Contacts from Ag Career Day lead food science major to internship

Mariah Chuprinski
September 27, 2016

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Armed with a thin binder and several copies of his neatly formatted resume, Evan Azzara entered the Bryce Jordan Center for the College of Agricultural Sciences Career Day last year.

The senior food science major was prepared for the annual event, having visited it during both his freshman and sophomore years.

"In my earlier years, I got a feel for the companies and shook hands with recruiters just to get my name out there," Azzara said. "But it wasn't until my junior year that I landed an internship."

At Ag Career Day his junior year, the Palmyra, Pennsylvania, native met recruiters for Turkey Hill Inc., with whom he had a positive interaction.

"I sent a follow-up email to ask for more information about the company and the internship. The Turkey Hill recruiters were interested in me, so they asked me to interview with them in-person in Lancaster," he said.

Upon successful completion of the interview process, Turkey Hill offered Azzara the three-month paid summer internship, which he accepted. He worked as a research and development intern.

"I dealt with challenges that came up associated with products, traveled to suppliers of the raw materials, and assisted in the creation of innovative new products," he said.

In addition, Azzara helped to develop new ice cream flavors. "The flavors I worked on should be in stores in 2017 if everything works out," he said.

During the internship, Azzara saw concepts he learned in his food science classes applied in real-world situations, and he found he was well prepared for the position. He enjoyed the people he worked with and became fond of some of the company's suppliers and brokers.

"The internship solidified my desire to pursue food science as a lifelong career. I'm considering graduate school to study the science further," he said. "It's a good field to study because people will always need to eat!"

This year, Azzara plans to attend Ag Career Day again to shake hands and confer with more employers and perhaps secure a full-time job with another food company upon his graduation this May. He stressed that Ag Career Day — to be held Oct. 11 at the Bryce Jordan Center — is an excellent venue for any undergraduate looking for an internship or full-time job.

"I wouldn't have gotten my internship with Turkey Hill without Ag Career Day, because the company does not recruit elsewhere. The employers at the event are looking for Penn State students. We're qualified, and they want us," he said.

For more information about Ag Career Day, go to the event's website or contact Richard Rateau at 814-865-7522.

  • Azzara at Turkey Hill plant

    During the internship, Azzara saw concepts he learned in his food science classes applied in  real-world situations. He helped to develop new ice cream flavors that should be in stores in 2017.

    IMAGE: Penn State

(Media Contacts)

Last Updated September 27, 2016