Lizzie Heiser, 2015

Lizzie Heiser left The Abbey in 2015 and now works for Pladis as Lead Product Development Technologist. 

When did you leave and where are you now?
I left Abbey in 2015 to study Food Science and Nutrition at Leeds University.  After graduating I decided it was time to have a bit of a break and moved to Whistler in Canada to ski and travel. When I returned to the UK I got my current role, working as a product developer for Pladis, who make McVities, Mini Cheddars, Jaffa cakes and lots more. As a product developer I take a product brief, test recipes and eventually scale it up to work in the huge factories that create our food 24 hours a day. Every day is a mix of manufacturing, ingredient science and sensory analysis to develop products that a consumer will buy over and over. It’s incredibly rewarding to see a product you have created yourself on the supermarket shelves and carrying a project from an idea in your 
head, through its entire development to someone’s shopping basket.

What do you miss the most about The Abbey?
The support you get at the Abbey is fantastic and really allows everyone to be themselves. Something I often used to take for granted but looking back all the staff were eager to see us all do great things. What would you say is your biggest achievement? Other than seeing strangers buy my products in the supermarket, it would be moving to a new country on my own. I was absolutely terrified the moment I landed in Vancouver with no house or job and without knowing anyone. Aftera couple days of mindlessly wandering around trying to figure out how to get a phone or set up a bank account however, things became second nature and I made some amazing memories and friends for life.

What advice would you give to current students?
You don’t have to do what everyone else is doing! In fact, doing something different to everyone else is what’s going to make you stand out and succeed.