Congratulations Class of 2010

The Senior Year Experience

Senior Matthew Schroeder, Chemistry major and Spanish minor, will attend Virginia Tech for his master's degree. Beginning in August, he will be enrolled in a two year program for the food science and technology program.

Schroeder was accepted by Virginia Tech, Ohio State and Tennessee, but chose to attend Virginia Tech because all of the little factors added up to make a perfect fit. Schroeder will be given full tuition for his two years there, he already knows students who attend Virginia Tech, and he will be closer to his sister, who is located in North Carolina.

Schroeder admits he is a little nervous about the transition from Muhlenberg to Virginia Tech, and is anxious to go from a small school to a large one. However, his mind is at some ease because his program consists of only 40 students. He will still be in a fish in a big pond, but since his focus is on a specific area, he will feel right at home.

For two summers, Schroeder interned with McCormick, a major food corporation and company with flavor expertise. The first summer, Schroeder was a lab technician, where he learned and understood patterns in the food recipes. During the second summer at McCormick, Schroeder was more research-oriented. Schroeder had multiple research projects; he conducted a six-week research project on stability, to see how long an individual is capable of tasting the flavors found in food or drinks. He then conducted a ten-week research project on solubility of different food and drink products. Schroeder had to answer to his advisors, but ultimately these projects were completely done by him. The projects were entirely his research.

Working at McCormick prompted his interest in food science and technology. For food science, there can be the focus on the science aspect such as biology and chemistry, or there is the nutrition aspect. Schroeder gravitates toward the chemistry side of the food science because he is interested to see why certain foods and drinks taste the way they do. He found his research at McCormick to be enriching, because he was able to apply everything he has learned at Muhlenberg to his projects.

Schroeder definitely left a good impression at McCormick, so he is going to continue to remain in contact throughout his two year program. After he obtains his master's degree, he hopes to work at a major food corporation, and he would be happy to return to McCormick.

Once he knew his desired paths, Schroeder went to the Career Center for help when applying to Virginia Tech. They critiqued his resume, and helped him to set a time line of when the applications needed to be completed. Since Schroeder is very busy with classes, being a captain on the men's lacrosse team for the past two years, and a tour guide, he knew he had to begin early with his applications.

"Seek help. Everyone at Muhlenberg is willing to help you along the way, so seek their help," says Schroeder. "Also, figure out early what direction you want to take. The earlier, the better."

There is much excitement approaching for this soon-to-be graduate. Schroeder cannot wait to start this new chapter in his life, because he is doing exactly what he wants to do and could not be more thrilled.


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