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Joanna Lacey

When did you graduate?

I graduated from the Food Science and Nutrition degree in 2009 with a second class honours degree.

In my final year of university, not only did I spend plenty of time in the Library but I started looking for job opportunities in the food and nutrition industry and mid-year I was applying for all sorts of graduate schemes across the country.

What did you do after you graduated?

Towards the end of my final year, I came across a job advertisement for a local community based food initiative running from a small charity working with children, called Kids’ Cafe. I had really taken advantage of the services available at Northumbria in relation to ‘the interview process’. Along with all the advice from Northumbria and my experience in a similar setting I was offered the job and started straight away in August!

What are you doing now?

Due to funding problems at Kids’ Café I have now changed jobs and work at another Newcastle based charity called East End Health, which works with schools and communities across Newcastle with the hope of helping to improve people’s health and understanding of food and nutrition. 

I am the coordinator for a project called North East Food Discovery (, as well as working on other East End Health projects such as Jamie Oliver’s Ministry of Food North East, and our most recent development of Food Adventures Holiday Clubs (

How did you get your degree relevant job?

Getting a job after graduation is hard work when you are up against thousands of other graduates. I made sure that I was looking and applying for jobs throughout the whole of my final year of university, and I really used the student services available for CV writing and job interviews.

What did this process entail?

For my current job I put a lot of work into the application process, which involved everything from writing an initial request for an application form, completing the application form, preparing an interview presentation and the actual interview process itself.

How did your degree/PhD at Northumbria benefit your career?

My degree was an essential requirement for the position I have at the minute, and I have found that I have used knowledge from every aspect of the Food and Nutrition course (even the Risk Assessment module!)

Do you have any interests or achievements you pursue outside of your career?

I love my job, and food is pretty much what I do both in and outside of my career. I have learnt so much more about food and nutrition in the community from being in a work setting.

Is there anything else you would like to add about Northumbria University?

I had a great time at Northumbria University, I still keep in touch with a lot of friends from uni who all have food related jobs too, from New Product Development, Food quality assessment, Community Cooking, and some people have even gone onto postgraduate Dietetics too.

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