Career examples

"The master's program...has contributed to the professional competence I have today."

  • Angelina Karstensen
    Angelina Karstensen

Angelina Karstensen is a graduate from the master's program in Food Science at NMBU. She works as Quality Assistant at Findus Norge AS headquarters in Oslo. 

"The master's program...has contributed to the professional competence I have today."

Tell me a little about yourself. 

I am 30, married, and live in Oslo. I took a bachelor's degree in food technology at NTNU in Trondheim, before I applied for the master's in food science at NMBU. I completed my degree in 2018. I enjoy several activities such as slalom skiing, rock climbing, and spending lots of time with friends and family.

How did you become interested in dairy technology – why did you take your master's with this group?

I became interested when I took my bachelor's degree. I really liked the idea that one simple raw ingredient, milk, could be refined and processed further into a wide spectrum of products. Dairy technology is a large discipline, and without doubt it's KBM that has the best expertise in Norway, so my choice was simple. 

Angelina's "Kesambar" was made in the dry lab as a product development assignment for Practical Dairy Technology (MVI386).
Angelina Karstensen

Can you tell me a little about your master's thesis? 

My master's thesis was written in collaborating with TINE SA, and had to do with the production of a type of Camembert cheese. Prior to setting up my experiment, I took a trip to TM Dovre where they produce different types of white mold cheeses, to learn a little more about the production process in practice. Afterwards I spent many hours in the pilot plant and in the laboratory to produce cheese and analyze samples. There was a lot of trial and error as I went, which resulted in a sharp learning curve, and exciting results.

A ripe gouda cheese from a production experiment in Dairy Technology (MVI383A), made in the pilot plant.
Angelina Karstensen

What are you doing now? Can you tell me about your journey here? 

Now I work at the headquarters of Findus Norge AS, as Quality Assistant. Findus is part of Nomad Foods Europe, which is Europe's leading company in frozen foods. I work with many different tasks, such as approving product specifications in line with legislation and Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP). I also work closely with the quality team in Europe; we last met in Vallodolid, where Findus Spain's factory is. 

It's an exciting job, where you work closely with the different business departments. There are several other former students from KBM working at Findus. 

After my studies were finished, I continued to work in the side job I had the whole time I was a student, while I looked for a job inside the food industry. Eventually I got an offer to take a leadership position at that workplace, and stayed there until the end of 2019, when I got the offer for the position in Findus Norge AS.

On-site at the Findus Spain factory in Valladolid.
Angelina Karstensen

What was the transition from student to working life like for you? How did your master's degree prepare you for the job you have today? 

I have worked ever since I was 16, so it was no problem. The master's program, on the other hand, has contributed to the professional competence I have today. This knowledge is essential in the job I have today, and I use this knowledge every day. 

If you hadn't started at Findus Norge AS, what else could you have considered? 

I really enjoy the job I have today, and I wish to further develop myself professionally here. So right now there's nothing else I could imagine doing. 

Do you have any tips or advice to give to a student about study direction or master’s program?

Choose the courses and assignments that you think are exciting. This will give you extra motivation to work hard. 

What about tips as far as a career further down the line?

The same advice applies here as well; find something that appeals to you and that you will enjoy. 

Can you say something about career options for people with your educational background in Norway?  

The career options are many, and exist in many places in this country. 

Interview edited for clarity and length.

Published 12. May 2020 - 14:18 - Updated 15. August 2020 - 17:57