School of Packaging consists of more than just folding boxes

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This is the place where tissues and bug spray are put in glass cases and displayed proudly.

Located on the south side of MSU’s campus, the School of Packaging is one of the few schools in the country devoted to teaching and developing the packages that include anything from cookies to toilet paper.

Classes in this building focus on whether packages can survive a trip to reach its destination. In one lab for example, cardboard boxes are compressed, dropped, and set in airplane and bus-like environments. Students then measure how much damage the box took and determine if it’s fit for travel.

Internship coordinator Ron Iwaskiewicz says packaging does affect consumers.

“These packages are the consumer’s first interaction with the product,” Iwaskiewicz said.

Iwaskiewicz adds that packaging is not a major for those who seek a lot of attention.

“When you do your job right nobody will notice because that package acts exactly like it’s supposed to. It contains it protects, it provides utility.”

91 percent of packaging graduates find a job within six months and an average salary of $57,000.

Brett Boonie is a senior at the school of packaging. He is currently applying for a job at Owens Illinois, the biggest glass packaging manufacturer worldwide, and he has really liked his experience at the School of Packaging.

“If you go to MSU and you’re looking at a job in packaging, a lot of people will recognize MSU as a good school.”

The School of Packaging currently has 850 undergraduate students but over 8,000 alumni working in places like Kellogg’s, Procter and Gamble, Kraft, and Gerber.

Iwaskiewicz sees packaging as something that affects everybody’s daily life.

“Whether it’s a tub of yogurt or a bottle of Windex or whatever it is, you have the opportunity to impact people’s lives,” Iwaskiewicz said.

So next time you open a bag of chips, or use a spray to clean your shower, there is a good chance that someone from MSU’s School of Packaging helped design it.



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