We caught up with Dr Stephanie Brooks, our amazing Senior Implementation Manager in Belfast, to discover her secret TV addiction and her new project to improve transparency in the food sector. 

1. What attracted you to your chosen career path?

My career hasn't exactly been a linear one, but my interest in food and agriculture has always been there as the main attraction. I always enjoyed sciences such as biology, home economics and consumer science in school, so it seemed like an obvious choice to pursue an undergraduate degree in the Food Science area. Since then I've worked in industry, academia and tech, with the overall focus always being food and agriculture, just from different angles and perspectives. I've found it all immensely rewarding - from the fast-paced environment of the food factory floor and the more analytical approach of academia through to the innovation and implementation of technology in the food sector.

2. What has been the proudest (or most accomplished) moment of your time with Foods Connected so far?

It would have to be seeing Trace Connected go live after more than two years of really hard work by the team - both in development and implementation. Being involved in innovation projects, where something is built from scratch and eventually delivered as a viable product is so exciting and something for everyone involved to be really proud of. Recently, being able to stand up at events and conferences and share that journey, talking about what we've achieved with Trace Connected has been really special too.

3. Tell us something not many people would guess about you

I think most people would say I am an extrovert. I'm a pretty open book, I'm outgoing and I get serious FOMO! Everyone knows about my love of Crossfit and anything physically challenging, and that I may not be quite as good at the healthy eating bit. But you have to find your balance, right? As sociable as I am, at the weekend you'll often find me channelling my inner introvert and binging on reality TV (the “leave your brain at the door” type), so that I can recharge for another week of extroverted shenanigans.

4. What advice would you give those looking to kick-start a career at Foods Connected?

Get stuck in! Don’t think twice about getting involved. If that means you are hesitating applying, don’t. Foods Connected is a wonderful place to work and is an extremely fun and supportive environment. We also have lots of entertaining activities, charity events and social occasions throughout the year.

5. What are you most looking forward for the rest of the 2023?

I'm really excited to continue developing Trace Connected further and expand it into other sectors beyond food, exploring new markets. Also, I'm really looking forward to seeing the company grow in general and the opportunities that this will bring.