FeedBack is a reflections blog authored by the AFI-HQP Grad Scholars on their experiences in the program. Domenique Mastronardi, Peter Zytner, Dharamdeo Singh, Kasra Ghasemi and Puja Lamichhane are 2021 HQP Scholars. They are sharing the lessons they learned while working with an industry partner for their group project in the UNIV *6050: Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Agri-Food Systems course.
In September 2021, we partnered with De La Mer Fresh Fish Market, a Toronto-based premium fish retail chain looking to increase its packaging material’s sustainability. Through this partnership, we ended up learning skills that we will take with us on our journey into the workforce. Let’s dive in!
How and When to Ask Questions
For individuals working in a group, it can sometimes feel daunting to ask for help. Thoughts like, “I don’t want to bother them” or “I don’t want to seem lazy” can prevent group members from asking for the help they need. Our team was lucky to have a diversified network, including a knowledgeable advisor and industry partners that we could lean on for support and advice. We learned to ask questions concisely and respect each other’s time while still utilizing the expertise of each group member.
Cost Should Be at the Forefront of Research
There are a lot of awesome innovative sustainable solutions out there, but they don’t mean much if no one will buy them. This course taught us to bridge the gap between finding the best scientific solution and identifying what people will buy.
The Skills You Learn in Undergrad are Useful
We’ve all wondered, “Why am I learning this? Why is this useful?” in one class or another. Here are some skills we learned in our undergrad studies that we used in this course:
- Conducting quick scientific research used to be a time-consuming task in our undergrad classes, but we applied this skill in our group project to effectively research and learn about our topic quickly.
- We learned how to use different platforms to organize files in our undergrad classes. This skill enabled us to make files easily accessible to everyone in the group, which was useful since some group members were in different time zones and had to work independently.
- Presenting data efficiently in lab reports was strongly emphasized in our undergrad classes. We used this skill to present survey data that was unbiased and easy to read.
There is fun to be had in any teamwork situation, even when deadlines need to be met. In the UNIV *6050 course, we have made new friends and learned new lessons to carry with us into the next phase of our academic and professional lives.