Kayjing Chua never expected how her college career would be shaped. Originally from Fremont, Ca., Chua entered Cal Poly as an Orfalea College of Business student. However, soon after beginning her college career, she discovered her passion for industrial technology and made the decision to switch her major. Throughout her college career, Chua was highly involved in a variety of experiences where she could help others find their path, such as the Orfalea Peer Advisors, Ambassadors, and the Industrial Technology Society Executive Board. Reflecting on her time at Cal Poly, Chua is glad she made the decision to change her path and is excited to begin her journey as a Quality Assurance Engineer at NASA after walking this spring.
When she first received her acceptance to Cal Poly, Chua did not know the twists and turns her life would soon take. During Open House weekend, Chua had the opportunity to go on a lab tour of Cal Poly’s industrial technology and packaging labs, where she received a behind-the-scenes view of where students create computer-aided designs, prototype packaging and test them with industry standard equipment. While on the tour, Chua felt excited by the prospect of having labs incorporated into her studies and the hands-on experience she could gain in the classroom. When industrial technology professors came and spoke more about the program in one of her classes during freshman year, she knew she had to make a change in her college career.
Not knowing what classes to take or what to expect from her major, Chua luckily found help from other students in the industrial technology major. It was from one of these students that Chua learned of the Industrial Technology Society, which helps facilitate connections between students and the industry community. Shortly after being introduced to the club, Chua knew she wanted to connect with other students outside of the classroom and quickly became a Student Advisor for the society. But she didn’t stop there. Wanting to do more to help other students, Chua soon took on the responsibility of holding a position on the Industrial Technology Society Executive Board.
Throughout her time at Cal Poly, Chua also worked as an Orfalea Peer Advisor and Ambassador. Working around 20 hours a week on top of school, Chua pushed both herself and others to be better in and out of the office. Delving into her own experiences, Chua was able to engage with students as a Peer Advisor and provide a variety of resources and tools to help them in their own college journey. As an Ambassador, Chua conducted Orfalea tours and contributed to the Executive in Residence program and was able to make an impact on perspective students, executives, potential donors and even alumni.
“Being involved in Ambassadors was my way of giving back to Cal Poly,” said Chua. “I feel like I’ve benefited so much from the opportunities afforded to me by just being a student here that it’s important to encourage others to seek those opportunities.”
As she began looking for position post-graduation, Chua decided to apply to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, which carries out robotic space and Earth science missions. Chua soon heard back from NASA and received an on-campus interview. After completing both the on-campus interview and an interview at their campus in Pasadena, Ca., Chua received a call offering her a full-time position.
Reflecting on her time at Cal Poly, Chua said, “College is a great time to try a bunch of different things and figure out what’s really right for you. If you don’t try new things, you won’t be able to discover things you’re passionate about.”
Walking this spring, Chua will soon begin her career with NASA at its Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena as a Quality Assurance Engineer. Chua plans to continue her career with NASA and eventually move into a more technical or management role. When asked about her ultimate dream job, she stated, “It’d be pretty cool to go to Mars.”
Cal Poly senior Katie Exum is used to defying expectations. The 6-foot-1 Torrance, Calif.-native came to Cal Poly in 2012, where she quickly emerged as a standout in the Industrial Technology and Packaging Area. Just as she prepares to graduate this December, she has secured a packaging engineer position at one of the highest-paying employers in Silicon Valley—Amazon Lab126, which designs and engineers consumer electronics, such as Fire tablets, Kindle e-book readers and Amazon Echo.
As Exum approaches the start of her career, she reflects on the moment that changed her direction at Cal Poly.
In spring 2015, the Orfalea College of Business awarded scholarships to 15 outstanding students to support their education at Cal Poly. Scholarships help ensure that the brightest students have the resources to fully participate in all of the Industrial Technology and Packaging Area’s Learn by Doing opportunities.
