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Career Placement

The Food Science Department is here to help you prepare for and maximize your internship, summer work, and any other postgraduate plans you may have coming your way.
Our success is evident:
  • Many of our Food Science seniors accept full-time employment positions prior to graduation and most are employed in permanent positions within six months of graduation.
  • The average salary for entry level positions is around $50,000, according to the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT, 2011).
  • Food Science graduates enter a range of careers within the food industry or government. Some graduates go on to graduate or professional school, such as medical, law, or business school. Others become sensory analysts, food microbiologists, food or flavor chemists, nutritionists, or food engineers. Graduates work in product development, operations management, or a wide variety of other industry-related careers.

Strong business relationships and Food Science go hand in hand. Here is a sampling of companies with which we have relationships:

  • H.J. Heinz Company
  • Kraft Foods Company
  • General Mills
  • Campbell’s Soup Company
  • Nestle USA
  • The Hershey Company
  • Unilever
  • Pepsico
  • ConAgra Foods
  • M&M Mars
  • Ecolab
  • Mondelelēz International
  • Cargil

Where to Start

Your adviser and the Department's entire faculty are here to help to maximize your career-planning opportunities prior to and even after graduation. Services are provided to assist students in obtaining summer internship, co-op, and permanent positions.

Available positions are advertised to all Food Science students, and detailed application instructions are included. Check out the Food Science Program Advising Resources group on ANGEL for current posting!

If you have any questions, please contact .

Preparation

The Department of Food Science and College of Agricultural Sciences offers individualized career counseling and planning for all Food Science students who want assistance with their interview preparation. To schedule an appointment, follow these procedures:

  • Develop your résumé using the resources at the Penn State Career Services Center.
http://studentaffairs.psu.edu/career/about/
  • Choose your references and ask permission to use their name.
  • Contact , or Dr. Richard Rateau, Coordinator of Experimental Learning and Career Services (), to request a meeting time.
  • Bring a copy of your résumé with you to your meeting.
  • If you need to cancel your appointment, please contact as early as possible so that space can be opened up to other students needing assistance.

Interview Recommendations

We strongly recommend you follow these guidelines to maximize your chances for success:

  • Research the position you're interested in using the company website and other sources of information. Check out the company’s product line at the grocery store.
  • Always dress professionally in formal attire (business casual is the minimum). You are a reflection of the Department, the College and your fellow students. Remember, you never have a second chance to make a first impression!
  • Make sure you are on time to all information and interview sessions.
  • Shake hands firmly when you meet your interviewer. Bring paper with you to take notes. Prepare questions in advance to ask the interviewer. Rehearse answers to common interview questions.
  • Remember to send a thank-you letter (e-mail is ok if you do not have their mailing address) to your interviewer.

Post-graduation Career Services

Graduates are encouraged to share information on available positions as well as their professional experiences with the Food Science program. Graduates are encouraged to join the Department's LinkedIn group after graduation to keep in touch and learn about current opportunities.