Ndaindila Haindongo

MSc Food Safety, Hygiene and Management, 2019
Food Safety Specialist and Bioeconomy Consultant, Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations

I am currently compiling a report on alternative proteins innovations and good bioeconomy practices to contribute to the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO) initiatives of transforming food systems for healthy and sustainable diets. The aim of the project is to critically appraise the social, environmental, and economic impacts of alternative proteins food and feed purposes. I am also providing support to FAO's work on plastics in agriculture and food systems; as part of this work I co-authored section of a book on the impacts of plastics on food safety.

What is the best thing about what you are doing now?

I love that every day is a learning process, I am fascinated by the knowledge that I accumulate each and every day. I love what I do and it is difficult to point out what exactly qualifies as "best". The ultimate beauty lies in being part of the fight against global hunger. The UN is culturally diverse environment, I love how I am continuously enhancing my multicultural skills.

Ndaindila Haindongo

How has your career developed? 

Before enrolling for my MSc, I was a quality manager for 2 years at an abattoir, then a quality supervisor at a dairy plant in Namibia. I have always wanted to obtain my MSc and conduct research to add to the pool of knowledge. I then enrolled for my MSc at UoB, which was one of the best choices I ever made. 

How did your time at University help your career? What was your biggest influence?

I have always been passionate about food safety and I still am. Studying at UoB was a paradigm shift in my career projections as I got an in-depth understanding of food microbiology and the link between food safety and security. One of UoB's ways of assessment (essays) has equipped me with the ability to critically appraise research papers and write a good report. Because of my research project, I can proudly say that I am an independent researcher. The biggest influence is that my MSc degree got me to work for my dream organisation, the FAO.

Why did you originally apply to Birmingham? 

Birmingham has a great global reputation. I was also looking for a University that is research driven and University of Birmingham was the perfect choice. Birmingham is a multicultural city and it is at the heart of the UK.

We Are (Third Width)

What motivates you?

My family plays an important role in all I do, who I am and who I want to become, I come from a very close-knit family where we support and inspire one another. Societal challenges, especially food insecurity and food safety are another aspect that motivates me to learn, relearn and unlearn the system and explore how we can better it. I am also motivated my life story, my purpose, excellence and by me continuously striving to be the best version of me for the world we live in.

What are your fondest memories of the University and did you get involved in any extracurricular activities?

My fondest memory of UoB was the welcoming week! There were so many cultural rich activities on campus. Another one was graduation and taking a picture in front of Old Joe with my graduate classmates. For extracurricular activities, I was my class representative and a student ambassador.

What advice would you give to current students studying on your degree programme?

The university has various activities for students, just visit the Guild of Students! I would also advise you to think long term when choosing your optional modules as they pave the way to your future employer. Your personal tutor is always ready to help you where he/she can - make use of this service. The dissertation period can be quite intense and challenging but trust me, you will proud of yourself in the end.

Top tip from Ndaindila

“Your journey at UoB is what you make it. Work hard, have fun, make friends and cherish every moment. Enjoy your stay at Brum and say hi to Old Joe!”