Looking at some of the internships for food science majors early in the year can help you learn when to apply to these programs. Many colleges give students course credit for the internships they do, and you can usually finish your program in the summer or in the middle of the school year. These internships are available at local companies and for major manufacturing companies too.
Regulatory Research Internship
One of the top internships for food science majors is something called a regulatory research internship. These internships are often available at food science companies and in the local government. A regulatory research assistant will work with a scientist to ensure that all workers follow the regulations put in place by that organization or department. You may need to take detailed notes, write reports, supervise other workers and occasionally work in the lab.
Quality Assurance Internship
Quality assurance is one of the most important jobs found in any food company. When a company releases a product like a frozen dinner, it expects every dinner that rolls off the line to taste exactly the same. Customers who move or travel often want to know that they will always have the exact experience. That is why many restaurant chains hire interns to work in quality assurance jobs. You’ll have the chance to walk the line, see the products put out, sample items and ensure that the quality remains standard across all items every day.
Food Scientist Internship
Food scientists do research on all aspects of food production. They often look as packaged and fresh foods for signs of contamination or toxins that can make people sick. Food scientists also perform tasks like inspecting food processing companies for signs of federal law violations, identifying new ways to package convenience foods and improving distribution channels around the world. Though the Bureau of Labor Statistics puts the medial salary for food scientists at more than $62,000 a year, interns may receive class credit in lieu of a salary. Some internships for food science majors at the graduate level provide interns with a weekly paycheck.
Though most of the internships that you find are through employers in the United States, there are other programs available in foreign countries. Spending a semester in Mexico, France or the United Kingdom will give you a unique perspective on what food scientists do in those countries and how the regulations in those countries differ from those used in America. You might work for a marketing firm in New Zealand to learn about how specialists market new types of food, or you might accept an internship for a candy company in Britain to see how the company creates new foods and tests those products.
Some of the top internships for food science majors are available from big name manufacturing companies like Tyson Foods or ConAgra Foods. ConAgra Foods is the parent company behind brands like Swiss Miss, Hebrew National and La Choy, while Tyson Foods produces fresh chicken and chicken products. These companies hire interns to work in their marketing, food processing and other departments. Interns can work in a production facility and see how the company makes some of its top products, but they can also work in a testing facility and learn more about the steps that companies take before releasing a new product.
Food science majors can work in dozens of different fields, including as product developers, marketing experts and quality assurance specialists. Doing at least one of the internships for food science majors during your college years will give you experience in one of those fields.