Saturday, 21 October 2017


Lay’s has announced the winners of its educational program “Lay’s Academy”, in partnership with the University of Agronomic Sciences and Veterinary Medicine (UASVM) in Bucharest, Romania: Dănuța Popa, Lavinia Rabigan and Adrian Paun. The three winning students will have the chance to work as paid trainees for three months, between September and November, in a PepsiCo plant in Romania, in recognition of their experience in potato chips manufacturing.

The program was structured according to two stages: a theoretical module, which targeted all students enrolled, and a practical stage, which included three workshops at a potato farm in Romania. The theoretical module was focused on potato processing, especially the specific needs of the potato chips. Each team of students created an innovative project on identifying and controlling the potato Stolbur Phytoplasma, which has so far presented a real challenge to researchers. Following these two stages, the students had to pass a practical exam at one of the farms that provides potatoes for PepsiCo.

“We started Lay’s Academy four months ago, as we began work on this season’s crops for potato chips. (…) I’m proud that the results of our efforts are seen today. I congratulate Dănuța, Lavinia and Adrian for their involvement and results and we are glad that we will work together,” said Alexandra Lupaşcu, agro specialist at PepsiCo.

“The first edition of Lay’s Academy was a real success and we appreciate that PepsiCo has thought to invest in our University’s students, who need practical experience and interaction with highly performing companies,” said Prof. Răzvan Teodorescu of UASVM. This first edition of Lay’s Academy enrolled 39 students from the Faculties of Horticulture, Agriculture and Biotechnologies. After these students presented a project on identifying and controlling the potato Stolbur Phytoplasma, 15 were selected for the practical module, participating in a series of workshops on a potato farm.

“Both the prize and the experience of Lay’s Academy has encouraged me to go on in this sector and in my future career. At the same time, this success makes me feel confident that I chose to do something that represents me,” said Dănuţa Popa, a third-year student at the Faculty of Horticulture.

“I registered because I was curious and I had no expectations, but when I was admitted, module by module, I realized what a great opportunity I had been offered. This is an opportunity for me and winning this prize is important for my future career. I’m sure that I will learn many new things from this project,” said Lavinia Rabigan, a first-year graduate student at the Faculty of Biotechnology, with a specialization in environmental protection.

“This award means a lot to me. I could say that it is a confirmation that I have made the right choice in studying agriculture and also represents an opportunity to work with the wonderful team from PepsiCo, a collaboration which will certainly contribute to my professional, and also my personal, development,” said Adrian Paun, a third-year student at the Faculty of Agriculture.

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