ICPF: TOUGH TIMES DON’T LAST, TOUGH TEAMS DO

This 2020 hiring season for student interns and new graduates has to be the most tumultuous and uncertain one in well over 60 years.  Student internships in some regions have been eliminated or reduced in duration to ensure safety and health.  For the same reasons, the hiring of new graduates in some areas has been postponed.  However, throughout the country the International Corrugated Packaging Foundation’s (ICPF) corporate partners have been creative by making modifications to continue recruiting the next generation of managers and executives.  

When reflecting on the resilience of the corrugated packagng industry, it brings to mind the banner currently displayed at the entrance of the WestRock paper mill in Hopewell, Virginia. 

TOUGH TIMES

DON’T LAST,

TOUGH TEAMS DO.

ICPF continues its mission to promote the corrugated packaging industry to students.  The talent pool for the next generation continues to grow. The stories of a cross section of the students recently recruited by the industry through ICPF so far this season follows.  

Emily VanderMoere, Michigan State University (packaging science major – May ‘20) has accepted a position with Green Bay Packaging as a structural designer.  “I feel very fortunate to have a job right after graduation and that’s thanks to ICPF” she says. “The Student/Executive Dialogue Dinners in 2019 and 2020 were extremely beneficial to me by hearing advice from industry leaders and expanding my network. At ICPF’s dinner this past February, I met a Green Bay Packaging executive which led to being hired as a designer.  I strongly encourage fellow students to utilize the ICPF’s resources and check out their career portal at careersincorrugated.org.”  

Sophia Luettke, Clemson University (packaging science major and sustainability minor – December ‘19) is a management trainee at Packaging Corporation of America (PCA) in Salem, Oregon. “While studying packaging at Clemson University, I became interested in sustainability, material use, optimization, validation, design and transportation.  My education taught me about the applications of corrugated packaging and showed me a career path that would align my interests and knowledge.  After joining ICPF’s corrugated packaging career network on social media, I uploaded my resume to ICPF’s Career Portal where I applied for a PCA GIFT position that gives new graduates experience in various positions within corrugated manufacturing to ensure well-rounded employees.  By using ICPF’s Career Portal, I was able to jumpstart my career and connect with the employer in a more personal manner.  The trust we built allowed me to take a leap of faith and accept a position across the country knowing I’d have a second family excited to welcome me in.”

Cameron Stowe, Michigan State University (packaging science major – May ‘20) has been hired as a management trainee at WestRock.  “In February of 2019 I was fortunate enough to be nominated to attend ICPF’s Student/Executive Dialogue Dinner where I had the opportunity to meet phenomenal executives from many companies, including WestRock.  As a result of the dinner and my new contacts, I acquired a WestRock summer internship in 2019. Upon graduation this summer, I will be starting an 18 month WestRock management training program where I will learn from various departments and branches in the greater Chicago area. Without my experience from the ICPF dinner, I would have never gained such valuable opportunities from such an incredible company. I am looking forward to meeting other packaging professionals and making a difference in the corrugated industry!”

Annie Schaubel, Michigan State University (packaging science major – August ‘20) has accepted a position with Hood Container Corporation as a sales trainee in Chicago, IL.  “I originally started out as a biology major, but after learning about the School of Packaging at MSU, I was intrigued. I couldn’t be happier with my decision after making the switch.  I first attended the ICPF Teleconference on the Business of Corrugated Packaging & the Career Opportunities in 2018, where I learned about the abundant opportunities in the corrugated industry. In 2019, I completed a co-op with Packaging Corporation of America. After attending ICPF’s Teleconference again in 2020, I signed up for ICPF’s career portal because I knew that I wanted to continue my career in the corrugated industry. The career portal is a great tool to use for getting exposure to corrugated companies, whether it is for internships or for full time positions.  I want to thank ICPF for all of the help in my job search. I am very grateful for this opportunity as a recent college graduate, and I am eager to start at Hood Container Corporation!”

Alvin Naduparabil, Rutgers University (packaging engineering – May ‘20) has been hired as a GIFT management trainee at Packaging Corporation of America (PCA) in Burley, Idaho.

ICPF has played a big part in my education on the corrugated side of packaging, but also in preparing me for the workforce. Earlier this year I had the opportunity to travel to Michigan to attend ICPF’s Student/Executive Dialogue Dinner as well as participate in ICPF’s Teleconference on the Business of Corrugated Packaging & Displays from WKAR’s broadcast auditorium.  The teleconference and dinner were a great experience and gave me a lot of exposure to the corrugated industry. Being able to speak with students and executives from across the nation opened my eyes to the wide range of directions it could take my career. ICPF has helped me sharpen the tools I need to be a successful Packaging Engineer and I will always be grateful for the experience I was lucky to have! Thank you for all your help and for giving me exposure to PCA before I even knew I wanted to work for them!” 

Kelsea Potthast, University of Florida (business administration/ marketing major and packaging science minor – May ‘21) has acquired a student sales internship this summer at Hood Container Corporation.  “I am passionate about developing synergy between the engineering principles of corrugated packaging and the innovative marketing strategies of business. The ICPF Student Dialogue Dinner and ICPF’s Teleconference on the Business of Corrugated Packaging & Displays allowed me to surround myself with students and executives who pursue creative thinking and diverse perspectives. Not only did this ICPF experience introduce me to internship opportunities within the corrugated industry, but it is the first time my interest in combining marketing with packaging science has been encouraged. While many career fairs and networking events try to fit students into a keyhole position, ICPF has given me the professional support and personal confidence to achieve my goals. Since working with ICPF, I have been elected President of the University of Florida Packaging Club, become the official ICPF student representative at UF, secured a corrugated packaging sales internship through ICPF, and am looking forward to returning next year to moderate ICPF’s 2021 Teleconference.” 

The International Corrugated Packaging Foundation (ICPF) mission is to generate a stream of increasingly qualified students to enter the corrugated packaging and displays industry.  ICPF is dedicated to the creation and building of partnerships within the education community, provides curricula, equipment and other resources to advance corrugated curricula, works to expand student internships within the industry, and promotes corrugated packaging & display career opportunities for packaging engineering, graphic design, structural design, business, marketing & sales, supply chain management, mechanical & chemical engineering, industrial engineering & design, tech and related graduates.