Summer Intern Session Resumes This Year After Proving Successful

The Leadership Development Committee of the Flexible Packaging Association (FPA), which is a part of the Emerging Leadership Council (ELC), completed its third annual summer internship series in 2023. The program hosted more than 40 students from various FPA member companies across the United States. 

The program seeks to create a collaborative environment for students to connect and begin building their career networks and to encourage a career in the flexible packaging industry after they graduate. 

A success story

During the summer of 2021, Melissa Joslyn, now a corporate sustainability engineer at Charter Next Generation (CNG), participated in the summer internship program. Through the program’s panel discussions and small group sessions, she realized the important role FPA plays in paving a more sustainable future for the industry. 

“The FPA summer internship program was an incredibly unique and unexpected highlight of my summer internship,” Joslyn says. “It was amazing to meet so many like-minded individuals who were passionate about making a real difference early in their careers.” 

She adds, “When it was time to choose a full-time role, the experience and connections I made during the program played a critical role in my decision to ultimately choose the flexible packaging space to launch my career.” 

In her role at CNG, Joslyn leads multiple vital workstreams in sustainable film development, particularly with biopolymers and post-consumer recycled materials. 

“I couldn’t have asked for a better opportunity to combine my degree in chemical engineering and minor in sustainability,” she says. 

About the summer program

The summer session is broken out into eight weeks of programming, including an FPA “State of the Industry” update, a career panel discussion, and presentations by industry speakers. 

The industry update by Alison Keane, FPA president and CEO, and Apurva Shah, CNG director of strategic initiatives and partnerships, familiarizes the interns with the flexible packaging industry. 

The career panel consists of ELC members and focuses on the variety of career paths the panelists took to get to their current positions. Past panelists included: 

  • Patrick Clark, vice president of research and development and procurement at Bryce Corporation; 
  • Weston Harcourt, account manager at Sonoco Products Company; 
  • Allison Holzshu, vice president of product management for flexible films at Berry Global; 
  • Monica Roser Scott, technical sales manager of durable assembly at H.B. Fuller; and 
  • Jonathan Quinn, vice president of marketing and sustainability at Accredo Packaging Inc./API Group Holdings Inc. 

This past year’s program included a speaker series event. One of the speakers was Kasie Fairbarn, vice president of sales at Windmoeller & Hoelscher Corporation, who spoke with the interns about networking and her strategy for developing a “personal board of directors.” 

The previous summer program also hosted Loran Nordgren, co-author of The Human Element: Overcoming the Resistance That Awaits New Ideas. Nordgren spoke with the interns about his book and different strategies to overcome the resistance and setbacks they may face. 

Making connections

On alternating weeks, students can connect in small group discussions on topics that interest them. 

These discussions are hosted by ELC members and have been instrumental in building connections and networks for the students. The open dialogue can range from questions on transitioning from being a student to an employee, sustainability, and learning about the different roles in other member companies. 

Keep an eye out for an email from FPA for the 2024 session sign-up. 

If you have questions, contact Paul Cucco, regional sales manager for the Northeast at Windmoeller & Hoelscher, at or Abbey Crane, technical product manager for American Packaging Corporation, at acrane@ 

In other news, the ELC will be hosting a basic introductory course for people who are new to the industry in the fall in conjunction with PACK EXPO International in November in Chicago. 

More information on the course will be released later this summer.