What I do: I cascade processes of lean manufacturing throughout the company and lead process improvement initiatives in all parts of our beverage manufacturing facility, collaborating with my counterparts across the globe. I also manage and support new technology initiatives to turn our production plant into a digital/paperless environment.
How I ended up working there: My mentor, Fergus Clydesdale [Distinguished University Professor at the Department of Food Science and Director of the University of Massachusetts Food Science Policy Alliance], at UMass put me in contact with someone at the company whom I ended up interning for, and from there I have taken on many different positions, ranging from sensory science, regulatory affairs, and data analysis.
The best part of my job: My favorite part of my position is the connecting I get to do with associates at all levels of the business to understand the parts of the job that are making them frustrated or that are creating pinch points in our processes. These conversations are open and honest, and I really get to connect with everyone in the business on a personal level.
A recent exciting work experience: We recently developed an application to digitally track all our beverage-filling efforts on an individual scale level in our production facility to better track our performance and progress. We worked with individuals across the world to create and launch the platform at all nineteen of our facilities.
How the School of Public Policy prepared me for my career: The School of Public Policy provided me with an extensive network that ultimately led me to the position I am in today. The skills and mentorship I garnered, particularly in the food policy side of the program under Fergus Clydesdale, led me to look at food science under a policy lens and get me ready for a career where I could successfully meld science and policy. Thanks, Ferg!
Advice to students considering a degree in public policy: A degree in public policy will give you the skills and network to find a career where you want it. If you know the area you are considering working in, I suggest finding a professor who is a subject matter expert in the area and working with them on networking or internships. Those are the experiences that I found most beneficial about joining the program and ultimately launching my career.
Future plans: In April, I started my new position, so for the foreseeable future I will be working in the operational excellence space and garnering skills to help improve the efficiency of our beverage production facility. One of my future goals is to work at another Coca-Cola location in another country.