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From September 7-9, 2016 the NC State Paper Science and Engineering program kicked off the 2016-17 academic year by hosting the 62nd Annual Pulp and Paper Foundation Meeting. This event, when it was all said and done, between students, alumni, industry partners, donors, faculty and staff recorded record numbers, 318 in attendance. As a student, this was a great experience to meet alumni and network with industry professionals.
Paper Industry Career Fair
The celebration began with the Paper Industry Career fair on September 7, 2016. Twenty-one companies sent representatives to recruit students for summer internships, co-ops, and permanent positions. This is a good way for students to get on interview lists and to meet industry partners. I had the opportunity to intern with two companies already, so for me it was a great way to catch up with people I met during my internship experiences!
New Diversity Session
The following day was the Annual Pulp and Paper Foundation Meeting. For me, the day started by attending the Diversity and Inclusion Session, hosted by Women in Paper Science. This session included a diverse group of men and women, students, staff and industry folks. The diverse group were given scenarios, challenges and situations to discuss in small groups to brain storm, young professionals and women. It was a great opportunity to think about different, real life situations and how we may handle them ourselves while getting input from industry professionals.
New Department Head
The General Session of the event included speakers from Agenda 2020 and introduced our new department head, Dr. Marko Hakovirta. Agenda 2020 discussed their Priority Research Challenges. Team representatives went through their plans to develop technologies that support sustainability goals and development. This was very interesting because the sustainable manufacturing issues that were discussed will likely also be the big issues when I start my career in the industry.
An event like this allows opportunity to sit among successful members of the industry and hear about their experiences, while sharing mine. During the banquet, the seniors were recognized for their hard work throughout the program.
My favorite part of this event was definitely the networking opportunities. It was amazing to meet so many alumni and industry partners, and to hear about the variety of career paths in the industry. The large attendance really shows how much support this program receives, which is just outstanding. Anyone could see that this network is really like a close knit family between students, alumni, and the industry, so bringing everyone together for this celebration is an incredible undertaking, but an enjoyable evening.
The golf and cornhole tournaments concluded the celebration on Friday morning. Everyone had a blast! Plaques were presented to our top three teams, as well as other contest winners. All total, this event plus student TAPPI’s involvement in foundation activities raised $200 for our chapter. This will help many student attend TAPPI student summit this January and PaperCon in April.
Thank you to all of the alumni, donors, faculty, staff, and students who helped to make this celebration a success! I look forward to the 63rd celebration next year!
By guest blogger Sarah Pumphrey