Maria Benvenuto | Graduate & Postdoctoral Studies

Maria Benvenuto

Food Safety & Quality Assurance at Guelph grad student, Maria Benvenuto

2019 MSc FSQA

Alumni Profile: Maria Benvenuto, 2019 FSQA MSc


Food Safety & Quality Assurance

Current Employment...

I am currently employed with Abbott in their Nutrition Division and have been with them since December 2018. I was working as a Sales Representative (of nutritional products to Health Care Professionals), with hopes of moving into Regulatory Affairs, and my wishes came true about 2 weeks ago. I am now working within the company as a Regulatory Affairs Specialist.

Guelph's MSc FSQA...

I would say that having a MSc has been very helpful in the general sense by giving me a leg up from other candidates when applying for jobs. For example, when applying to roles internally I have seen hiring managers regard the MSc more highly than the BSc alone. In my current role, I work on food labeling and claims and we work with products that are marketed internationally. My work within the program on international food regulations/regulatory bodies (and their comparisons and contrasts) has been helpful thus far in my understanding of what is acceptable in different markets and why. We also reference the CODEX and work with Natural Health Products, which were covered extensively in one of my elective courses. Although I now work in Regulatory Affairs, quality assurance is a large portion of regulatory submissions, therefore understanding the quality components of foods and why/how they are controlled is important. The knowledge I gained in food processing through multiple courses has also given me a strong base for understanding different food additives and processing aids and their purpose within various foods. I reference CFIA regulations/guidelines extensively in my current role, and the program did a great job of introducing me to the CFIAs role in the Canadian food landscape.

Furthering Education...

I am furthering my education with a Pharmaceutical Regulatory Affairs and Quality Operations (RAQO) graduate certificate at Seneca College. This is a part-time program I am completing as I work. Seeing as I ended up in the pharmaceutical industry, I wanted to be able to expand my options in the area of regulatory and quality, as we have many other divisions at Abbott, such as diagnostics and medical devices.