Packaging Systems Engineer 

(Female, Age 36) from parker, CO

This is a REAL-LIFE job profile written by a Female aged 36 who works as a Packaging Systems Engineer in parker, CO. We have removed all names and personal information in order to protect privacy. This professional kindly spent a bit of their time to complete one of our job profile surveys so that prospective job seekers like you could read their insights. Please excuse any punctuation or grammatical errors in this profile.

At a Glance

Current Job

Basic data on your current job

Job Title Packaging Systems Engineer
Salary $113,000
Other Compensation None Set
Hours/Week 45
Company Size (not answered)
Location parker, CO
Years Experience 5 years

Career Ratings

Opinions on your CAREER overall (i.e. not just your current job)

Years in Career 0
Education (not answered)
Income Rating 0 / 10
Interest Rating 0 / 10
Work-Life Rating 0 / 10
Fulfilment Rating 0 / 10

Current job Q&A

Describe the type of organization you work for.
Worldwide consulting organization 55,000+ employees at more than 160 offices in over 20 countries. Diverse segment representation including infrastructure, oil and gas, refining, pharmaceutical, food and beverage, aerospace and defense.

Describe your job role and responsibilities.
Traditional consulting in the food and beverage packaging industry to several clients. Equipment specification, packaging line design, capital projects scoping, scheduling and estimating. Construction management, commissioning and start up of equipment. Maintain relationships with equipment vendor representatives and keep abreast of new technologies.

Please list an additional benefits (beyond compensation) that you receive.
3 weeks PTO, EPO medical, dental, 401k, vision, stock purchase plan,

Do you feel you are under/over or well/fairly compensated at your current position?
average compensation

Does your job entail you working with others on a daily basis? Is this something you like/dislike about your job? Please explain.
I work with a 12-15 person team on a client site as well as interact with the client on a daily basis. I much enjoy this close knit team and sharing daily trials and tribulations among the group and client. The client/consultant division is quite seamless the majority of the time and the information is free flowing among the team. Very open communication.

Do you work collaboratively with supervisors/managers?

Do you work collaboratively with your co-workers?

Describe your work location (e.g., office, home, theatre, in the field) and what you like/dislike about working in it.
See above

Please rate each of the following aspects of your current job on a scale of 1-10 (10 being the highest/best):
Income: 2
Benefits: 6
Hours: 7
Co-Workers: 4
Supervisors: 5
Job Title: 8
Level of Responsibility: 3
The Actual Work: 1

A day in the life of…

Please describe a typical workday for you in your current job:

5am to 6am
6am to 7am
7am to 8am Arrive at client site office ~7:30am, check email, get my coffee, check calendar for the day, check with Project Managers to see if they need any immediate help for the day (Role: Mechanical Engineer). search through email for any ‘flagged’ items that need to be resolved today.
8am to 9am 8am – 9am: Role: Mechanical Engineer: update purchase requisition with additional piping materials needed for an installation in 5 weeks: Call subcontracting engineer to verify piping specifications. Discuss with Construction Manager any other missing items, call back subcontracting engineer to confirm. Update requisition and submit to purchasing. Call document control and purchasing to tell them the package is on the way. Prepare for 9am meeting on a new product development project
9am to 10am 9am to 10 am: Role: Packaging Equipment Lead Engineer for New product development project meeting with client and subcontractors. Phone conference with 8 people on schedule for project and equipment line design and installation.
10am to 11am Role: Packaging Equipment Lead Engineer: Call back subcontractor from previous meeting to discuss line design and the machine matrix which outlines which equipment will be chosen for packaging line, operations speeds, design speeds and the relationship between the upstream and downstream equipment speeds so that the line runs smoothly. Sent my spreadsheet of this information and discuss line design details related to the equipment the subcontractor is providing. Discussed alternative equipment. Brainstormed (‘Mythbusters’ style) designs for new capping machine. Gossiped on the latest packaging industry news.
11am to 12pm Role: Mentor. Lunch off site with my mentee.
12pm to 1pm Called document control to make sure the updated requisition was on its way to purchasing. Surf internet for palletizing equipment options. Answer emails from vendors I met at the Packaging Show. Send and answer email from a previous client on a project I was working on 6 months ago. Send email and updated machine matrix for new product to current client. Called on equipment vendors in adjacent times zones who were most likely not at lunch. (Labeler and Bottle Warmer company) looking for updated quotes and information. Role: Packaging Equipment Lead Engineer
1pm to 2pm Stopped by my client’s office and exchanged information about new product case packing equipment. Emphasized importance of a case design before estimating case packing equipment. Discussed role and responsibilities on new product project. Discussed my deliverables to client and any possible follow up work required. Role: Sales Engineer
2pm to 3pm Role: Mechanical Engineer. Discussed my scopes of work for several small equipment installations which I submitted to the Construction Manager. Reviewed drawings and scope verbiage, discussed detail installation and any changes or clarifications needed to the scopes prior to sending out to contractors for bid. Walked the plant in the areas. ~ 2pm – 3pm
3pm to 4pm 3 – 3:30pm Continued to walk plant with Construction Manager reviewing equipment installation sites. Discussed additional fittings need to complete work. 3:30-4pm: Called equipment vendor and discussed specs and pricing for additional fitting to route piping, vendor sent parts lists and I forwarded to Construction Manager. Stopped by Construction Manager cube and discussed that we would have contractor order the extra parts directly from vendor as needed, they are in stock items.
4pm to 5pm Updated scopes of work for just discussed projects. Discussed drawings changes needed with CAD Designer. Prepared Revision to scope of work package and waiting for drawing revisions to attach. Notify document control that a revision is coming through tomorrow. Prepare Contractor Bid request documentation and log onto the contractor bid request software. Enter data into computer software that generates the request. Notify purchasing a request for bid is on the way.
5pm to 6pm Organize desk. File or throw away extra papers. Write tasks for tomorrow on post it note and stick on monitor. Text husband to see what’s for dinner. Depart office ~ 5:30pm
6pm to 7pm Arrive home ~ 6:30pm
7pm to 8pm
8pm to 9pm
9pm to 10pm
10pm to 11pm
11pm to 12am

