Every year, the International Corrugated Packaging Foundation (ICPF) holds an interactive, teleconference for undergraduate students who are pursuing their careers in packaging, graphic design, marketing & sales, business, engineering, supply chain and related students. This year, the Careers in Corrugated Packaging Teleconference was held on Thursday, February 22, 2018. Speakers were followed by live questions from each of the campuses participating in the teleconference. Riddhima Rao, a Rutgers Packaging Engineering Major, was invited to be part of the onsite teleconference. Below is her story about the event
Riddhima Rao attended the ICPF Teleconference in Michigan
Fig. 1: Riddhima Rao is the leftmost student in the right bottom picture.
The International Corrugated Packaging Foundation, or ICPF for short, is an organization dedicated to exposing students to the corrugated industry, which is large and diverse. The corrugated industry is extremely versatile; corrugated is the most commonly used shipping material for its cost-efficiency, functionality, versatility, and sustainability features. The ICPF 2-day conference was initiated by a Dialogue Dinner organized by President Richard Flaherty, during which students from over 10 different schools were selected and invited to dine with executives in the corrugated industry. It was my pleasure to be able to sit down and have conversations with executives of companies such as Menasha, Victory Packaging, Pratt Industries, and Landaal Packaging Systems. The professionals gave us tips which included everything from networking skills and interview tips to their own journeys into the corrugated packaging field. The combination of seasoned professionals and young individuals just emerging into the field provided for great dinner conversation and a good exposure to the field. The second day of the conference included the actual teleconference. The ICPF Live Teleconference aims to expose students to different areas in the business of corrugated. This year’s conference focused on the structure and operations of the corrugated industry, the diverse products created in the industry, target markets, the selling of corrugated, new trends and developments, and industry growth in areas like e-commerce and Just-In-Time delivery. The moderator of the conference was a student, Anna Sadowsky, who spoke on her own experiences as someone who has worked internships and has successfully found a full-time job upon graduation thanks to ICPF. The 3 panelists featured were Mr. Mike Riegsecker, Mr. Robert Landaal, and Mr. Kevin Hinz. Mike Riegsecker is the COO of Menasha Packaging Company, which has operations in 15 states. Robert Landaal is President of Landaal Packaging Systems with three locations in Michigan. And lastly, Kevin Hinz is the Director of Marketing and Sales for KapStone Paper and Packaging. The three panelists spoke on their own experiences in the industry, and the growth of corrugated with regards to sustainability and e-commerce.
Flying to Lansing Michigan and being a part of the ICPF conference was a great experience for me. I am now aware of the different opportunities that exist in corrugated packaging, and I can truly see myself potentially working in this field. From paper mills to high speed, digital printing, from structural design and optimization to sustainability innovation, corrugated packaging has it all. It was a pleasure being able to attend the ICPF conference, and I encourage other Packaging students to look into the corrugated packaging industry as well.