Field of study: Food Science and Technology
Hometown: Fairmont, West Virginia
Fun fact: I’ve lived in 5 different states!
Why did you choose the CALS MPS degree program?
I had some experience doing science-based research prior to entering the program, and I quickly learned that it wasn't my cup of tea. Thus, I chose the MPS degree because it allowed me the unique opportunity to take classes and get more hands-on experience as opposed to solely doing research.
Describe your education/career path and how that led you to pursue a Cornell CALS MPS.
As I was completing my Bachelor’s degree in chemistry, I took an internship in Quality Assurance. It was there that my eyes were opened to a career outside of chemistry. I then decided to gain further knowledge on the field of Food Science by pursuing the CALS MPS program at Cornell.
What are your short-term and long-term career goals?
Short-term, I am focusing on gaining experience within industry. Long-term, I would love to one day consult and/or start my own company that provides services to start-up companies making the jump into the ever-growing food industry.
What are the strengths of the CALS MPS degree program?
The CALS MPS program granted me the opportunity to experience things outside of the typical master’s degree. I was able to actively partake in networking events and professional development workshops. These experiences truly gave me the confidence to tackle things such as finding the perfect job, negotiating salaries, and reaching other career-oriented goals.
What words would you use to describe the CALS MPS degree program?
Challenging, rewarding, and…fast!
What were some of the most rewarding moments while in your program?
I’d say the most rewarding thing was when I received my official job offer. It definitely made the entire year of hard work all the more worthwhile.
What courses stand out as most helpful for your specific career goals?
Business as a Second Language with Dr. Robert Karpman allowed me to gain confidence in the simplest of business terms, which is something I had never been exposed to. The knowledge I gained from this course has most definitely helped in terms of understanding corporate business strategy as well as personal financial savvy.
How has your MPS experience changed you, both personally and professionally?
My time at Cornell was a period of immense growth both in the sense of education and independence. From networking events to business dining etiquette to resume reviews, the MPS program truly set me up for professional success.
Why is the flexibility of the program important to you?
Coming from a chemistry background, I most definitely enjoyed being able to take a wide range of Food Science classes to build a solid in the basic principles before heading off to industry.
What advice would you give to your younger self embarking on the journey of graduate school?
Things will work out how they are supposed to. It was definitely hard seeing that from the get-go. However, taking the jump into graduate school was ultimately the best decision because it pushed me in the right direction of where I wanted to go.
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