Practical work key to success for food scholar

03 March 2021 | Students News

Master’s student and scholar, Ben Bowie, is committed to finding solutions to real-world problems.

His thesis explores how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted on New Zealand’s perishable food exports, which is a key focus of many industry players.

And with the food and fibre sectors constantly calling for more qualified professionals, the Master of Commerce and Management student couldn’t have picked a better area of study.

As a major bonus, Ben was the recipient the 2020 annual scholarship from First Light Foods, New Zealand’s only commercial producer of 100% grass-fed Wagyu beef.

Designed to support Lincoln University students who are studying supply chain management and want to embark on land-based careers, the scholarship provides invaluable practical experience by offering the opportunity to spend a week at First Light’s Hawke’s Bay premises.

“I had a highly rewarding immersion week in Napier, where I gained a first-hand insight into one of New Zealand’s premium food supply chains,” Ben says.

“During my time there, I was lucky enough to visit two local First Light Wagyu beef farms in the Hawke’s Bay region, as well as a meat processing facility.

“I also spent time with every team member to get a feel for each role within the business, from the accountants and finance team, right through to the regional farm managers.

“Everyone was so friendly and welcoming, making my visit all the more special.”

Ben says that gaining practical experience while studying is crucial, as it gives a more accurate perspective of real-life scenarios and challenges that exist within the industry.

“Additionally, it has provided me with insight into each different role within a business and highlighted positions or roles of greater interest. The $5000 scholarship reward has also been very beneficial in supporting me while I pursue my postgraduate studies.”

During his time studying at Lincoln University, Ben has developed a major interest and passion for the perishable exports industry and he knows exactly what he wants to do after he finishes studying.

“I would love to gain practical experience with either a primary producing or global logistics business, providing air or sea freight services for New Zealand’s primary producers,” he says. “This would be a great starting point once I complete my studies.”

Entries for the 2021 First Light Foods Scholarship close on 31 March 2021. Applicants must be full-time students who have successfully completed their first year of study towards any degree with a supply chain component. See our scholarships webpage for more information.