Student profile
Mer Karnchanachari, BSc (Hons) Food Science and Nutrition

Mer Karnchanachari

"I'm currently on placement in London with Yakult UK, sharing research behind gastrointestinal health and probiotics with healthcare professionals."

Entry year
2016
Placement company
Yakult UK

Why I chose Surrey

I have had an interest in food, health and nutrition for as long as I can remember. More recently, I also discovered a passion for the technical aspects of food, such as food processing, product reformulation and quality assurance.

Surrey really stood out to me because of the amazing placement opportunities they offer, which can help set you up for your future career.

My course

My BSc (Hons) Food Science and Nutrition course covers a diverse range of topics and you can tailor it to your liking by choosing optional modules that you are interested in. In addition to lectures, I really enjoy getting hands-on experience in the laboratory as I find this to be the best way to learn. The facilities are truly fantastic!

The academic staff are also very approachable and helpful.

"One of the highlights of my placement so far has been visiting the Yakult factory in the Netherlands and seeing their entire production process first-hand."

My placement

I'm currently on a Professional Training placement in London with Yakult UK. My role predominantly involves sharing research behind gastrointestinal health and probiotics with healthcare professionals, as well as equipping them with the tools and confidence to answer patients’ questions. Due to the nature of my job, I am constantly out of the office travelling around the country. One of the highlights so far has been visiting the Yakult factory in the Netherlands and seeing their entire production process first-hand.    

It is almost impossible to pick a single best moment I’ve had at Surrey as there have been so many. But choosing to do a placement is definitely one of them. You spend so much time researching different companies, perfecting cover letters and preparing for interviews, so when you get a rejection from a company, it can be a hard pill to swallow. But I’m really glad that I kept going, because I eventually landed myself a position with Yakult and it was so worth it. I’m learning a great deal from this experience and the skills I’ve gained on this placement will stay with me for life.

My life at Surrey

During my second year, I joined the volleyball team and had the opportunity to go to Croatia. I had the best time on that trip, created so many unforgettable memories and grew much closer to many of my team mates. The 24-hour coach ride was definitely worth it in the end!

I also took on the role of secretary of NutriSoc, the University's Nutrition Society. I had so much fun organising events, collaborating with different societies and meeting new people with similar interests. It’s important to take a break from studying, and joining clubs and societies is a great way to do so. If I could go back in time, I honestly wish I had joined earlier!

When I'm not in lectures, my friends and I go to Starbucks or the coffee truck on PATS field more times than we’d like to admit! And when it’s warm and the sun is out, we usually have lunch by the side of the calm and peaceful on-campus lake.

My career and development

After I graduate, I’m hoping to secure a graduate scheme position or graduate job in food technology in the UK. Being on placement has allowed me to discover how much I enjoy working and I’m really keen to gain more industry experience – especially in the technical functions – before deciding whether or not to pursue further studies.

Find out more about our food science and nutrition course

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