Branching Out in the Paper and Wood Products Industry During Summer Internships
AF&PA Summer interns share their learnings from their internship
AF&PA is excited to introduce our 2023 summer interns!
- Sophie Bockman – Strategic Communications Intern
- Sarah Calvert – Government Affairs Intern
- Joley Clodfelter – Public Policy Intern
In recent months, Sophie, Sarah and Joley had the opportunity to learn about the policies that shape the paper and wood products industry, how AF&PA advocates on behalf of our members, and saw firsthand how our departments work together to achieve our goals.
What Interests you in the Paper and Wood Products Industry?
“I am highly interested in the sustainability sector of the industry. It has been fascinating to study the various practices this industry implements to pave the way for a more sustainable future, which is a necessary course of action for all of us.” – Sophie Bockman, James Madison University ‘25
“Sustainable forestry is something I am passionate about and is important to invest in as we continue to impact the environment. The paper industry is a leader in sustainability, with paper being the most widely recycled material in the U.S.” – Sarah Calvert, Michigan State University ‘24
“I have become more and more interested in our forests and how to sustainably manage them while still producing paper and wood products that are vital to the industry.” – Joley Clodfelter, Purdue University ‘24
What Did You Learn About the Paper and Wood Products Industry that Surprised You?
“I think the most surprising part of this industry was taking that peek behind the curtain. There are so many moving parts to the work AF&PA does, and it is so interesting to see how the pieces of the puzzle fall into place and how every person here matters.” – Sophie Bockman, James Madison University ’25
"This summer I learned how circular the paper industry’s value chain is. I was not aware of just how resourceful the industry is, and how much product is reused in the production chain.” – Sarah Calvert, Michigan State University, ‘25
"Before working at AF&PA, I never knew how so many industries are interconnected and how environmental policies affect them in similar ways. Every industry works together, and it is important for agencies to collaborate to make suggestions to the EPA, assess new regulations, and reach common environmental goals.” - Joley Clodfelter, Purdue University ‘24
What are Some of Your Favorite Projects From Your Internship This Summer?
"Though I have thoroughly enjoyed all my projects this summer, my favorites include aiding in AF&PA’s 2023 Advocacy Day, writing a recycling Q&A article for our website, and drafting various graphics and posts for our respective social media accounts. Unsurprisingly, all these projects share a common denominator: collaboration. That’s something to take advantage of when given the opportunity to solicit diverse perspectives.” – Sophie Bockman, James Madison University ‘25
"I really enjoyed becoming more familiar with federal policy this summer. I enjoyed attending hearings and learning how trade associations interact with both their members and Congress members through writing memos and letters.” – Sarah Calvert, Michigan State University, ‘25
"Through AF&PA’s voluntary SIF (serious injuries and fatalities) program, members aim to reduce SIFs and foster a safe work environment. I have enjoyed working on organizing information for association members who have joined the SIF program, so they can receive their commitment certificate.” – Joley Clodfelter, Purdue University ‘24
What’s Something You Wish Future Students Knew About this Industry?
"This industry is a lot more than just paper and recycling. It has the power and network to engender discussion and subsequently, revolutionize legislation. This industry’s workforce is unquestionably diligent amidst the frenzy of all the advocacy work they do”. – Sophie Bockman, James Madison University ‘25
I want future students to know that the paper industry is sustainable and vital. Though I believe that people have moved away from this idea, I think it is important to know that discontinuing the use of paper products is not more environmentally friendly” – Sarah Calvert, Michigan State University ‘25
“I wish future students knew how impactful the paper and wood products industry is. So many of our daily tasks involve paper and other wood products. We don’t even realize it, and we definitely don’t think about what we would do without these products. Being more aware of the significance of this industry will aid in open mindedness and an interest for paper and wood.” – Joley Clodfelter, Purdue University ‘24
Who Inspires You?
“When I was younger, I often found myself inspired by the humanitarian fervor of my neighborhood. There were nonstop blood drives, fundraising events and sign-ups to bring struggling families in our small community meals and hopefully some respite. I look back on those memories now and realize how incredibly lucky I was and still am. My parents tend to that faith inside of me unknowingly as they care for the people around them every single day openly and without reservation.” – Sophie Bockman, James Madison University ‘25
“My mom is my biggest inspiration because she is such a hard-working woman. She is a chemical engineer and is usually the only woman of her colleagues. She is the reason I am such an independent person, and someone who does not allow others to walk over me.” – Sarah Calvert, Michigan State University ‘25
"As a whole, AF&PA has been an inspiration to me this summer. It has been inspiring to witness our President and CEO, Heidi Brock, at the forefront of such a meaningful association. The policy department, along with others, has worked diligently to make differences in environmental and natural resource policy. Also, a shoutout to my parents, Scott and Andrea, who are so hardworking and provided me with everything I could ever want or need. They inspire me to be just as hardworking.” – Joley Clodfelter, Purdue University ‘24
Thank you to our 2023 Summer interns! We can’t wait to see where you “branch” out to next.