Written by Gagandeep Verma
The food sector is growing at an immense pace and more students are getting involved in the food processing sector. Employment opportunities are also increasing in India due to the efforts of MoFPI (Ministry of Food Processing Industries), Govt. of India and various events like World Food India (WFI), 2017 which have brought in investment of $11.25 billion in food processing sector.
With employment opportunities increasing in the food processing sector, the industry has increased the demand for skilled professionals. Hence, there is a need of internships for undergraduate students to gain industrial experience and exposure to food processing industry.
The students involved in various undergraduate courses of Food Technology are provided with opportunities to get industrial exposure either by their college/university or by their own. Students should get involved in summer trainings provided by various food industries across the country or long term internships (6 months) which provide them an opportunity to learn about the work culture of any industry and do some projects to gain exposure.
WHERE TO FIND AN INTERNSHIP?
Students can get involved for internships in R&D, Manufacturing, Quality Control, Sales & Marketing, Teaching and Consulting within the Government etc. The popular sector which can provide internships include Food Manufacturing & Processing (Grains, fruits, vegetables, fish, meat etc.); Bakery & Confectionery Industry; Beverage Industry; Dairy Industry; Poultry Industry; Breweries; FMCG; Pharma-Biotech; Agro-Biotech; Food Supplements and Nutraceuticals; Healthcare; Academia & Research Institutes; Food Packaging Industry; Food Retail.
Internships help you see the real face of any industry. Either you have to get a job after your undergrad or you want to go for higher studies, internships will matter a lot in your entire career. The first benefit is that you are able to get work experience in the program you’re studying and you’ll be building your resume with relevant experience. Secondly and probably most importantly, you begin to increase your network in that industry.
We all know practical knowledge is far more important and a better way to learn what we study in the classrooms, hence, these internships provide you the opportunity to implement you knowledge and work for the betterment of the industry. Many students take some useful projects during their internships related to waste reduction, improving the efficiency, development of new products, improving the quality of products etc. which help them in future to get a job in the food processing sector and building their CV.
HOW TO FIND AN INTERNSHIP?
Some students might feel it difficult to get a summer internship in any industry but the best possible way to get into an industry is to build a strong resume and sending it to the HR head of the plant/industry where you want to do your summer internship. They may conduct an interview to test your knowledge and skills. The other way to get into an industry is by having some contacts with the people working in the industry which can help you get an opportunity there.
Many students don’t feel the importance of internships in their UG and suffer later but it is true that any company will prefer a student who has more work experience and has done some projects in his/her UG than others.
I hope you find your internship soon and excel in the field of food technology. Wishing you all the best for your future.
B.Tech- Food Technology and Management student at National Institute of Food Technology Entrepreneurship and Management (NIFTEM), Sonipat, Haryana