Student testimonial

Student Nicole Josquin - MSc Food Technology

Nicole Josquin did an internship at a major dairy company in New Zealand for her master Food Technology. She tried to improve the texture and quality of protein rich candy bars. Meanwhile, she fully enjoyed her adventure abroad, and among others, she learned sky diving!

Although I had to work really hard, my internship felt like one big holiday.

“I am Nicole Josquin and I study Food Technology, with the specialisation of Process and Product Design. I have chosen this direction, since I love to work on products. It is well applicable, which really suits me. And I have experienced such during my internship in New Zealand, too. My internship was about the texture and quality of protein enriched candy bars. Such bars have the tendency to become dry and tough if lying on the supermarket shelves for a while. My aim was to develop an improved texture with various ingredients and processes in order to prevent this from happening. Besides the link of my internship with a product, I also wanted some experience at a big corporation. Fonterra, a major dairy concern in New Zealand, turned out to be the one, My internship was at the research centre of Fonterra in Palmerston North.

The atmosphere within Fonterra was really nice. My colleagues were friendly and helpful and I could always have a chat with them. Also, I occasionally encountered my supervisor at the sports centre, which makes for a more personal atmosphere, too. As a student, I was part of the ‘Snacking and Convenience Team’. This team existed of 12 persons and one manager in charge, Pretty soon I was allowed to do practical work in the ‘Pilot plant’ and to create protein bars myself. My internship predominantly was to carry out lots of experiments, among which investigating the texture with pressure techniques, making microscopic plates and to let team members judge products by their senses. As such, it was highly various work, yielding much result. During the four months time really flew.  In the end, specific ingredients and processes turned out to have higher influence on the texture of the bars than others. With my results, I was able to give Fonterra some useful advice.

In the first instance, it was not my aim to do my internship in New Zealand per se. However, I was predominantly looking for a country with both English as native language, and safe to travel around. Via two study mates I got the e-mail address of a contact person at Fonterra in New Zealand. My study mates went there, too, and both their internship and the travelling were much to their liking. I decided to go to New Zealand together with a friend, because of the nice company and we both preferred not to be alone, far from home, at a company we did not know yet. Gradually, I became convinced New Zealand was perfect for an internship. At the start, I struggled somewhat with the language, as they have their own typical new Zealand accent. But during my internship, I gradually became used to it and speaking English became ever easier. Besides my English, also my French and Chinese has improved enormously. We weren’t the only international students and so I quickly found plenty of new friends there.

Although I had to work really hard, my internship felt like one big holiday. In the weekends, it was really easy to rent a car and make some trips outside the city. New Zealand  really has some magnificent nature. I have seen almost any type of landscape, ranging from snow covered mountaintops with glaciers to tropical rainforest and volcanic activity with bowling mud and sulphur fumes. Furthermore, I have strolled about the movie set of the Lord Of The Rings, gained some cultural enrichment at the Maori tribes, and New Zealand happens to be on of the cheapest countries for sky diving, which I have done myself, too. I had two months extra to discover the country. And even where it is a fairly easy country to cross through, I still had to push it to see everything. It was all one big adventure!