Clemson’s Packaging Science and Graphic Communications students are each required to participate in two co-op internships before they graduate. One Packaging Senior, Dillon Waters, is interning with a national family-owned business this summer called Southwire. Southwire provides half of all of the cable in the U.S. used to transmit and distribute electricity. A Packaging Science major with a Materials emphasis, Waters is the only Packaging Engineer Intern at Southwire in Carrollton, GA this summer.
Sonoco Institute: Why did you choose this co-op?
Dillon Waters: I decided on selecting the co-op at Southwire not only because it is a well-established and reputable but also because the company deals with a broad range of packages and packaging materials. From corrugated shipping boxes to massive metal reels utility cable is wound on, it will (and already has) provide me with knowledge of a wide range of packaging.
SI: What are your position responsibilities?
DW: Here at Southwire, there are a lot of responsibilities. Within the entire company there is one Packaging Engineer (my mentor) and a co-op (which is me). For the company, we have to organize package SKU’s for our plants across the country, look for cost reduction opportunities, provide solutions for any packaging related problems that may occur, meet with vendors to discuss current and future business, and many more. Primarily for me, my responsibilities are to assist with all day-to-day tasks, give input and take on some major individual projects.
SI: How does this co-op relate to your degree?
DW: This co-op is obviously related to my degree because it is a packaging position so it will provide me with a tremendous amount of real world knowledge and tons of information on all sorts of packages and packaging materials.
SI: What has been your most interesting experience so far?
DW: I don’t think I have one interesting experience in mind but just in general, I absolutely love going out onto the production floors of the plants because I love watching the machinery in action and I really enjoy learning more about the production of wire cables as well as how a large company like Southwire runs logistically.