After graduating with a degree in food engineering from Middle East Technical University in Turkey, I knew I wanted to work in the food industry. I started my career at one of the largest breweries in East Europe, in Romania. My manager, who happened to be the brewery’s general manager, encouraged me to become the quality manager of the entire brewery. I built a testing laboratory for different sections of the brewery from scratch – from setting up the space and getting the equipment, to hiring laboratory technicians to build the team. The analytical laboratory included beer chemistry, microbiology, beer can and water testing – a large complex of four laboratories in one.
I continued to explore my passion for food by completing a Master’s degree in food science and technology at Texas A&M University in the United States. I continued my work in quality control and assurance working for private and public laboratories in Calgary, Alberta, as well as starting my own business focused on encouraging microbreweries to implement quality control programs.
While I was working in a private laboratory in Calgary, we were externally assessed by an SCC assessor. I really enjoyed their style and how they approached the assessment by building a rapport with us to understand the laboratory’s work. It inspired me to explore the other side of the auditing bench, how I could become an auditor myself and get an opportunity to assess other laboratories in the same industry.