Some students work on Mars rovers on their co-ops. Others study penguins in the Antarctic.
Halle Chernin samples craft beers.
Chernin is a “sensory consumer” co-op at the Boston Beer Company, which means it falls to her to give the taste test to brews made by Sam Adams, Dogfish Head, and new flavors of Truly hard seltzer or Twisted Tea.
But this job is not just one long sampler: She also sets up trial tastings and collects feedback from other employees and the public. Chernin, a neuroscience major who starts her sixth year in the fall, hopes to work for the brewing powerhouse after her graduation.
Maybe this is obvious, but why did you choose this co-op?
I did a food science internship over my freshman year which I really liked a lot. I’m a neuroscience major, but I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go into neuroscience research. I worked at some other jobs and realized I really wanted to get back into food science. Plus, it’s a pretty cool job.
Can you talk a little bit about your job?
I work on a team that develops new products and makes current products better, so I work on testing new products with our employees and then also looking at consumer testing and the results from that.
What’s something cool you learned during this co-op?
There’s a lot of science and nuance that goes into every element of these products—like how carbonated it is, exactly which flavor of lime they use, and exactly how much of each flavor they use. I was honestly surprised at how much I could tell the difference between brands when we tried them next to each other because in a lot of people’s minds they’re all the same.
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Photo by Alyssa Stone/Northeastern University.