Career Connections

Karen Valde

Major: Food Science

Minor/option/emphasis: Culinary Science

Year: Junior
Hometown/State: Minnesota

Company/Organization: OSI Group
Company/Organization website:
Title: QA Intern
Destination: Oakland, IA
Timeframe: May 2014-August 2014

Advisor/Coordinator Email:

I was responsible for...
I was given three main projects to complete with my time on the internship. These were decided before I even showed up, but I was able to complete them. My first project was learning about texture analysis. I was trained on a texture analyzer. With this machine, I sheared hot dogs, brats, and sausages to establish standards for each product. My next project was a bacon bits temperature study. On the bacon bit line, I was in charge of seeing how much the temperature dropped during the processing. I also learned how to use two different temperature taking devices. My final and major project was preparing the lab for an ISO accreditation audit. I had to put together and implement some programs into the lab, that followed ISO standards. This also involved finding uncertainty values for equipment used in the lab. This project involved a lot of forms organization and changes.

My most valuable effort...
My most valuable project was preparing the lab for the ISO accreditation audit. I learned a lot about all the tests that happen in the lab, what amount of paperwork goes into the lab, and also what needs to be approved before a product can be released to be shipped. It was most valuable to me because I got to learn the most from this one project.

I will never forget...
My most memorable experience was actually being in a plant. Before this internship, I had never been in a food plant. I loved the plant life and atmosphere, so because of this I want to now work in a food plant.

Advice for others...
Take advantage of every opportunity that they present you with. You may not have all the knowledge to accomplish what you need but ask questions, and it will work out.

I first learned about this career-building experience from...
Just applied on cyhire and took a chance.

I landed this assignment by...
I went applying for internships in March, so I was late when applying, but I applied to OSI Oakland plant as a Quality Assurance intern. Applied on a Tuesday, got a call later that day that they wanted to interview me. Interviewed that Thursday with them, and then that following Monday they offered me a position. In a week, I had gotten my internship. I feel very lucky and grateful to have gotten this internship.

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