Fi-May Low

Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Advanced Studies (Food and Agribusiness)(Honours)
Fi-May is currently completing her honours year and has undertaken an internship program at MAURI as part of her degree, learning about flour production and the food industry. She shares her study experience and advice.

Why did you decide to study Food and Agribusiness?

I decided to study food and agribusiness at the University of Sydney because I enjoyed food technology in high school. It was the subject I always excelled in, especially in the HSC. I have always been interested in food and believe the food industry plays an essential role in everyone's lives. Everyone needs food to survive, and as we move into a more health-orientated society, people are becoming more and more aware of what they eat. 

Also, I find it so fascinating that with the development of new technologies, we can create new food products (i.e. lab-grown meat, plant-based mince) and understand more about the science behind how ingredients function together. Most people take for granted how much effort goes into producing the food we eat every day, so it's a privilege to learn about it and make a difference!

What was your biggest highlight working with MAURI?

My biggest highlight working at MAURI was making friends with their staff and understanding everyone's role in the different departments. The team at MAURI were very friendly, welcoming and shared so much knowledge with me! It was amazing to learn about how wheat gets milled into flour from start to finish and the function of different machines at each part of the production line.

What skills did you develop during your internship?

The biggest skill I got to develop at MAURI was my Quality Assurance (QA) skills. As I got to work with the QA team every day, I learnt much about what metrics determine the quality of flour and how to test those metrics. I also strengthened my 'people skills' and became more open-minded about trying new things!

What was your biggest insight about the industry?

My biggest insight about the industry was understanding the scale at which the flour was being produced. Watching the tons and tons of different types of flour being milled over the whole day made me realise just how much food we produce and consume daily!

Do you have any advice for students interested in studying Food and Agribusiness and preparing to do an internship?

The food and agribusiness course is quite enjoyable, and I highly recommend it. It can be challenging at times being a science-heavy course, and I wish we got to learn more about food and agriculture in the first and second years. However, the food science units you get to do in the third year are super exciting and relevant. This course offers many opportunities to gain valuable knowledge, and there are great job prospects. 

I chose food and agribusiness as I was still determining what I wanted to do in the future. As the course is quite broad, it enabled me to explore both avenues when deciding what career path I wanted to take. Also, you get the chance to do honours and try research if you are interested in it!

My biggest tip for students preparing for an internship is to be bold and ask for different opportunities. If there is something you see and you want to know about, ask your manager! There is never any harm in asking; you never know until you try!