An Inverurie student now has her dream job eating ice cream for a living thanks to her degree from Abertay University.
Following her graduation, Lauren Stuart is now working as a Technical and Quality Technician for Mackie’s of Scotland.
This was despite having undiagnosed dyslexia and dyscalculia throughout primary and secondary school, and not finding this out until second year at university.
Lauren said: “I initially went to university to study Food, Nutrition and Health but the first two years were joined with a Food and Consumer Science degree which was lucky because it taught me much more about the food industry. So I swapped degrees at the end of second year.”
A key part of Lauren’s degree was a three-month industry placement at Mackie’s of Scotland.
She said: “My placement allowed me to learn about two main areas of the food industry that I was extremely interested in but couldn’t decide between: quality and technical.
“I was allowed to create a Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points – or HACCP – plan for Mackie’s new chocolate factory, which was an amazing experience.
“I carried out environmental sampling as well as reviewing labelling to ensure it complies with regulations. I also got to eat lots of ice cream – who can complain about that!”
Lauren also found that Abertay’s size offered other advantages: “It enables students and lecturers to have a better relationship,our lecturers knew most of our names rather than identifying us just as numbers. Its student support is remarkable.
“In my first year I managed to pass all my modules, but it was an extreme struggle and I knew I had to ask for help, as I was convinced I wouldn’t make it to second year.
“I went to Student Services and highlighted my concerns and they were very understanding. I was officially assessed and a week or so later I received a report highlighting the extent of my dyslexia and dyscalculia.
“Without the support from Student Services I wouldn’t have finished my degree, and I wouldn’t be working in the job of my dreams.”