It's Not Too Late to Recruit New Graduates & Student Interns Through ICPF

If you have been using ICPF's career portal for recruiting, you know that the best time to begin recruiting student interns and upcoming college graduates is in the fall.  In October many sophomores and juniors seek to lock in summer internships and co-ops.  They not only want to secure summer internships early to ensure a connection to firms offering potential careers, but an increasing number of colleges require internships prior to graduation.  For the majority of senior students, mid-fall also is the time they begin their comprehensive search to locate career openings for the following spring graduation.

ICPF actively connects individually with students by using its corrugated packaging career social network and the different events that it conducts (or in which it participates) throughout the year. Therefore, each year between late November and late February, the ICPF’s career portal is swamped with hundreds of requests from students who are seeking student internships and corrugated packaging careers upon graduation. While many of these students are pursuing openings in structural design or wish to use a combination of their structural design and graphic design skills, just as many are seeking to start their careers or internships in sales, supply chain management, plant floor operation management, chemical engineering, or the testing lab.

During the several months at the height of the recruiting season, the ICPF corporate partners that post positions on ICPF’s career portal and use its resume bank receive an average of seven qualified applicants for each position posted. However, July is not too late in the season for recruiting those who have put off a career search until after several weeks of post-graduation travel, or who will be graduating at the end of the summer semester in August. Also, if a firm is flexible in seeking candidates who will be graduating this coming December, those posting entry level positions on the career portal this month should identify that flexibility in their job descriptions. As with the upcoming graduates who are seeking careers, for various legitimate reasons there often are student internship candidates who have just begun looking this month for mid- summer or fall semester student internships.

As a direct result of ICPF’s launch of corrugated curricula at an additional dozen universities and the introduction of social media, for the past seven years there have been significantly more students in ICPF’s network who are seeking corrugated packaging internships and careers than there have been internships and entry level openings. But firms must keep in mind that sophomores and juniors are anxious to locate internships to meet graduation requirements, and upcoming graduates have student loans coming due soon after graduation.  To play it safe, students often take the first viable offer they receive.

Unless applicants are contacted the first week of their making application and the subsequent interviewing/hiring process does not extend much beyond three weeks, generally candidates are taken by competing firms and industries that have been more savvy in their hiring practices.  Regardless of whether a firm posts a position now or any other time during the year, success goes to those corrugated packaging firms that place a high priority on streamlining their application response and interview/ hiring process.

Each year, over a hundred of students find internships and careers through ICPF’s career portal, resume bank and its other resources.  Some firms work directly with the career centers at the 25 universities where ICPF has introduced corrugated packaging curricula into packaging engineering or has created structural design tracks within their graphic design departments.  These university contacts are available to all firms on ICPF’s website.

To learn more about using ICPF's special Career Portal, contact ICPF at or visit  Use of ICPF’s Career Portal and its Resume Bank are provided as a benefit to ICPF Corporate Partners.  However, if you are an AICC or FBA member that has not yet become an ICPF Partner, e-mail ICPF for information on the new introductory use of the portal that recently has been authorized by ICPF’s Board of Directors.