. I also closely monitor the various testing we do in our labs. We check to make sure there are no microorganisms in the product. We also check for certain allergens. We use specialized equipment that are developed for testing different things related to dairy products. I make many decisions each day. Often it involves asking a lot of questions paired with using my scientific background to help me make the best decision possible. A background in STEM has prepared me for this job. I have the knowledge and understanding to create a solution for the problems that arise. Teamwork is very important in this job. Without my fellow co-workers our labs would not function at all. We depend on each other for many reasons; to help one another, discuss ideas back and forth, create new procedures when required, etc. It’s a serious thing when you are assuring a safe, quality product for customers to eat. Our team needs to work together to make this possible!
My career path is
I did not expect to be doing this job in high school at all. I have a B.Sc. in Biological Sciences, specializing in Food Science. I decided to go into this field because of my love for food and cooking. This love was completely influenced by my parents and Grandparents. Paired with the curiosities behind food processing and safety, I felt this field would be perfect! I encounter challenges every single day, and the only way to overcome them is to learn from them. It may seem like a struggle at first, but over time, I’ve discovered that a person must fail in order to get better at their job.
I am motivated by
I like the investigative part of my job – every day is different and I always learn something from each experience. Whether it’s inspecting material under a microscope or problem-solving on the production floor, food science is super cool. I mean, it’s chemistry, biology and math all in one!
I personally enjoy working together with an amazing group of people. Communication and team work are critical in this job. Our lab is like a very busy bee hive where we are the worker bees. When there are tasks to get done, individually we might not be so effective. But together, we are unstoppable!
How I affect people’s lives
My career matters because it involves keeping our customers safe. Not just from a microbiological standpoint, but food allergens as well. Many of our products are peanut/nut and gluten free. I know parents that specifically buy Chapman’s Ice Cream for their kids with food allergies. It is really rewarding to have a customer write or call in and say how thrilled their child was because they could finally have some ice cream at a birthday party.
Outside of work I
I enjoy fishing, gardening, kayaking and swimming. I played rugby for many years while in school and still like playing outdoor activities with friends.
My advice to others
Take pride in knowing that your job contributes to a safer consumer product and always remember to keep learning and stay inquisitive.