Angel A., Ingredient Specialist I- Flagstaff, AZ
Tell us about your pet featured on the Purina Dog Chow bag alongside you.
That is Jango, he was our first dog and was adopted from the Humane Society in Arizona. He was shy at first, but once we got to know him he really opened up – now he loves attention and practically demands that you pet him. He also has 3 siblings – Odie, Kylo and Bucky.
What is most important to you when considering what to feed your pet?
I want to feed my pet something that is healthy for them and gives them energy. Food that is high quality and made with good ingredients is important, too.
Tell me about your career path at Nestlé Purina.
My field of study was in science and when I graduated in 2014, I thought I would pursue becoming a Vet. By 2015, I applied at Nestlé Purina. I was excited to receive the call, move through the interview process and accept my current role as an Ingredient Specialist.
What made you decide to join Nestlé Purina? What did you do prior?
I worked in the service industry while I was in school and Nestlé Purina associates would come in, they shared it was a great company and there were great benefits. I learned the facility had a lab, which was a great fit given my major. There is also a lot of diversity which is important to me.
What makes working in manufacturing at Nestlé Purina different from other companies?
In my role, I work in a lab setting. I also go out and inspect trucks and rail cars, and take samples of ingredients. Both settings provide a lot of activity which I enjoy and it keeps me engaged in the manufacturing process.
What does your day-to-day look like in a factory?
I work 2nd shift which always begins with a shift handover and I receive a list of ingredients to sample on my shift. I also review the rail car or truck deliveries scheduled so that I can sample and test ingredients as they arrive. If they do not meet quality standards, the shipment is rejected. I test anything from grain, wheat, barley, apples, blueberries, chicken, lamb, salmon to vitamins.
What unique skills make someone successful in the position?
Experience in a lab, first and foremost. You also need great communication skills since you’re constantly communicating with lab partners, team leaders and factory leadership and problem-solving skills. You have to be able to quickly address issues like ingredients not meeting quality standards because, at times, this will impact production which is always tough news to break.
Our Founder challenges us with the ‘Dare to Stand Taller.’ How do you Stand Taller?
I Stand Taller for quality. If we don’t have quality ingredients we don’t have a quality product. This impacts pets on so many levels – their nutrition, their energy, and even their coat!
What advice would you tell someone considering applying for a role at Nestlé Purina?
I would encourage candidates to use their resources – I took advantage of a career advisor at the university I attended to help sharpen my résumé and interview skills. It increased my confidence and taught me how to translate my skills into a role. Also, I am a big believer in thank you notes after you apply or interview for a job.
Outside of work, what are you passionate about?
I am a Marine, I joined 9 months after joining Nestlé Purina. My manager was very supportive, I kept my benefits through training and received transition time and training when I returned to my role. I am proud I can work for Nestlé Purina and serve my country.