- Studied: Bachelor of Horticultural Science and Master of Agriculture
- Now works as: Assistant Grower, D’vineRipe, South Australia
Ben Smider completed a Bachelor of Horticultural Science degree (the precursor to the Food and Agribusiness degree) in 2007, and believes that a strong grounding in sciences gave him an excellent start to a career in the food industry. “I think once you have a solid grounding in science it’s much easier to understand and develop the practical aspects in the workplace, and that’s what Sydney gave me,” says Ben.
Ben says that it was not just Sydney’s strong science reputation but the University’s contacts with industry that attracted him. “Sydney University has forged great relationships within the food and agricultural industry. I was very lucky because the University has access to lots of networks and it gave me the opportunity to meet people across a diverse range of workplaces. I would really encourage students to take every chance they have to get experience during the course and to network – that really helped to open my eyes to different career paths.”
Ben went on to complete a Masters of Agriculture, specialising in sustainable horticulture. He recently started work as an assistant grower at D’vineRipe, a sustainable tomato glasshouse in South Australia. “In my role I’m responsible for developing growing strategies and minimising pest problems. We supply the country’s three biggest wholesalers, so it’s a big responsibility, but one I feel prepared for,” he says.
Ben firmly believes that the new food and agribusiness degree will open many doors for graduates. “There is a real shortage of talent in the field, and I think there are tremendous opportunities for students who enrol in this new program,” he says.