Industry’s Next-Gen Teams Up in Charleston

Industry’s Next-Gen Teams Up in Charleston

More than 240 participants were on hand in Charleston, SC, this January to participate in the 2018 TAPPI/PIMA Student Summit, including students from 12 universities, representatives from 10 companies, and TAPPI Local Section members.

Highlighting the event was the annual Engineering Competition featuring several twists, including a team-based format combining students from each school into teams of six. The contest? Build a bridge from corrugated materials that could master weight stress (five and 10 lbs), water saturation and strength endurance.

Throughout the three-day Summit, students were able to immerse themselves in opportunities to network, discuss industry and technical issues, and talk about work-life balance. Numerous roundtable and breakout sessions were held on interview etiquette, technical topics, and communication skills.

Additionally, a panel of TAPPI Young Professional members led a discussion on making the successful transition from graduation to the “real world,” giving students valuable perspectives on what to expect. The keynote address was given by Todd Grace from Andritz, who shared his insights on the industry, why he joined it and why he remains in it. On the final day, the students participated in mill tours sponsored by International Paper, Kemira, and KapStone.

Sponsoring and interviewing companies included Andritz, BASF, BTG, Caraustar, Domtar, First Quality, Graphic Packaging, International Paper, Twin Rivers and West Rock.  In addition, Southeast TAPPI Local Section participated as a sponsor.   Many of these organizations also provided travel stipends for students and sponsored TAPPI Student memberships to ensure this future generation of industry professionals continues to have full access to all that TAPPI provides.

The TAPPI/PIMA Student Summit is held each year in January with the express purpose of bridging the road between collegiate and professional life. This year’s event, like the ones which came before it, provided an opportunity for hiring companies to interview for full-time employees and interns.

To learn more about the Student Summit and how companies can participate, please contact Mary Beth Cornell, Membership and Global Development Director at or 770-209-7210.

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