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Christabel Aryeetey, M.E.E.I '17

The Art – and Engineering – of Chocolate Making

One week after she finished her Master’s of Engineering Entrepreneurship and Innovation (M.E.E.I.) in 2017, Christabel Aryeetey landed one sweet gig.

Hired as a process engineer with Ferrero, the world’s third largest confectionary, Aryeetey began a two-year on-the-job training assignment as part of the company’s Industrial Graduate Program.

“My role allows me to directly contribute to the product, as I try to reduce waste, contribute to productivity and strive to find new ways to optimize the process of making chocolate,” she says.

After completing the first year of the program in Brantford, Aryeetey has now been moved to Germany to continue her training at a factory with a much wider range of products.

By the end of the year, she’ll be ready to work at any one of Ferraro’s factories around the world, ensuring the chocolate is manufactured with the quality and consistency that has built the brand.

For Aryeetey, who was born in British Columbia but raised in the West African country of Ghana by her mother, the opportunity to reduce waste and improve sustainability in the food industry is hugely motivating.

“When I was growing up, I never saw Africa as starving,” she says. “Instead, what I saw was waste and I couldn’t understand why food would go to waste while people were hungry. Studying engineering so I could understand machines and work in the food industry was crucial, so I could find a solution to this problem.”

While engineering job opportunities were readily available to her in Ghana, Aryeetey’s decision to return to Canada to seek out her roots on her father’s side meant she needed to build some networks in this country. She says the MEEI program offered her that, along with new skills and increased confidence.

“Having been raised by a single parent and a working mother, I have seen my mum’s work ethics and try my best to emulate her in my day-to-day life. My future will definitely include breaking a few glass ceilings, as I want to create more opportunities for women in the workforce.”