Hi, my name is Laura Agnew and I live near Toomebridge. I was delighted to graduate with a 2:1 Honours Degree in Food Technology from CAFRE, Loughry Campus, Cookstown in June 2019.
This year I also had the privilege of being nominated SRC president at Loughry Campus. Loughry really is a great place to learn, study and socialise – of course!
During my time at Loughry I was fortunate to complete my work placement in Cranswick Country Foods, Ballymena. A work placement is a great way to get a good look at the industry whilst also gaining that all important experience for your CV. It also allows companies to see how you cope in the dynamic and fast-paced food industry.
Having completed my 48 week placement, I took part in the YFCU exchange programme where I spent three months in Ontario, Canada. It was a great opportunity and allowed me to have some fun before I returned to complete my final year of studies at Loughry.
During my final year I had the opportunity to participate in the Dawn Meats ‘Great Agri-Food Debate’ in Waterford. Alongside my team-mates, we debated our way to the finals which was a real achievement for us and for CAFRE.
I have been very fortunate to secure employment with Dawn Meats, working within their Graduate Management Trainee Programme. It was so much easier to stay focused for my exams knowing that I already had a job lined up when I graduated.
Loughry graduates are highly sought-after by the food and drink industry and many of us in final year had already secured jobs before graduation.
Studying at CAFRE has not only developed my technical and business skills but those all important interpersonal and communication skills have also improved.
The food and drink industry has lots to offer graduates with the right qualifications and experience and I am really looking forward to a rewarding and exciting career.