I’ve always been told college was going to be expensive, and I’m not talking about tuition. I’m talking about the cost of textbooks, the use of Uber and Lyfts, and the dinners from Grubhub and Postmates. It almost seems like spending money is part of the college experience that everyone talks about. Therefore, I knew I wanted to have a job on campus; however, I didn’t want just any job. I wanted a job that would be understanding of my academic responsibilities, a job that would teach me something new, and a job that I could put on my resume.
That is how I ended up as a student assistant for the Rutgers Packaging Engineering Department. As an assistant, I collaborated with other student workers to organize different events for the program. One of the biggest events that I got to work on was the annual packaging engineering banquet that is held every fall. It is an event for packaging students to meet with different industries, earn scholarships, and network. As preparation, I would sort through boxes of goodies for gift bags, answer voicemails and emails from people attending, and organize seating charts and name tags.
I had the pleasure of working with the department for two years. With my time in the department, I learned a lot about the major and the opportunities available for Rutgers packaging engineering students. This job influenced me to complete the packaging engineering certificate available at Rutgers. I would have never known about this opportunity if it weren’t for this experience.
The environment of the department is also something worth noting. My supervisor was always understanding of my course load and allowed me to create a flexible schedule. She also helped me understand the requirements for the certificate. With my experience in the department, I was also able to earn a packaging scholarship recognized by the Rutgers Packaging Engineering Department.
Overall, my on campus employment opened many doors for me and allowed me to grow as an individual. It taught me how to manage time better and communicate with other people. With these soft skills in mind, I was offered two jobs opportunities at Colgate – Palmolive. One position was its research and development internship, and the other was its packaging engineering co – op, which was offered to me from the representatives that I met at the banquet. I am excited to announce that I am currently working at Colgate – Palmolive as a research and development intern for the oral care early research department. Although I am not with the Rutgers packaging engineering department anymore, I greatly appreciate everything I have learned through the experience.
--Alice, CBE 2022