A Spotlight on Nwando Onuigbo-Chatta - Scientific Intern Experience

I heard about the Scientific Intern position at IFST from Dr Hamid Ghoddusi, my course coordinator while studying for an MSc in Food Science at London Metropolitan University. I applied for the position with avid interest and the rest is history. I was thrilled to be given the opportunity to serve/learn in this position for 1 year as I had an extension after the initial 6 months. My experience was rewarding and I especially liked that the programme was organised in such a way that you gain a well-rounded career building experience. This was mapped out in your tracker; a tool containing varied activities presenting opportunities for networking and transferable skills in addition to your scientific duties and which when completed gave a sense of achievement.  

The highlights of my internship were the events I attended: Spring Conference April 2023 in Wales; IFST lecture October 2023 in London; Student launchpad February 2024 at Campden BRI, Chipping Campden; and IFE Innovation forum March 2024 at Excel London. The networking opportunities I had with experts in the food industry helped me make valuable connections and build up my LinkedIn network. I enjoyed working with the IFST team and had a lot of support from my line manager. The fact that it was largely a remote role worked with my schedule but I also had the opportunity to attend a face to face team meeting which was a good opportunity to work and socialise with colleagues.  

A person in a graduation gown standing in front of a buildingDescription automatically generatedGenerally, my role was to support the Senior Scientific Affairs Manager and IFST Scientific Committee where I was able to attend 3 quarterly meetings in May, September and January. I also gained so much from supporting different Special Interest Groups (SIGs) like the Food Innovation and Regulatory groups. A large part of my role involved the production of Science and Technology resources and I was able to achieve the following: 3 Food Science Factsheets (Food Processing, Fats and Oils and Safe Handling of Meat and Seafood); implemented changes for the review of 3 information Statements (Campylobacteriosis, Stevia and Dietary Fibre); and supported the creation of 3 Technical Briefs (reformulation for salt, sugars and fats). Others include the novel Food Innovation Toolkit and review of the COVID-19 Knowledge Hub. 

I want to say a special thank you to Natasha Medhurst (my line manager whom I learnt so much from, including her work ethic), the IFST team and the Scientific Committee. I encourage you to apply for the internship if you’re a student as the benefits are priceless! 

Nwando Onuigbo-Chatta, IFST Scientific Intern April 2023 - April 2024