A Chat With…Patrice Ann-Marie Lyon, Multiple IFT Divisions


Patrice Ann-Marie Lyon



Graduate student pursuing master’s degree in Food Science at Kansas State University


IFT Division(s) to which you belong:

Carbohydrate Division, Dairy Foods Division, and the Product Development Division


How did you go about finding internships?

There are several ways to find an internship. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. IFT Career Center
  2. Company websites
  3. University (e.g., Career Fair, Career and Employment Services, Food Science Department)
  4. Websites (e.g., Indeed, CareersinFood, Glassdoor, Simply Hired, and WayUp)
  5. Word of mouth – Network!


What’s the craziest experience you’ve had at one of your internships?

I was learning how to spread a chocolate layer using the correct amount without getting it on the outside of the cookie. Boy, spreading chocolate on one side of the cookie is not like spreading peanut butter on a piece of bread! Liquid chocolate is hard to control where it goes and how it goes on the cookie. It is a very messy experience and I became a connoisseur of these cookies to get rid of the evidence!!


What is your favorite perk and worst pitfall of your internships?

Internships have helped me identity what areas I would want to pursue in my future careers. The hardest part is finding a place to live that I can afford based on my hourly rate of pay. Some of the ways I have been able to find my housing are:

  1. Through the company
  2. Craigslist and newspaper ads
  3. Through friends and family members
  4. Search online for property management companies


Questions to ask the company before starting your internship:

  1. What is the dress code for the company?
  2. Do interns receive any benefits (e.g., overtime, retirement, paid holidays, etc.) from the company?
  3. Does the company provide a housing stipend?
  4. Does the company pay moving expenses for relocation?


How did you make your first dollar?

I made my first dollar mowing lawns and pulling weeds for family friends to pay for my mountain bike, which I still own today. Also during the same time, I raised a 4-H market lamb named Leah for the Latah County Fair. The money from numerous county fairs helped me pay for my tuition while pursing my bachelor’s degree in Food Science at Washington State University.

Why did you join an IFT Division?

IFT Divisions offer me an opportunity to gain mentorship, to build my network, and to increase my level of knowledge in the area of my interest. Click here to discover which IFT Divisions are right for you!


What is the best career advice you have gotten?

The best career advice given to me was to keep my options open and pursue new opportunities when they arise.

What is your favorite food?

I have too many favorite foods to list here. After all, I am a Food Scientist.

You can connect with Patrice in IFT’s online community, IFT Connect and by email at plyon@k-state.edu.

Science Meets Food

The IFT Student Association (IFTSA) is a forward-looking, student-governed community of IFT members. Through competitions, scholarships, networking, and leadership opportunities, you’ll set yourself apart from your classmates (unless they’re members too).

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