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Recruit Student Interns and New Grads Successfully Through ICPF!

By AICC Staff

September 12, 2019

This past 2018–2019 school year, more than 750 packaging engineering, sales and marketing, graphic design, packaging design, business, supply chain management, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, industrial engineering and design, and related upcoming graduates and students demonstrated interest in corrugated packaging careers by posting their résumés in ICPF’s Résumé Bank, applying for ICPF corporate partner student internships or entry-level openings through ICPF’s Career Portal, attending ICPF’s Student/Executive Dialogue Dinner, participating in ICPF’s annual Teleconference on the Business of Corrugated Packaging and the Careers, and joining ICPF’s interactive Careers in Corrugated Packaging social network. As in the past several years, and at the time of this July writing, more than 130 student interns and new graduates already have been hired by ICPF’s official Corporate Partners through ICPF resources during the 2019 hiring season.

This September and October are the times to post 2020 summer internships and openings for upcoming 2020 graduates on ICPF’s Career Portal. As they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Following are some snapshots of this year’s recruiting success.

width=96Jake Hughes, University of Florida (UF) (chemical engineering major and packaging science minor, ’19) was hired by WestRock as a paper mill process engineer after serving in student internships with the company. “I had a chance to attend an ICPF Student/Executive Dialogue Dinner that exposed me to just how broad the industry is and how strong the companies are. Since then, I have been an official ICPF student representative at UF and have been able to bring other students into the corrugated packaging network.”

width=79Marybeth Greene, Indiana State University (graphic design with minors in packaging design and computer-​aided design and drafting, ’19) was hired by Tavens Packaging & Display Solutions as a packaging and graphic designer. “ICPF is a fantastic tool for the college student to make that networking connection that is necessary in today’s world when on the job hunt. I was looking for a career where I could make an impact, but also where I could learn a great deal and be a member of a team that cares about their employees. I never would have found that without ICPF. ICPF connected me with four openings, eventually leading to me accepting a position at Tavens, where I have found exactly what I was looking for.”

Tavens’ president, Michael Schaefer, adds, “Today’s labor pool is difficult to negotiate, and acquiring the best people for our business has been one of our biggest challenges. ICPF has allowed Tavens to more easily identify and network with the box professionals of the future. Through ICPF’s guidance, when we found the qualities we wanted in a future Tavens employee, we put aside corporate red tape and pursued that talent. It was a seamless hiring experience.”

width=79Jacob Businger, Bowling Green State University (visual communications technology with packaging focus, ’19) was hired by Landaal Packaging as a digital print production supervisor. “ICPF was an invaluable resource in searching for my career. Thanks to ICPF’s Teleconference and Student/Executive Dialogue Dinner, my passion for the industry was able to grow. I obtained a package design co-op at Green Bay Packaging using ICPF resources. I was able to find the position at Landaal via the Career Portal on ICPF’s website, and I could not be more excited to start my new career!”

width=83Taylor Jensen, Michigan State University (packaging engineering, ’19) was hired by Landaal Packaging as a sales development associate after an earlier student designer internship there. “Using ICPF’s Career Portal, I obtained my first student internship, which was at Landaal Packaging Systems as a packaging designer. This experience helped me decide that I wanted to pursue the corrugated industry upon graduation. I also served as the student moderator of ICPF’s 2019 Teleconference and attended ICPF’s Student/Executive Dialogue Dinner. Both provided me with insight to the opportunities in corrugated sales and generated several career offers in the corrugated industry, including the sales career opening I accepted at Landaal Packaging Systems. Thank you, ICPF!”

width=81Mark Landaal is vice president of the In-Store division at the Landaal Packaging Innovation Center. “Landaal Packaging has been successfully using ICPF hiring resources since 2011 and started using the ICPF Career Portal four years ago to specifically recruit and hire for our six-month structural design internship. We were always satisfied with the quality and character of the intern candidates, knowing they were especially interested in a career in corrugated packaging. We also use the ICPF portal to hire full-time positions within our organization where a recent graduate’s skill set and desire for career growth would be a perfect fit. We saw that recent graduates available through the ICPF portal have the necessary technical skills to be successful, but more importantly, they demonstrated an interest and drive to develop their career in the corrugated industry.”

width=79Erin Wilson, Virginia Tech (VT) (packaging systems and design and Packaging Club president, ’20) is a 2019 summer student intern at Buckeye Corrugated Inc. (BCI). “I used the ICPF Career Portal to acquire my first packaging-​focused internship with AICC. ICPF also assisted me in securing a winter break internship with Pratt Industries. My older brother, Clay, who is a 2018 VT packaging grad, also used the ICPF portal in 2017 to gain his full-time position at BCI.

width=80Carolyn Cook, Michigan State University (packaging engineering, ’19) was hired by Smurfit Kappa as a packaging and design trainee. “I am grateful to ICPF for introducing me to all the opportunities there are within the corrugated industry; especially the ICPF Career Portal, which equipped me with the necessary resources to land my dream position!”


width=77Ryan Litzinger, Clemson University (packaging science, ’19) was hired by WestRock to work in the quality and safety arena. He also is considering corrugated sales for the future. He was introduced to ICPF by his professor, and ICPF staff met him at Pack Expo in 2017, where they invited him to meet the ICPF board of directors and participate in the upcoming Teleconference. “Through the ICPF board meeting, I received several internship offers, which included the 2018 summer internship I conducted at WestRock. The internship, along with my teleconference experience, led to my career here. The February 2018 ICPF Teleconference was a great way to see how innovative ideas from students can have a real and practical effect in the industry. It was an eye-opening experience to see the connection between e-commerce, sustainability, and the next generation of corrugated manufacturers. As a proponent of corrugated, I served as the ICPF student representative at Clemson packaging in 2018 and the first half of 2019.”

width=80Retention includes recruiting the right match. Kevin Talamantes, Clemson University (graphics communications, ’17; pictured left) will be entering his third year as a packaging designer at Lawrence Paper Company in Kansas. “I first heard of the ICPF resources through my professor. I created an account, attached my résumé, and started searching for open positions. The Career Portal was easy to navigate and led to my career here at Lawrence Paper.”

All three of the Lawrence companies—Lawrence, JayHawk Boxes, and American Packaging—have successfully used ICPF to recruit new graduates. Mike Cordaro, design and tech service manager at Lawrence, says, “The ICPF Career Portal was very helpful. I was looking for people with interest in corrugated packaging and who had an aptitude and willingness to learn the skills to be a packaging designer. I was able to both post the opening on the Career Portal and search the student résumé database to identify potential candidates. I was very happy to have found Kevin and have enjoyed watching him become a very valuable member of our design team.”

To learn more about recruiting through ICPF, contact ICPF at, 703-549-8580, or visit


width=150Richard Flaherty is president of the International Corrugated Packaging Foundation.