Table of Contents

How you got your job

How did you get your current job?
Submitted resume to company’s website

What was the application process?
Submitted resume and cover letter. Got call and had a phone interview

Did you have to interview for your current job? If yes, what did the interview process entail?
One phone interview followed by a face to face interview with 5 people in two group interviews.

If you can remember, what questions were you asked during the interview?
Why do you want to work for a consulting firm after having been on the client side of the relationship? Can you travel? What concerns do you have about now working on the consulting side of the business?

Do you feel your employer properly prepared you for your job? Explain.
My previous experience in the industry as a client has prepared me for this consulting position.

Was there training for your current position? If yes, what did it entail?
4 year engineering degree and then On The Job Training. As far as I can tell, there is no formal training or schooling for the packaging equipment engineering function.

Do you feel your educational background prepared you for your job? Explain.
definitely yes, scientific method works for engineering processes and business processes

If applicable, do you feel your internship experience helped you prepare for your job?
Internship with a medical device company introduced the workings of a manufacturing plant and was extremely valuable

If someone wanted to go about getting a job similar to yours, what would you recommend for him or her to do?
Get a 4-year traditional discipline engineering degree, electrical, mechanical, civil, etc. A Packaging Science degree may not help you very much in acquiring this equipment focused job. I would recommend getting manufacturing plant floor experience, preferably in maintenance or plant engineering. Spend a year in this role and then start getting into project engineering experience working on scoping out small plant projects. Spend as much time on the floor as possible and learn to work with operators and maintenance personnel and network with their managers on up. Ask questions, learn the functions of the different departments, quality, material planners, packaging materials,R&D, warehousing and everything supply chain including sales and who the customers are. Understand and develop an appreciation for the Marketing function and make friends with these folks. This awareness will minimize you being blindsided from requests and changes to equipment and train you to look up and down the supply chain when planning a new product/equipment installation, scheduling start up, building inventory for shutdown and identifying your internal customers. That is a good foundation which you can either develop further at your first company or market to another (preferably larger) company. Solid experience with several companies is well received by a consulting firm looking to hire. My personal recommendation is to spend several years at client companies (5+) before moving over to a consulting position. As a result, you will outshine any engineer who was hired directly into consulting who does not have that direct client experience.

What skills do you think a person should have if they want to pursue a position like yours?
An intellectual curiosity, must not be afraid to ask questions, must have maturity to work with all career levels and maturity levels of people. Ask ‘what if?’. Have a passion for execution and seeing a plan come together. Developed social skills to ask the right questions and develop rapport with everyone you encounter, even the janitor. In early career, every encounter should be an opportunity to learn about that person, their job, their role within the company, what their goals are, and who are their internal customers. Be a promoter, help them meet their goals and they will return the favor. Stay positive, don’t bash management, instead tell them concerns and have possible solutions. And of course, sound skills in engineering principles and especially solid comprehension of the scientific method. Being able to apply the scientific method to situations that involve a combination of Machinery, Materials, Method, *and* Man.

Do you feel that you need a certain level of education or training to be successful in your job?
Typically you cannot be hired as an engineer if you do not have a 4 year engineering degree.

What advice would you give to someone who was about to start work in your position/ line of work?
See ‘skills’ question above. The packaging world is a rather small industry. You will see and meet the same people your entire career though they may be at different companies. Don’t burn bridges. Understand the key relationships and interactions in the packaging world. You may think you’re just installing a piece of equipment, but it’s also your responsibility (indirectly) that the packaging materials work correctly on the equipment and it is properly operated and maintained. Remember Machinery, Materials, Method, Man.

Long-term career plans

Is your current employment part of your overall career plan? Why or why not?
I have reached the goal of my current career plan. Throughout my career I have worked toward being considered an expert in my field and called upon by many clients to help them realize their new product. I’ll be ‘here’ for the next few years developing my skills further.

What are your current career goals?
See above. Current career goal is to stay the course and develop relationships with new clients through my employer and start a family.

Is there anything else you would like to share about your career?
I have learned that career success in this industry relies on building relationships (vendor, client, internal) and having a continued passion for packaging. This passion is shared by the majority of folks in this industry and is what gets us out of bed in the morning. The passion is #1 and everything else just seems to fall into place.

Educational background

Please list your educational background:

High School GPA:

GPA School Degree
College (Undergraduate)
or Technical/Vocational
2.8 University of Florida BS Mechanical Engineering
Graduate or Professional
(Masters or Doctorate)
4 Stevens Institute of Technology MS Engineering Management

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