NJPEC Get to Know – Magy Georges, Rutgers University
Interview of Magy Georges from Rutgers University, by NJPEC 2023 President-Elect Kristyn Shaner
KS: Tell us who you are and your current role at Rutgers?
MG: I am the Program Development Specialist at the Rutgers Packaging Engineering Program. The best way to explain what I do is, I’m the middleman for everything that goes on in packaging here at Rutgers. I advise our amazing students; manage all events; support with course planning with our faculty, work with companies to get internships, scholarships, competitions, full time opportunities for our students, and recruit for the program with operation items in between.
KS: What does your day to day look like?
MG: For the most part it’s a lot of student interaction, companies reaching out about program, planning for the upcoming semester, daily operations of the program.
KS: What brought you into this role?
MG: I fell into it. A School of Engineering leader told me to go speak to the previous director, Dr. Hae Chang Gea, and he said I was a fit. At the time, I thought to myself 6 months and I am going to leave. Funny enough this is my tenth year in the program. I learned a lot working under Dr. Gea for eight years, he built the foundation of the program. He instilled his love and passion for packaging into me. It is wonderful being part of the packaging community-- the students, faculty, professionals, alumni-- are really the best. It is truly an honor to be part of the growth of the program, and to see students graduate and do wonderful things with their careers.
KS: Did you ever have an interest in packaging before this role?
MG: No, I didn’t even know what packaging was.
KS: What is your favorite part of your job?
MG: The students. They are the best. I love seeing their development from sophomore year into their professional careers. And I love when they come back after graduating and stay connected. I also love telling people about packaging. People always think packaging is about boxes and to see their reaction about the field and the opportunities available is always priceless.
MG: Rutgers is an amazing institution. Tell us a little more about your connection to the school?
KS: I completed my bachelor’s degree at Rutgers, met my husband here, he proposed to me at Douglass campus, had three beautiful girls while here, Rutgers has become part of my DNA. I’ve been here for about fifteen years. I worked as a work study and that office hired me after graduating and I realized I wanted to pursue my career in higher education. I am now pursuing a PHD in higher education at Rutgers. I appreciate the opportunities Rutgers has provided me as a student, employee, and alumni.
KS: What’s next for the packaging program?
MG: Last year the packaging engineering program moved within the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department umbrella, and Dr. Hao Lin was appointed as Program Director. Dr. Lin has a lot of exciting plans for the Packaging Engineering Program. He immediately got involved with every aspect of the program. It has been great working with Dr. Lin. He is currently leading the hire of a new faculty for the program, collaborating with industry to understand their needs, developing professional packaging trainings/certificates, working to improve the packaging testing lab. We are working to ensure the program continues to grow to fulfill the industry need. A lot of exciting plans are in the works and I am excited to see packaging expand within MAE.
KS: If you could tell 1 thing to students that are looking to come to Rutgers and are interested in studying packaging engineering, what would you tell them?
MG: 100% job placement! Do not focus on the curriculum, focus on the 50 years you’ll be working. Students are so eager to study something that sounds “fun” or “interesting” but doesn’t necessarily have a career. Focus on the career and work backwards. When students see the opportunities available in packaging, specifically in the Tri-State area, they do not turn back, they dive deeper. Rutgers has the only packaging engineering undergraduate curriculum in the nation, and the only packaging school within a 200-mile radius, in the midst of a highly dense packaging industry State. If you want a lifetime career after completing a four-year degree, Rutgers Packaging Engineering is the place. I promise you’ll also find lots of fun and interesting things while at Rutgers.
KS: Tell us a little about the NJPEC / Rutgers relationship from your perspective?
MG: NJPEC has contributed so much to our students and program; scholarships, mentorship, guest talks in our packaging courses, funds towards the packaging testing lab. The club has continued to take initiative to connect with our students. We appreciate NJPEC’s activities to involve us and anything the students need NJPEC has been there.
KS: Lastly, in moving forward what would you like to see happen with the partnership between Rutgers school of engineering and NJPEC?
MG: Inform students better about what NJPEC does, get them more involved, and ultimately have them involved as alumni. The circle of life.