These scholarship funds represent several of nearly 100 partial and full student scholarships at the Orfalea College of Business. To make a direct impact on students and support a scholarship, visit http://bit.ly/GiveOCOB.
|Tommy L. Jones Scholarship||Tyler Harwood|
|Barry Banducci Family Scholarship||Janel Takeda|
|Barry Banducci Family Scholarship||Justin Connolly|
|Barry Banducci Family Scholarship||Nick Abbatelli|
|Barry Banducci Family Scholarship||Sarah Lawler|
|Nelson Smith Scholarship
Bert W. Martin Scholarship
|Lockheed Martin Business Scholarship||Autumn Lopez|
|Larry Bennett Memorial Award||Christopher King|
|Roy Whleeler III Memorial Scholarship||Hannah Giorgi|
|Bert W. Martin Scholarship||Sarah Pilegard|
|Bert W. Martin Scholarship||Patrick Salibi|
|Bert W. Martin Scholarship||Reina Stephenson|
|Bert W. Martin Scholarship||Sarah Ma|
|Bert W. Martin Scholarship||Juli Pini|
|Bert W. Martin Scholarship||Jack Mullen|
Over the past year, the Orfalea College of Business’ Marketing and Industrial Technology & Packaging areas have seen incredible collaborative success in new hands-on student learning and faculty research opportunities.
In the spring of 2015, the Orfalea College of Business celebrated graduation with the first-ever cohort of business students concentrating in consumer packaging solutions (CPS). The concentration was launched in 2012 and offers business majors entry into the rapidly expanding and dynamic field of consumer packaging.
The intersection between packaging and marketing yields fertile ground for Learn by Doing experiences, such as the CPS culminating senior project experience designed by marketing Professor Lynn Metcalf with support from packaging faculty advisor and Professor Javier de la Fuente. In the course, students work in small groups and use design-thinking techniques to drive packaging innovation. Students have the opportunity to create new-to-the-world package designs, and conduct extensive research in the consumer and retail environments to uncover areas of opportunity for value creation. In the final stages of the project, the groups then develop prototypes to be validated by existing customers.
Matt Wright, president, CEO and co-founder of packaging startup Specright, supported cross-disciplinary student learning in the CPS senior project class. “The combination of marketing and packaging produces a skillset that enhances speed to market, which is critical to a company’s ability to compete.”
Students aren’t the only ones gaining valuable experience in this emerging field. This fall, Metcalf, de la Fuente, and Professor Jeff Hess will build on previous research work to further establish consumer package decisions as a fundamental consideration in the marketing value chain. Faculty collaboration on research is expected to promote a deeper understanding of the symbiotic relationship between the two disciplines.
“If this research is successful, it will motivate marketing and packaging decision-makers to rethink the impact of packaging on the consumption experience and by extension a product’s value proposition,” said Hess.
The college is excited by the present collaborations between the two areas, and is looking forward to continued work in the fields of marketing and packaging.
The team is considering hosting a focus group during the 2016 Open House weekend. Marketing alumni interested in getting involved should contact Lynn Metcalf at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jay Singh, professor and director of Cal Poly’s Packaging Program in the Orfalea College of Business, has joined industry professionals from Coca-Cola, ConAgra, and Campbell Soup Co. on the Packaging Digest Editorial Advisory Board. The advisory board will guide the publication as it explores packaging industry news, research and innovations.
“This is a tremendous brain-trust of packaging leaders with cumulative decades of experience,” said Packaging Digest Executive Editor Lisa McTigue Pierce. “We appreciate their commitment to serve and will tap them for general ideas, as well as input on specific topics.” She anticipates the group will contribute background consultations as well as networking assistance for investigative stories.
Singh lends the advisory board an extensive background in academic research and professional consulting related to package design and implementation. The other members of Packaging Digest’s Editorial Advisory Board include:
- Scott Biondich, group director of sparkling, packaging & IC equipment development at Coca-Cola North America
- Jane Chase, senior director of packaging engineering at Schwan’s Shared Services LLC and The Schwan Food Co.
- David France, packaging research fellow at ConAgra Foods Packaging R&I
- Nina Goodrich, executive director of Sustainable Packaging Coalition/Greenblue
- Mary Gregg, director of packaging at Campbell North America and Campbell Soup Co.
- David Luttenberger, CPP, global packaging director at Mintel Group Ltd.
- Joe Mase, vice president of marketing & business development at Sagent Pharmaceuticals Inc.
- Eva Peters, global head of packaging development & industrial design at Novartis Consumer Health
Packaging Digest aims to help professionals understand and advance the packaging process and provides informative articles and solutions to achieving the highest levels of efficiency and profitability. For more information on Packaging Digest, visit http://www.packagingdigest.com/.