Diana Riggs is a 2013 IFMA Educational Foundation scholarship recipient. She attends the Univeristy of Illinois and is majoring in Food Science. Find out what she had to say when we asked her a few questions about her foodservice scholarship and future career.
What is your
major & what
made you decide on it?
My major is Food Science. I took the introductory food science course as an elective freshman year and it immediately captured my interest. I have always been interested in food, where it comes from, as well as differences between foods globally. After taking this course, I switched my major to Food Science.
How has your stipend enabled you to pursue a career in
This scholarship has provided me with the funds for tuition and books to pursue my bachelors degree in Food Science.
What was your first job in foodservice?
My first experience working in the industry was my summer internship at Griffith Laboratories as a product development intern. I was able to work on ingredient formulations and complete different product applications. I also engaged in sensory evaluations and panels for different products. My major summer project was working on an ingredient functionality notebook for a specific coating system. I learned a lot about the industry as well as the different areas of work associated with food science. This experience reaffirmed my passion for a career in food science.
My dream would be to work in product development.
What would you say is your "dream job" after you
After I graduate, I would like to pursue a job in R&D. My dream would be to work in product development. I like that it combines both technical skills and creativity. Working for a company that provides tasteful, healthy foods to consumers would be rewarding as someone who also has an interest in nutrition.
Do you have a mentor? How have they helped
During my summer internship, my supervisor was a mentor to me. From her, I not only learned about the product development process and ingredient functionality, but she also gave me a lot of great career and academic advice.
What are some of the challenges students like you face
in today's world of foodservice?
I think one of the big challenges the world of food science is facing is the shift towards clean labeling. Consumers are becoming more knowledgeable about the food they eat. As a future member of the food industry, it is our responsibility to provide the consumers with healthy and natural products that are in demand.
What have you learned that you will apply to your
One of the most important skills that I have learned during college is leadership. From my experience as treasurer of the organization Little Green Chefs, I have been able to lead small groups of students to volunteer in the Champaign area to provide knowledge about healthy foods to children. I have been able to gain communication and managerial skills from this role. I think that this will apply to my future career because communication and leadership are important skills I will be able to use the rest of my life.
About The IFMA Educational Foundation
The IFMA Educational Foundation promotes the next generation of foodservice leaders. The Foundation is committed to give qualified culinary, marketing or food science students support toward completion of education requirements. Over the years, we've accomplished our goal by providing scholarships, publications, educational programs, internships and stipends to accredited institutions and individuals enrolled in accredited institutions.
Do you want to support the next generation of foodservice by making a donation to IFMA's Educational Foundation? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.