Technical and R&D Manager, Yashili New Zealand Dairy Co. Ltd, Pōkeno
Postgraduate Diploma in Science student
Bachelor of Applied Science in Food Science
He enjoys seeing the products he has been involved with in shops, says food science alumnus Xiao Wu who is now a technical and R&D manager for Yashili New Zealand Dairy Co. Ltd.
“I’m always very proud when I see any products I’ve developed on the shelf in a store or when I hear people discussing the products I’ve been involved with.
“My role is very challenging but also very interesting. I’m involved in the development of new infant formula products. This involves talking to our customers, suppliers and internal departments like our manufacturing and quality control departments. A lot of my work is dealing with different people with different working styles, and working collaboratively to deliver key outcomes and meet the project timelines.”
A desire to work in the dairy industry
Xiao’s passion for food science was first sparked when he arrived in New Zealand as an international student from China in 2005 and realised the great opportunities a career in the dairy industry could offer.
“After learning about New Zealand’s primary industries, I knew that I wanted to work in a dairy business and decided to study a food science degree to help me achieve this. When I was in high school, I heard people talking about AUT being a really practical university with a strong industry focus. That was a major reason why I chose to study at AUT.”
It's decision he certainly hasn’t regretted.
“While I enjoyed many aspects of my studies, the highlight for me was my graduation ceremony in 2011. That was very inspiring. I’ve now decided to return to AUT and enrol in postgraduate study to help me extend the scope of my career.”
Advice for other students
Xiao has some great advice for other students who are just at the start of their university journey.
“I think it’s very important to be clear about what you would like to achieve, and then use all your resources to try and achieve it.”
He would also recommend postgraduate study to working professionals who want to stay up-to-date on the latest developments in their field.
“I think it’s always better to have a higher degree for your future career development.”
*The Bachelor of Applied Science is now called Bachelor of Science.