by Maggie Stanton
Our alumni in the food science and industry program come from a wide variety of backgrounds and experiences. Jeffrey Maiden already had experience in the food industry, but he wanted to take a different direction.
Now a Food Service Manager for K-State Housing & Dining Services, Maiden was originally enrolled in a culinary program. He worked as a chef in Los Angeles, but found that the 70-80 hour workweek left him with very little free time. Looking to continue his education in a related field without the long hours, Maiden found that food science and industry lent itself well to the 40-hour workweek.
“I appreciated the number of options that existed,” said Maiden when asked what drew him to the program. He also cited the excellent location and accessibility that the food science and industry major provided.
Wanting to stay in Manhattan following graduation, Maiden applied to be a Food Service Supervisor through Housing & Dining Services. Management, however, saw his potential and informed him of another vacancy, leading to where he is now.
“It’s never the same,” said Maiden about why he enjoys his work. Constant product testing, recipe development, and problem solving keep him on his toes. Having never lived in the residence halls himself, Maiden said learning the ropes provided a new experience in a supportive environment.
Maiden advises food science and industry students to take on internships early in their undergraduate career, adding, “It’s never too early.” He also encourages students to begin networking before they graduate and be patient during the job-hunting process. If a student is well prepared and organized, it opens up a world of possibilities.