Internship Spotlight : Sustainable Foods at Shiru

Serene Laing, A’22 who completed an Interdisciplinary major with focus on Food Studies, shared the following about being an Intern at Shiru…

What did you do as an intern at this organization?
During my time at Shiru, a sustainable food company in the alternative protein sector, I worked as a Product Development Intern. I supported the team while spearheading an independent project focused on formulating a vegan meat product featuring OleoProTM, Shiru’s innovative fat ingredient. I refined flavor and texture of old demonstration products while creating a new demonstration product to showcase OleoPro TM’s capabilities. Additionally, I conducted crucial sensory panels that guided process development and formulation decisions.

How did you find this internship?
Drawing from my previous experience in the alternative protein industry, I used my network to discover opportunities. Through LinkedIn, I found Shiru’s internship posting and reached out to a contact at the company for an informational interview, which led to a conversation with the hiring manager.

What did you enjoy most about your internship?
I really enjoyed the independence that I had during my internship at Shiru. I was able to drive my own project, make my own calls, and build my own schedule. Given that I had a previous experience as a Research Associate at Impossible Foods, I was ready for this level of independence and appreciated being handed the reins by my manager.

What did you find challenging?
I grappled with feeling disconnected from the larger company while intensely focused on my project. Despite contributing to sensory panels and refining demo products, my role was primarily project-centric, occasionally leaving me feeling isolated.

What advice would you offer to someone who wants to make the most of an internship like yours?
To make the most of a similar internship, I recommend networking beyond your department. Building a comprehensive internal network during your internship can open doors to future opportunities in different companies by leveraging the connections you establish.

About the Organization

Shiru was founded by Dr. Jasmin Hume, an expert in alternative proteins with a passion for sustainable food.  The Shiru team now includes biochemists, data scientists, business development professionals, and others who want to help solve the biggest threats facing humanity: global warming, biodiversity collapse, and our public health crisis. We share a mission and a sense of urgency.

By Malakia Silcott
Malakia Silcott Associate Director