Graduate profile

Gabriella Lau

"I’m currently studying for a masters, learning about the sustainable development of the food system, investigating important world challenges like food insecurity."

Graduation year
2020
Placement company
PepsiCo

Why I chose Surrey

I was keen to learn more about the role of nutrition in health and disease, the psychological and social factors involved in dietary choices, as well as the effects of food processing on food. So, for me choosing a degree in food science and nutrition seemed like a good option to integrate my interests and build on my understanding of biology and psychology.

I chose Surrey because of its reputation for high-quality education and the league table rankings for food sciences. After visiting the campus, seeing the green, open spaces, and observing current students, I was sure that it would be the perfect community for me to study.

My course

On my BSc (Hons) Food Science and Nutrition course, there was a real variety of modules available, including microbiology, food perception, processing and preservation, and food analysis and quality control. These helped me enhance my scientific understanding and develop key transferable skills like communication and teamwork.

The academic staff were very helpful, approachable and keen to help. It was nice to know that if I needed help all I had to do was send an email. My lecturers were active researchers or clinicians, which gave me an insight into the different fields I could specialise in.

I had practical sessions in the Innovation for Health Learning Laboratory, where I got to use industry-standard equipment. I regularly visited the Library too!

My placement

I completed a Professional Training placement at PepsiCo where I was as a student nutritionist. Here, I worked on claims support for a fibre-enriched juice product that made it to the supermarket shelves. I was also involved with a new product development project which was a very interesting and rewarding experience.

Overall, I enjoyed finding out more about what I enjoyed and what I preferred less on my placement. It helped me learn more about my strengths and weaknesses and decide what career path to take after graduation.

"There was a real variety of modules available, including microbiology, food perception, processing and preservation, and food analysis and quality control."

My life at Surrey

I lived in accommodation on Stag Hill campus during my first year and it was a great experience. I got to meet lots of new people and make friends, many of which I’m still in touch with today.

In my free time, I’d sit with friends on the grass, chatting and relaxing. This was perfect to destress during exam season! For me, the green spaces were one of the best things about Surrey.

I regularly went to London on the train to visit friends and family. It was convenient and meant I could have the perfect balance between university and my home life.

During my time at Surrey I enjoyed the campus environment (e.g. social events, quality of teaching facilities) and the opportunities it offered for students (e.g. global graduate award, employability help, part time jobs with the university).

My career and development

During my degree, I took advantage of the additional learning opportunities on offer. I learnt a new language and completed a Global Graduate Award in Sustainability, to gain an understanding of the issues affecting sustainability of the world. I really enjoyed both schemes and got to meet lots of new people. I’d highly recommend them, especially as they were free!

I’m currently studying for a masters, learning about the sustainable development of the food system. On the course, I’m investigating important world challenges, like food insecurity and integrity, and understanding how innovation can be applied to help tackle climate change.

My advice

Make use of your university years and all the resources available to you, like the Employability and Careers Service. These will aid your growth and development as a person, to help you find a job or go onto further study in the future.

Find out more about our food science and nutrition course

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