We have a special guest for you today. A top scientist at an amazing food company who’s had an amazing journey. He grew up in Nandi, a district in Kenya, went to China for graduate school, and now lives in Germany! Or as he says it, made in Nandi, formed in China and refined in Germany
He’s a pet food scientist in one of the most well-known companies in the world and he really digs home on the importance of the petfood industry. So if you want to at least look into the petfood industry, this interview is for you. Hey, I made petfood at my last job, and that industry makes bank.
This is a long one, a bit dense as well, but Seroni, has a lot to offer in his wisdom. After all, his motto in life is “Just DO it, make mistakes. Learn from them. Recalibrate and move on”.
I apologize in advance for any audio issues. When editing I say a lot of uh-huhs. If that bothers you, let me know by sending a quick email saying “stop innerrupting”
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Seronei Chelulei Cheison is a Kenyan from Nandi County, the source of Kenya’s world-beating long-distance runners. Born to a very poor family, Seronei nearly missed school as he started off as a herdsboy hired by wealthier families than his grandmother with whom he had relocated at the tender age of five. After starting school at the ripe age of nine, he went on to top his class through primary, high school and university. Eventually he went to China for his MSc & PhD graduating Summa cum Laude at China’s premier food school (Jiangnan University).
It was while in China that Prof.Dr. Ulrich Kulozik of the elite German university, Technical University of Munich. Seronei was shortly offered an opportunity to pursue the German Habilitation leading to an award of Venia legendi and certification to examine and supervise PhD candidates as well as teach Food Biotechnology. His passion is protein chemistry and enzyme technology. He was the first African to be awarded the honour by the TU Munich, which qualifies him for full professorship in a German university.
Seronei moved on to Mars Global Petcare, a subsidiary of Mars, Incorporated where he leads Ingredient innovation in the company voted 99 on the Fortune 100 Best Places to Work for (http://fortune.com/best-companies/mars-99/). Seronei also mentors and supervises industrial attachment interns who pursue their research in ingredient innovation. Seronei lives in Germany with his wife Ednah, three children Kiptoo, Cherop and Kipchumba and their two year old male cat, Simba. He is widely published with over 25 peer reviewed papers, one book chapter and several honours including Best Of Mars which he received in 2015.
His motto in life is “Just DO it, make mistakes. Learn from them. Recalibrate and move on”. He says that his Made In Nandi, Moulded In China and Refined In Germany makes him a child of “Three horns”, a cultural confluence that helps him navigate the exciting multicultural environment in a very traditional company like Mars. Seronei invites students to apply for internships at Mars’ many business segments and worldwide network and find out what exciting opportunities there are in the corporate world.
What We Talk About
– Difference between Germany Education versus Chinese education: Germany works as a pyramid system. A phd student has about 5 to 10 masters student. Relationship is more formal in Germany
– Seronii speaks 5 language
– A food has to be loved by the owner and the pet
My Food Job Rocks: I like it when people buy my products
What is your job title?: Research and Development – Global life Sciences and technology
Any Advice for working in another country?: Always try to speak the language (Senonei speaks 5 languages: Nandi- his mother’s language, swahilli, official language,English, Chinese, German). Greatest asset you have in life is being multilingual
Food Trends and Technology: Pet food borrows heavily from the human food segment
One thing you’d like to know about: Epigenetics
Favorite Quote: You are what you eat, if you eat trash you become trash. Food is your medicine
Advice in the industry: Give petfood a shot. You won’t have to eat it