MS, Food Science and Human Nutrition, FSHN

January 2, 2013

It is an undisputed fact that science and technology pervade every sphere of our lives, with many consumers taking for granted the input of food science in their everyday lives, even on an hour-to-hour basis.  For years, the seeming miracles of food technology have attracted me, the problem solving, and need for analytical thinking.  Without food technology, the US military could not enjoy chocolate in desert conditions in Middle Eastern operations, and MREs would simply not exist.  And when things go wrong, as just this month with the salmonella outbreak from peanut-butter-based products in Blakely, Georgia, it is food scientists who are called upon for answers and future checks and balances, as well as reassurances of minimizing the propensity of such outbreaks in a food that otherwise simply does not carry salmonella.

The field of Food Science is inherently transsystemic in its approach to resolving the myriad challenges that producing food and food products from the farm to homes, industry or institutions. My interest in science was not born of an impulse or even a reflection of some inborn trait.  As a teen, I spent hours studying the sciences, beyond the classroom.  Today, I bring with me an academic foundation that is truly interdisciplinary – biochemistry, botany, zoology and chemistry – reflecting a zeal for the sciences that has been tempered by professional research into and applications of food science.

 With over a decade of conceptual continuity in my scholastic and industrial experiences, I have the ability to work autonomously or as a part of a multidisciplinary team of scientists and their supporting staff.  Indeed, I have systematically advanced into positions with increasing responsibility, culminating with my managerial experience in a small-scale food industry, a position that would have been impossible to achieve without having first completed years of research chemist work with a pharmaceutical company.  Moreover, my managerial experience has increased my interpersonal and communication skills, self-efficacy, as well as being goal-oriented within an environment that is definitively deadline oriented.  Working within the commercial food industry gave me the chance to identify the needs of my company, design solutions and implement them, while maintaining a critical eye on minimizing cost, and maximizing productivity and therefore customer satisfaction.

 I would like to take this opportunity to explain the extenuating circumstances that led to the extended amount of time it took to complete my undergraduate degree, and subsequently not complete my graduate exams.  In the pursuit of an undergraduate degree, my father suffered a lengthy period of ill health, and it was I who attended to the majority of his daily needs.  At the time, the impact was tremendous and I did not attend my final exams, returning to my studies three years later.  I experienced the same anxiety when approaching my graduate finals.  It has taken me several years to get to the point I am at now, emotionally and psychologically prepared for the opportunity and challenge of a quality graduate program.  Proof of my seriousness is evident in my having spent several years developing my professional exposure in the field.  Moreover, the fact that I did not sit my graduate finals did not in any way impact the quality of my academic biochemistry experiences.  Furthermore, my professional career has exposed me to specific areas that I want to explore further, and in greater depth, the impetus for my pursuing a Masters in Food Science.

 It is a natural and logical step on my part, to search for educational opportunities to enhance and develop my career, as well as bring my plans for the future to fruition.  XXXX is my sole choice for academic development, the gateway by which I can become an exemplary Food Technologist.  The opportunity and flexibility of the extramural and part-time Food Science program is the ideal fit for my current lifestyle.  Coupled with this are the autonomy, breadth and exposure of the graduate program combined with amazing faculty serving a truly unique program and diverse student body.

 I look forward with great eagerness to this next chapter of my life.  Thank you for your time and consideration.

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