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Emma’s on target for food career success

November 7, 2022

Emma McCombe first joined Loughry six years ago as a National Diploma student. Now in the final year of the BSc (Hons) Degree in Food Technology programme Emma is excited about her future in the food industry.

“During the second year of my degree, I applied for the bursary that ABP Food Group were providing for students.  I was lucky to win the £1,000 bursary to help towards my living costs. The added bonus was the bursary also offered a year’s work placement with ABP on the Newry site.  Great new for me as I have a keen interest in beef production and regularly show commercial cattle at Agricultural shows.  I knew ABP would provide a great work placement opportunity, linking agriculture and meat production.

My placement didn’t disappoint. My role within ABP was mainly within the Technical and Laboratory departments. The staff were fantastic ensuring that I got experience in every department. This allowed me to identify the area in which I would like to pursue my career.  Opportunities were offered to me to spend time on other sites within the ABP Group; at Linden Foods Dungannon, and ABP Lurgan.  Furthermore, the staff were so friendly and helpful everywhere I went, they all taught me so much.  What I enjoyed the most from placement was learning the whole process from farm to fork- I could not believe how little waste there is throughout the entire process. 

As my placement progressed, I developed problem solving, decision making, organisational skills and my technical knowledge evolved.  Consequently Management within ABP  recognised my skills development and gave me an opportunity to apply for their Graduate Programme.  I was successful in getting through the interview and I have secured employment and a place on their programme. It’s a great feeling knowing I have a job as I follow into my final year at Loughry Campus. 

The red meat sector is a fascinating part of the Agri-Food industry, and I am really excited about my career with ABP.  I am so thankful to ABP and Loughry for all they have done for me. Through knowledge and skills development Loughry students hit the ground running. I’m one step closer to achieving my dream job,” commented Emma.