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Day in the life of an R & D Intern

Day in the life of an R & D Intern


To get a sense of what a typical day is like for a Research and Development Intern, take a look at a day in the life of Ashley who worked in the Corporate Office in Willmar, Minnesota.  This is an entry from her tenth week at Jennie-O Turkey Store. 


7:30 a.m.

Arrive at work and punch in. Log onto computer and check my email for any new messages. Meet with Jennifer and Eric, my mentors, to see what formulations they need my assistance on.


8:00 a.m.

Begin weighing up ingredients for whatever formulation needs to be completed (smoked sausage, breakfast sausage, tenders).


9:00 a.m.

Go into plant to the processing side to collect necks and skins for my main project.


10:00 a.m.

I prepare different intervention treatments on necks and skins in pilot plant. Then the necks and skins were dipped in these treatments for different time intervals. The necks were then run through the pilot plant grinder to obtain smaller particle size. The treated necks and skins were taken into the kitchen and placed into individual sample bags to test for any pathogens.


11:30 a.m.

After all 61 samples were prepared, I boxed them up and sent them to the lab to be analyzed.


12:00 p.m.

Take a lunch break.


1:00 p.m.

Start mixing up meat and ingredients that were weighed in the morning. Depending on what kind of meat product I was making for the day I would prepare the machines by putting the parts together that had previously been removed for cleaning the day before. For example, if we were making smoked sausage the meat would be stuffed and then placed in the oven to cook.


3:00 p.m.

Go to a cutting, where I get to taste tenders that I helped make the day before. At the cutting representatives from marketing and R&D taste the product which was reformulated to see how sodium reduction affected the overall flavor of the tenders. Here I got to learn what the next step was to take in order to get the desired flavor in addition to reducing sodium. Whether that was to change the method of how they were made or to try another ingredient, Jennifer and Eric always informed me how to troubleshoot to get the desired product.  


3:45 p.m.

I receive an email from lab from the previous day’s collection of samples. I move this email into a folder holding all the results from previous days. At the completion of this project I will compile these emails and write a report on the findings and make conclusions based on the results.


4:00 p.m.

I start to clean all the equipment parts and utensils used to prepare the products for that day. All areas that I prepared the meat are cleaned and rinsed.


4:30 p.m.

Log off of computer and punch out for the day.