VandeBunteHave any plans to go get ice cream? While you're in line to choose your flavor, think about the industry behind it. Kayla VandeBunte '15, a strategic communication major, thinks about it on a daily basis in her job as Marketing Coordinator at National Flavors. They create flavors and yes, she gets to test them!

Q: What is National Flavors and what do you do there?

A: At National Flavors we make flavors for candy, beverages, coffee syrups, ice cream and other dairy products like milk or yogurt. I do a wide variety of things from creating brochures, going to expos and trade shows, and doing research on trending flavors and trending food in the industry. I also do some social media and internal events for the company.

Q: What is the most unique part of the job?

A: The industry itself is not something that you would immediately think of being neccessary. Now that I work there I realize how pertinent what we do is to creating different ice creams or teas, popsicles or yogurt for people. I get to do a lot of taste testing of our flavors, which is really fun. We just created a flavor call cucumber serrano pepper that we put in ice cream. It was really fun to taste the flavor and then to taste it in different applications - in ice cream and then in a gummy bear. I use how I perceived the flavor and then talk to my fellow employees about how they perceived it because different people will taste things differently. I combine those perceptions with the tasting notes from the chemists who create the flavor, and with creative language use try to persuade people that they should try this flavor in their product.

Q: Is there a specific lesson from a CAS class that has been valuable to your job now?

A: In PR & Advertising class we had these assignments for our readings to write haiku poems based on the chapter material, which taught us to really narrow down our thoughts and make things concise for a reader. In our world today people are running around like crazy so they don't always have time to read a really long press release, for example. So you have one or two, maybe three sentences to convince them why they should go with your company, or why they should choose a specific flavor for their product.

Q: How has it been starting a brand new job and a brand new industry soon after college?

A: It's a great job to have out of college because it's a smaller company, but there is a lot of trust established even though I've only been working there a short amount of time. It's a good opportunity to start at an entry level position and as I learn more about the company and they learn more about me, I can grow with them. I think it will be a good stepping stone to maybe working in a job higher up the ladder in the future in a larger company.