Student Spotlight: the 2022/2023 Mentors and Mentees
Our 2022/2023 Mentorship program came to a close in March and as we say goodbye to this term’s mentees we wanted to take a moment to give them each a shoutout along with the mentors who offered their wisdom this session.
Maili Simons is currently enrolled in Graphic Communications Technology with both Marketing Graphics Technology and Web Content Management concentrations at Illinois State University. She was a member of the Illinois State 2023 Phoenix Challenge team that won awards for both Excellence in Graphics and Excellence in Concept. After undergrad Maili plans to pursue a Master’s degree in Project Management and working as a graduate assistant for the Graphic Communications Technology program at Illinois State. Once finishing her education, Maili hopes to continue on in a Project Management job putting her skills and expertise within web or print to use.
She likes to continue to learn about flexographic printing and the gap between designs and production. Additionally, Maili is a member of the Illinois State University Swimming and Diving Team while also delving into the industry with WOF and FTA.
Maili’s other interests include video games, content creation, and PC Building.
You can view her showcased work on her LinkedIn profile here: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mailiryann/
Giselle E. Gonzalez-Garcia transferred from Forsyth Technical Community College to Appalachian State University with an Associate of Fine and Visual Arts. She is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Communication, Advertising, and a Graphic Communications Management minor. Giselle wants to combine her degrees and experience to get into the Flexo Industry. Printing efficiently and producing high-quality designs for clients are her main interest as she plans and creates designs that would attract audiences.
With an advertising concentration, she studies how to persuade and grab the attention of consumers. By researching a target audience, she can understand how the use of design and packaging can affect potential buyers. She is currently the Secretary of the Technical Art Graphic Association where she created promotional prints and designed the theme for Career Connections 2023 at Appalachian State. Other extracurricular activities included WOF, Student Transfer Mentor, Fine and Applied Arts Student Engagement, and the Appalachian Newspaper
Her other interests include digital drawing, painting, and volunteering.
You can view her showcased work on her LinkedIn profile here: www.linkedin.com/in/gisellegonzalezgarcia
Urooj khan is a third-year student in Graphic Communications Management with a Concentration in Packaging (GCM) at Toronto Metropolitan University, formerly known as Ryerson. Urooj is looking forward to hopefully one day work closely with industry professionals within the Flexographic industry and gaining experience within the field. The reason why she chose to join the Women Of Flexo program was because she was highly interested in all aspects of the industry and wants to learn more about the industry through a creative perspective.
Currently, outside of her studies, Urooj is actively participating in competitions such as the Paperboard Packaging Alliance (PPA) competition, where she is working with other students to create a more sustainable solution to single-use products within the market.
Outside of print Urooj has many interests, such as crocheting, knitting, painting, gaming, and gardening.
If you would like to know more about her and her work, you can contact via through LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/urooj-k/
Tessa is currently an Account Executive at Esko covering the Western Region of the US and Canada, focusing on Software Sales. Since graduating from Cal Poly in 2011 with a degree in Graphic Communication, and a minor in Packaging Design in, she has worked both on the production and distribution side of the industry. Tessa began her career working for a label printer and then transitioned into a technical role for a Flexo distributor. She then transitioned into Sales at the same company and in 2021 made the move to Esko. Her favorite aspect of her current role is building customer relationships and helping customers achieve their goals. Tessa currently resides in Bend, Oregon with her husband, 5 year old kiddo, and dog.
Erin Melton is the Graphics Services Manager at Printpack where she leads a prepress team of 12 associates who complete graphics separations for a variety of Printpack’s customers. She has worked at Printpack for 15 years, mostly in a graphics role, but also as a Business Project Manager. She has a passion for graphics and manufacturing and enjoys sharing that passion and experience with High School and College graphics students interested in the flexo industry. The Graphics Department at Printpack has been involved in an internship program for almost 30 years! Erin and others on her team invest their time and expertise to prepare these young students for their future.
Erin is currently part of the mentorship program with Women of Flexo. She is co-mentoring a small group of women to help them prepare for interviews and navigate the process of finding the right job at the right company after graduation.
Erin was a member of Printpack’s Women’s Network; Inspire, where she played a part in reaching out to women in manufacturing positions to connect them with a network of successful women at Printpack.
She also enjoys reading, spending time with family and going to the beach.