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Career development and continuous education in food safety and quality

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Angus86

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Posted 25 May 2022 - 02:11 PM

Hi all, 

 

I'm lucky to now be a part of a company that makes career development paths a priority, including weekly & monthly 1:1 check-ins with management. 

 

I'd love to hear the paths, education, development or other resources people in this industry utilize and strive for. What types of topics do you like to discuss with managers in 1:1's, what are your favorite educational resources, favorite conferences? 

 

What is your ultimate career path/aspiration? 

 

Thanks! 



kfromNE

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Posted 25 May 2022 - 02:32 PM

Location? Type of products? Type of position?



Angus86

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Posted 25 May 2022 - 02:42 PM

Location? Type of products? Type of position?

 

I'm specifically in the US in food, beverage and supplement manufacturing. However, I'm not only looking for my industry,  I would like to learn what others are learning to explore and expand. 



Brothbro

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Posted 25 May 2022 - 03:48 PM

Hi svnh.bell, you're in a lucky spot! It's great when management makes development a priority. 

 

I would start by getting signed up for some certification classes relevant to your desired career path. Since we're on IFSQN, you might be interested in HACCP, Better Processing Controls School, SQF certs, etc. Maybe your company would be willing to send you to these courses if the team could benefit? 

 

For me, 1:1s are a great time to pitch projects to management. I do mine with the CEO, so although he doesn't have a lot of food safety/technical knowledge, he can prioritize spending and shift the budget as needed. Thankfully, he trusts my guidance on what quality issues need to be addressed! If you do your 1:1s with someone who shares your field, you'll be able to get their input on your project ideas as well.

 

As for development, it circles back to projects for me. I learn the best when I actually do something or need to tackle a real issue. I can't just read about something and feel like I know everything about it. So if you're looking to develop your skills, think about how the business could be improved from the perspective of your skillset. How could things go faster, safer, or more consistently? It all starts by identifying a problem, perhaps a bottleneck in the current production or testing process. Let your manager know you think you've identified an area for improvement in the process and that you're brainstorming solutions to propose. You'll find you can learn a lot by attempting to solve these problems.



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Kara S.

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Posted 26 May 2022 - 01:01 PM

Love this! Mentoring and encouraging continued education is something that should be more common. I started in food safety (and still in food safety) but I was able to dabble in a lot of other departments as well. I was lucky enough to be in an environment that allowed me to work on "side" projects or help out because I wanted to learn more about another area of the business. So I have worked closely with supply chain (procurement, scheduling, shipping) and operations when I worked for manufacturing facilities. I almost moved to Ops because of those experiences. I was at a large company so corporate would also post opportunities for projects you could volunteer to be on to gain new skills and experiences as well. 

 

Some resources or programs I have gone to or looked into include:

 

Dairy

  • Cornell - Dairy Foods Extension Programs
  • Penn State's Ice Cream Short Course
  • NY Ag & Markets 
  • IDFA 
  • 3A SSI has amazing free training modules 

Bakery 

  • AIB International 

General Food Industry 

  • MSU - Master's in Food Safety 
  • Illinois Institute for Technology 
  • FSPCA 
  • Alchemy Academy (think they changed their name???)
  • SQFI has been doing free webinars/ discussions lately

Kind regards, 

 

Kara Scherer 

Food & Beverage Industry Consultant

LinkedIn  |  Webpage

 

 


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jkoratich712

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Posted 26 May 2022 - 02:12 PM

My employer strongly encourages me to stay informed, allowing me to do whatever trainings and/or conventions that I'd like each year. Some of the best training I have done was from Commercial Food Sanitation. They offer three courses - Sanitation Essentials, Hygienic Design, and finally Advanced Food Industry Leadership Training. The courses are in New Orleans and are a combination of hands on and theory. We have sent multiple people from our company to the various courses, and have the first two as required courses for new managers joining the company. 



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kfromNE

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Posted 26 May 2022 - 02:31 PM

Another option. Integrated Food Systems Leadership Program

 

https://ifsl.umn.edu/



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kfromNE

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Posted 26 May 2022 - 02:34 PM

Learning another language - specifically the one of the common languages spoken in your facility besides English. Goes along way with employees.


Edited by kfromNE, 26 May 2022 - 02:34 PM.


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