Outreach Expert – Katie Lanfranki


Hey there!

My name is Katie and I am former classmate of Adam’s Cal Poly Food Science Alumni, and new professional.

I joined the wonderful  “My Food Job Rocks!” team in hopes of helping young adults better understand the opportunities available in the food community, while also assisting them in finding their passions and successfully acquiring their dream jobs.

Having transferred majors into Food Science my junior year of college, I immediately felt confused and behind compared to my peers. While some had already experienced two summers of food related internships, all had taken numerous food science classes, leaving me, a former mathematics major, far in the dust.

How was I ever going to land an internship, let alone a job, when I was so far behind.

I was panicked. I was freaked. I was a nervous wreck.

But I knew I didn’t want to go back to being a math major and spend hours working on partial derivatives, multiple integrals, and vector analysis.

My solution? Dive head first, and put everything I had into catching up to my classmates and learning the skills necessary to compete, yet alone survive.

So I began attending the Food Science IFTSA Club meeting, joined a product development team, and started inquiring about research positions. While I still knew nothing about food science and could not even explain to others outside the major what the definition of food science was exactly, I turned to classmates, upperclassmen, professors, and professional organizations to help mentor me through the process.

So that’s why I am here. I understand first-hand the challenge of trying to navigate the food science community and figure out exactly what you want to, or even can do with our degree.

Since diving into our field, I have been an active member of the Institute of Food Technologists Student Association in which I held numerous leadership positions as well as participated in food development competitions. Interned, and now worked, for multiple companies in our field. Participated in undergraduate research, production, and teaching, and much more.

Having thrown myself into our field our the past few years, I believe I have become well versed in successfully navigating our industry as a student and new professional. Whether the goal be to learn about possible opportunities with a food science degree, landing an internship, applying to graduate school, or entering the workforce; I have been there and would love to pass on my learnings.

I currently work for South Coast Baking, Co. as a Research & Development Technologist where I develop, as well as maintain the development, of new and improved products.

You can listen to Katie’s episode here.