A Q&A with one of the 750 students who received a diploma Dec. 14 at UW-Stout:
Name: Jay Flanery
Hometown: Plymouth, Minn.
Major: Food science and technology
Awards, honors: Magna cum laude, Chancellor’s Award 2017-2019
Why did you choose UW-Stout? I chose UW-Stout to continue my education because it was the closest food science program that I found while researching four-year colleges to transfer to. The transfer coordinator helped me find a way to transfer my credits in the best way, and the tuition was very affordable.
What are the biggest obstacles you faced in earning your degree? My biggest obstacle was the lack of support that is offered in my field. CareerLink did not list any opportunities in Minnesota for food science when I was looking for an internship and listed food service jobs at restaurants in Wisconsin as food science jobs due to bad filtering. I spent almost a whole academic year emailing and calling different companies before I was able to find a place to do my required cooperative experience here. A lot of online job sites and people outside of the food science field think that food scientists are cooks or food service workers, which can make it hard to find a place to work.
What stands out among your college experiences? I was lucky enough to be assigned a roommate that I really clicked with my first year at Stout, who ended up being my roommate the whole 2½ years I was here. I was able to meet students who have turned into close friends and who have supported me all the way through my time at Stout.
What’s next? I’ve got a few interviews lined up for companies in the Twin Cities that all sound like interesting opportunities. After finals, I’m sure I’ll also want to spend some time catching up on sleep.