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‘Lucky’ PBE Graduate Kicks Off Career with Georgia-Pacific

Three months after graduating from the paper engineering program at ESF, Rachel Klein considers herself one of the luckier people around when she heads out to work in the morning in Lehigh Valley, Pennsylvania.

Klein is a reliability/process engineer with Georgia Pacific Consumer Products-Dixie division.

"I wake up in the morning and enjoy going to work and working on various projects," she said. "My workplace is a very supportive environment, and my boss provides great guidance in assisting me with looking at different processes in the plant and how to troubleshoot and optimize them so that they're running efficiently. Everything is very hands-on and there's something new to learn everyday, which is awesome."

Klein, who graduated in May 2015, is a native of Westchester County, New York, who arrived at ESF as a chemistry major. Before she even finished her first semester, she had switched to the paper engineering program. Her interest in science and math had drawn her to ESF but she knew nothing about paper engineering until she arrived on campus and learned about the program.

"It sounded like a great fit because I was able to take all of the science classes I was interested in and it had more of a heavy math background, which was great. Switching my major was one of the best decisions I've ever made," she said.

Klein said she felt well-prepared for the working world when she left ESF.

"ESF and all of the wonderful professors in Walters Hall did a great job preparing us for the real world," she said. "Dr. (Gary) Scott (the department chair) coordinates with major paper and chemical companies to set up interviews that take place right on campus, making it easy to look for internships and co-ops. There are also numerous networking opportunities to meet people in industry and make lifelong contacts. The paper science program is a small group of students that feels more like a family, so it's easy to get a lot of attention and help whenever you need it."