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Elaine Denning

R&D Food Scientist, Kerry Group (Kerry Foods)

Degree Subject BSc Food and Agricultural Science, University College Dublin (2010)

Job title R&D Food Scientist
Employer Kerry Group (Kerry Foods)

During my final year at college I undertook work placements in the quality lab in an Irish dairy company and with a farmhouse cheese-making company. This experience gave me a taste for research and development and proved to me that I thrive on problem solving, being challenged in work and building on my knowledge. I heard about the Kerry Group Graduate Programme at the UCD Careers Day and was intrigued by the opportunity to work on leading branded food products and new technology development.

The application process for my job began with an initial online application, followed by online assessments and an invitation to interview. Having successfully completed these stages, I was asked to attend an assessment centre, where candidates participated in team and individual activities. The experience was quite intense, but everything was done to make us feel at ease.

Juggling the interviewing process with the demands of final year was pretty hectic to say the least, but finding out which direction I wanted to take after college was important to me – the hard work has paid off!

My job really lets me explore and develop my interests: at the moment I'm working on continuous product improvement, current production line optimisation and new product developmental trails for branded cheese products. I lead problem-solving projects and I'm learning every day as I interact with various people from Engineering, Quality Control, New Product Development, Production and Marketing. My company has bases across the globe, so there’s also room to travel.

Job-hunting tips

Don't rush into half-hearted job applications; spending time developing an effective CV and covering letter will improve your chances no end.

Elaine Denning was interviewed for the gradireland directory 2012.