Meet Maria Liu:
Maria Liu is a fourth year University of Guelph co-op student majoring in Food Science and minoring in Nutritional and Nutraceutical Sciences. She currently is completing a work term at Caldic as Junior R&D Specialist, where she has gained a mix of lab, computer, and customer service experience with the various projects she has worked on, while contributing to food research in Canada. Maria discusses her role and research at Caldic, favourite memory in this Co-op role, and the skills she has gained while working in the food industry.
What is your role at Caldic? What are your main responsibilities?
“My current role at Caldic is Junior R&D Specialist. My main responsibilities include assisting the Sweets and Dairy Team with customer requests and internal projects.”
Is this your first co-op work term? If not, what others have you worked and what was your role in each?
“I have only had one other co-op term at Rich Product Corporation. I was a product development student in the Bakery department, and my main responsibilities were to formulate different flavours of savoury rolls and cookies. It was a very delicious and sweet co-op term!”
What does a typical day at work look like for you right now?
“Every day is a little different, that’s why I love working in the food industry. When I’m not formulating at the computer, I’m in the lab conducting tests or developing samples for customers.”
What is the most interesting part about your co-op job?
“The most interesting part about my job is that I get so much exposure to a variety of ingredients. I get to learn about how these ingredients interact with each other and the purpose of certain ingredients in food products.”
What types of skills and knowledge have you gained from this co-op work term?
“Everyone here at Caldic is extremely knowledgeable and I have learned immensely from them. I was trained in starches, gums, proteins, fats, sugars, etc. During this past year, I have also become proficient in a range of Quality tests that I wouldn’t have otherwise learned from school.”
Do you have a favourite memory so far working at Caldic?
“One of my favourite memories was when another co-op student and I formulated drinks for a webinar. We received praises for our development work and it felt rewarding to know that my work is making a positive impact on the company.”