Sarah McFarlane

Sarah McFarlane

Microbiologist, DB Breweries
Bachelor of Science in Microbiology

Her interest in microbiology started at a young age, says AUT Bachelor of Science alumna Sarah McFarlane.

“My dad got me interested in homebrewing, and I soon discovered that I was really passionate about yeast and bacteria. It’s fascinating how something so small can have a big impact on things.

“I enjoyed studying science in high school, and had passionate teachers who encouraged me to further my study and pursue a science degree at university.”

Follow your passion
Take every opportunity and find what you’re passionate about, Sarah advises other students.

“I initially started studying at another university but soon realised that the degree there was more medical-based, which I wasn’t really interested in. I liked that AUT had close links with industry partners, and a strong focus on food science and the industrial application of microbiology.”

The final-year research project was one of the highlights of her studies, Sarah says.

“In my final year I undertook a research project to explore how different yeast affects beer. I enjoyed that I was able to research something I was passionate about and could apply the knowledge that I had learned throughout my degree.”

The confidence to succeed
After graduating at the end of 2017, Sarah now works as microbiologist at DB Breweries.

“My role is a mix of working in the lab and the brewery to ensure the quality of the beer DB Breweries produces. I love that I’m part of creating something that people enjoy drinking, and that there is always something new going on at work.

She frequently draws on the skills she developed at AUT in her career now, Sarah says.

“I was able to transfer the tools I learned during my time at AUT into the working environment. The skills I developed throughout my studies have helped me identify problems and have given me the confidence to offer solutions.

“I also continued my study, completing a general certificate in brewing from the Institute of Brewing and Distilling. This helped me tie my microbiologist knowledge into what is relevant in the brewing industry.”

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