German Chocolate Factory Hires More USU Food Science Interns
By Ysabel Nehring |
Following a successful internship by Utah State University student Josie Sorensen, a German chocolate company has selected three additional USU students to complete internships at the Halloren Chocolate Factory in Halle, Germany.
Rachel Davis, Jaylee Bastian and Mary Kellem will each complete an on-location internship during the 2022 spring, summer and fall semesters, respectively. All three students are currently pursuing bachelor's degrees in food science and have experience working at the Aggie Chocolate Factory.
The internships include a small stipend, paid flights, and room and board. Former interns have cited the experience as an advantage during job interviews and a door-opener for future educational and career opportunities.
A son of and a father to Aggies, Darren Ehlert is the owner and CEO of a chocolate group that includes Delitzscher Schokoladenfabrik, Halloren Schokoladenfabrik, and Bouchard.
"It is not hard to find people who love chocolate at any university on the planet," Ehlert said. "However, USU students actually understand the science of chocolate, and that is important to us."
Ehlert recruited students with hands-on experience at the Aggie Chocolate Factory. He also cited USU's world-class food science professors as an important factor in choosing USU students.
"How many North American students can say that they did an internship at premium European chocolate factories?" Ehlert said. "Our hope is to provide unique opportunities to students who are ready to work hard and embrace the host culture."
Although distance and language barriers limit the effectiveness of the internships as a recruiting tool, Ehlert still feels that his company benefits from working with USU interns.
"The interns keep us young and smart," Ehlert said. "I am grateful for the warm relationship USU and specifically Dr. Silvana Martini has with us. The Aggie Chocolate Factory was really a magnet of interest for me because I found it to be particularly bold for a university to do such a thing."
Ehlert, who describes himself as a "crazy Willy Wonka BYU Alum entrepreneur," hopes to establish a lasting partnership with USU and the Aggie Chocolate Factory.
According to Ehlert, his chocolate group as a whole produces more than 500 million dinner mints per year — enough to place a track from the factory in Germany to Seoul, South Korea, and back again, and second only to Nestle. They also produce nearly 200 million chocolate bon bons annually as well as Mozart Kugeln (an Austrian confection made with marzipan and dark chocolate), taffy, and many other products.
Halloren's chocolate products are sold on all inhabited continents. The company even has a distribution warehouse in Orem, Utah.
Future internship opportunities are very likely. To learn more about them or working at the Aggie Chocolate Factory, contact Silvana Martini at Silvana.Martini@usu.edu or visit USU Handshake to view open positions. For more information about the food science major, visit the undergraduate food science website or contact academic adviser Dawnetta Mahnken at Dawnetta.Mahnken@usu.edu. Appointments may also be scheduled online.
Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food Sciences, Aggie Chocolate Factory
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