17 Sep 2019
Finding a good internship can be a valuable first step towards a great career. It can be nerve-racking and challenging at the beginning, but it is indeed the perfect opportunity to explore different aspects of a career, gain work experience and hone skills.
As a leader in bakery and patisserie innovation, Puratos Canada has internship openings every year to welcome talented young students to the team. For positions in the Research & Development (R&D) department, Puratos Canada participates in the University of Guelph’s Co-operative Education program and begins to interview students at the beginning of the year. Alicia Di Filippo, R&D Specialist – Fillings & Decors, supervises some of the R&D co-op students during their placements at Puratos Canada. “We offer students an opportunity to work alongside several R&D team members who focus on areas of bakery, patisserie mixes and fillings and decorations to learn about a wide variety of ingredients and give them a well-rounded experience.”
Evelyn Chan, a student from the Food Science program, joined our team in the Spring of 2018 as an R&D Intern as part of her 12-month co-op work term. She assisted the R&D team in different projects where she learned about all the stages of product development and the inner functioning of a food company. We sat down with Evelyn to talk about her internship experience and what it has taught her.
Evelyn mentioned that she was motivated to learn as much as possible during her co-op work terms. “Work terms are a great opportunity to develop many different skills of a job while gaining industry knowledge and confidence in your abilities,” she said. During her internship, she supported the R&D department with product development and learned how to operate the launch of new products; from ideation to industry commercialization. “It is sometimes hard to gain those skills from school only,” she noted.
“Co-op students also have their own long-term research project which they conduct their own research, plan their experiments and provide conclusions in an area of interest that is mutually beneficial for both Puratos and the student,” said Alicia. Evelyn’s focus was on natural colours and their stability over the shelf life of a product. With this specialized knowledge, Evelyn was an integral part of team that was working on the development of Puratos’ Topfil range of fruit fillings. Evelyn felt that she was trusted to work on different projects with minimal supervision, while also having a team that encouraged her to do more than what was expected and to take ownership of her projects. “I realized early on that my contributions as an intern had an impact on the company’s bottom line, which gave me a huge sense of pride,” she noted.
“The highlight of my time at Puratos was having the opportunity to work with different departments,” said Evelyn. She mentioned that workplace culture is something that she values and was happy to be part of a team that fosters a positive and friendly work environment. Being an intern at Puratos, gave her a sense of responsibility and professionalism in the workforce. “On a personal level, it forced me to step out of my comfort zone and encourage me to share my ideas and skills more often in order to work together with the team to find solutions,” affirmed Evelyn. As she returns to school this fall to finish her last year of university, Evelyn ended her comments by saying “I will take what I have learned and expand on those skills. This experience has helped me to figure out the next steps that I want to take on my career path.”
If you are looking for an internship or a work opportunity, please check out the Jobs section on our website to see if there is a position that might be right for you. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.
This article has been written by Maria Almendariz in collaboration with Evelyn Chan and Alicia Di Filippo. Maria has been working for Puratos for a year as a Marketing Intern and shares a passion for sweet goods as well as content and digital marketing.