Congratulations to the MPS Class of 2015!

MPS Class of 2015
The MPS class of 2015 recently gathered for a graduation ceremony outside of the Leprino Foods Dairy Innovation Institute at Cal Poly.

Find Us on Facebook

This month, the 17 members of the MPS class of 2015 successfully completed their required summer internships with companies across the U.S.

After passing their comprehensive final exams, we sent the new graduates out into the world.

Student Internship Company Location State
Wanshu Li Grassland Dairy Greenwood Wisconsin
Darwin King Land O Lakes Tulare California
David Einheber Land O Lakes Carlisle Pennsylvania
Kelsey Mock Hilmar Cheese Co. Himar California
Anthony Cervania CDI Turlock California
Mailyne Nguyen DFA Turlock California
Bharath Bollapu Tetra Pak Winstead Minnesota
Sandy Shi Grassland Dairy Greenwood Wisconsin
Sandra Shi Beecher’s Handmade Cheese Seattle Washington
Atul Chitale Tetra Pak Winstead Minnesota
Ricardo Deleo Land O Lakes – Kozy Shack Hicksville New York
Ben Smith Land O Lakes Melrose Minnesota
Jay Jun Xu Dairyvative Reedsburg Wisconsin
Kim Do Land O Lakes Kent Ohio
Anthony Dulaney Land O Lakes Orland California
Haley Imhof DFA Turlock California
Daphne Yu Grassland Dairy Greenwood Wisconsin


But would I have to work in (gasp) California?


Find Us on Facebook

Last night, I attended a graduate school fair at Virginia Tech. The event was well-organized and the meeting hall was packed. I had the pleasure of speaking with several students who would make great additions to the MPS program.

As the evening passed, a chemical engineering student asked a familiar question: where, geographically speaking, would the MPS program qualify one to work? As in, would I have to leave the East Coast?

Today, I met with Virginia Tech Food Science Undergraduate Program Advisor Linda Granata, and she echoed the student’s concern. “This looks like a great program,” she said. “The problem is that students here at Virginia Tech might not want to go to California.”

South Dakota State University students enjoy a crisp January school day.

I have heard these concerns before. Last January, I visited South Dakota State University. The temperature was -15°F, and it was snowing sideways. I’d risked my life driving to the campus from Rapid City. After showing a group of students photos of Cal Poly and the sunny Central Coast, explaining that everyone surfs, and describing how it’s almost always 75°F in San Luis Obispo, one student asked, “if I attend your program, will I be able to find a job back here in South Dakota?”

The lesson, of course, is that we all develop an attachment to the land and the people of our childhood. We acquire a sense of place, and nowhere else quite feels like home. I get that.

So it begs the question: where does the MPS program qualify one to work?

The good news is that the U.S. dairy industry is decentralized. Unlike Technology or Investment Banking, dairy exists across our great country. Every state has a dairy industry, and milk is usually processed close to where it is produced. The reason is that milk is heavy, perishable, and widely consumed. No matter where you live, it makes sense to park some cows nearby.

dairy mapThe top ten dairy states include representatives of several regions of the country. Our MPS students have worked in these states and others, including Colorado, Minnesota, Ohio, Wisconsin, New York, Washington, Pennsylvania, and California. A current student has his sites set on working in Arizona, and another just returned home to a job in China. So if you want to move back home after completing the MPS program, you will likely be able to find a job nearby.

But what if you want to see the world? Some of our industry partners have international divisions, with offices in as many as 80 countries. In short, opportunities exist nationwide and worldwide for our graduates.

As it turns out, the first few years of your career are an excellent time to be flexible about where you work. Most new graduates aren’t tied down by kids and house payments, making moving around easier. And being willing to move around increases opportunity.

A high-level manager at Land O Lakes recently told me that there is no better way to stifle your career than to insist on staying put. If you’re open to relocating, companies will be more likely to invest in your future. Employees who accept far-flung jobs, especially early in their careers, typically advance higher and faster. A few years down the road, they’ll be in a good position to request a specific location where they intend to put down roots.

Students looking down on the Cal Poly campus from Bishop Peak, a popular hiking destination.

That’s all down the road. In the meantime, keep this in mind: if you’re planning to attend graduate school, you’re not likely to find the best opportunity in your back yard. If you’re looking around, take a close look at Cal Poly. Aside from the fact that we’re a world-class university, there just aren’t many better places to spend a year of your life. San Luis Obispo – one of the happiest cities on planet earth!

The 4 Happiest Cities on Earth

If you’re interested in visiting Cal Poly, feel free to contact me at (970) 215-3459 or I’d be happy to show you around!

Tom Photo 2015
Tom Johnson. Program Manager
MPS in Dairy Products Technology
(970) 215-3459 cell

MPS Application Period To Open October 1

Application Page

Find Us on Facebook

Students interested in applying to Cal Poly’s Master of Professional Studies in Dairy Products Technology program should gather their materials and mark their calendars.

The window for applying to the program opens October 1 and will remain open until April 1, 2016.

The MPS program seeks applicants with analytical or scientific degrees, including Engineering, Chemistry, Biology, Food Science, Dairy Science, and Animal Science. No food or dairy experience is required, although students should have completed at least a year of college-level Chemistry and Biology.

The program utilizes a rolling admission process, whereby applicants are evaluated and notified about admission status throughout the application period.

In order to apply, applicants must create an Interfolio account and submit:

  • Online application, including statement of purpose
  • Transcripts from all colleges and universities attended
  • 2-3 letters of recommendation
  • resume
  • GRE scores (subject test scores are not required)
  • International students must submit TOEFL or EILTS scores unless their most recent degree was taught in English

More information about the application process can be found at

Questions about the application process should be directed to Program Manager Tom Johnson at (970) 215-3459 or

2015 MPS Recruiting Season Kicks Off

TWJ Chico
Program Manager Tom Johnson exhibits the MPS program at Chico State University on September 9.

Cal Poly’s MPS in Dairy Products Technology program kicked off the 2015-2016 recruiting season today by exhibiting at a graduate school fair at Chico State University in Chico, California.

The program will exhibit at 26 graduate school fairs this year, at universities throughout California and across the country.

Tomorrow, the program will participate in a graduate school fair at Humboldt State University in Arcata, California. The program will then begin an East Coast swing, beginning with a fair at Virginia Tech on September 21.

Students interested in learning about the MPS program can contact Program Manager Tom Johnson at (970) 215-3459 or by emailing