Student Spotlight: Taruna Sanghi
Taruna Sanghi is a senior scientist in the Consumer Science Department with Mondelez India Foods Pvt Ltd in Mumbai, India. Sanghi worked in new product development for a decade before transitioning to consumer science. “I realized that I lacked first-hand access to sources of information utterly important to my NPD task – consumer psyche and feedback,” she said. “This sparked a desire in me to start learning consumer science in greater detail beyond the limited exposure that my development role had to offer.” She decided to pursue a career in sensory and consumer science and joined the Consumer Science Department at Mondelez.
However, despite her background in product development and a Master’s degree in food science and nutrition, Sanghi felt her training was inadequate to perform successfully in a Consumer Science function. “I knew the names of the sensory and consumer tests we conducted and what to expect out of them, but an in-depth understanding of these and the confidence to select the right kind of test and recommend them to other developers was missing.” Inspired to expand her knowledge of sensory and consumer science, Sanghi decided to enroll in the Applied Sensory and Consumer Science Certificate Program. “This program offered exactly the kind of content I was looking for.”
Since completing the certificate program, Sanghi has been able to directly apply what she’s learned to her job. “Understanding the basic principles on physiology of human senses and the subtle differences between varied types of sensory tests helped me design these tests more efficiently, while the statistics portion helped me strengthen my skills on analyses and interpretation of data from these tests,” Sanghi explained. “I have begun to successfully apply my learnings from the course in my day-to-day job with greater confidence.”
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Sanghi was particularly impressed with the quality of the instructors. Their wealth of knowledge and insight, along with their detailed feedback and approachability, enhanced her learning experience. “Interacting with some of the pioneers in this field was most valuable,” she said. “They showed genuine commitment to ensuring the growth of their students. With their help and guidance, I feel well-equipped to handle consumer science in my organization.”
Sanghi says she would recommend the program both to newcomers and those with some experience in consumer science. “This program has given me the much-required self-confidence to pursue a successful career in this field,” said Sanghi, “Professionally, I feel my capabilities as a consumer scientist are now seen as something gained, not just out of experience, but with a solid academic foundation as well.”