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The NCSU TAPPI Student Chapter, sent 32 eager members, on a grey hound bus, to travel to Cincinnati, Ohio to attend the TAPPI Student Summit and proudly represent the NC State Paper Science and Engineering program.   As usual, the students had a blast!  This event brings students from paper and packaging schools together to network and learn more about the industry.

Paper is a Connector

A large portion of the Student Summit revolves around presentations where students learn more about the paper industry.  When discussing these presentations, PSE student Brooke Orr said, “my favorite speaker this year was Tony Curtis, the CEO of a tissue company called Sofidel.  Mr. Curtis spoke about his experiences in the paper industry and gave a very inspiring speech regarding the importance of following your dreams, and also “never forgetting where you came from.”   PSE student Matt Dwyer’s favorite part was learning about a paper campaign aiming to increase awareness around the paper and packaging industry:  “To do this, they utilize the appeal to emotion.  The speaker, Joan Sahlgren from The Paper and Packaging Board responsible for the How Life Unfolds campaign believes paper helps people connect with each other.  The tangible appeal that paper offers cannot be replaced with the ever growing technological advancement.

School, Work, Professional Dinner….they touched it all

As stated by Brooke Orr, other highlight presentations included a panel of distinguished figures, moderated by our own Dr. Med Byrd speaking on Transferring from School to the Working World and also,  How Summer Internships and Co-Op Terms Work, moderated by Gary Scott.  These panels were enlightening and provided useful information that all students can apply when the time comes.  This trip was not all just presentations though.  Packaging Corporation of America sponsored an etiquette dinner Saturday night where students were taught the proper table etiquette and what to be aware of during professional dinner situations.

Aquarium provides Networking Opportunity

Caraustar also sponsored a trip to the Newport Aquarium Sunday night.  The Student Summit attendees had the aquarium to themselves, which was a lot of fun!  There were also many opportunities for students to network with students from other schools as well as industry professionals, there was even a networking reception for students to talk to company representatives.  Throughout the weekend, these company representatives were even hosting interviews for jobs!

Expanding your knowledge in the Industry….Plan to Attend

Finally, the school chapters were taken to different local paper mills to see paper-making processes before leaving on Monday.  A great way to end the weekend!  Brooke Orr returned from her second Student Summit trip saying, “I honestly think that this year’s program was more interesting to me than last year’s because I have now had work experience in the industry, and was able to apply what I have learned at work to what speakers were talking about at Summit…All-in-all, I learned so much during this trip and made a lot of fun memories as well!  I would definitely recommend going on the TAPPI Student Summit to anyone in the paper science program who wants to expand their knowledge on the industry!”

by guest blogger: Sarah Pumphrey