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Meet Maddison Dockum, Manufacturing Engineering Co-op Student with Irving Tissue

 Maddison Dockum


Maddison Dockum is a mechanical engineering student attending the University at Buffalo. She is in her second co-op term with Irving Tissue Fort Edward. We asked Maddison a few questions about her experience and here is what she said:

Q. What are you enjoying most about working with Irving Tissue?

When I first started as a co-op student, I was unaware of the specific manufacturing and converting processes that went into the production of the final paper products we buy as consumers. I have enjoyed learning from the operators about each stage. It has given me a better understanding of the machines and how they work. I have also really enjoyed working with each department and getting to know everyone at Irving Tissue.

Q. Co-ops are a great way to gain experience, what skills have you learned that you can apply throughout your education or career while at your co-op at Irving Tissue?

It has been very reassuring to know that the information I have learned throughout my education can be applied to the real world. I have been eager to learn certain engineering aspects, but they involved hands-on experience which I was unable to complete due to the current pandemic situation. This co-op term has allowed me to gain the hands-on skills I needed and has enhanced my understanding of many topics.

Q. What project(s) are you working on?

I have been implementing solutions to reduce our overall Converting Risk Assessment score, updating the performance boards to more operator-friendly versions for each line, creating troubleshooting guides to ensure our product coding quality standards are met, and working with the Reliability Department to get the newly consolidated lubrication chart implemented on each line.

Q. Being at Irving Tissue for your co-op, have you had a chance to learn about any of J.D. Irving's other businesses? 

As a co-op student, I have been included in the J.D. Irving Summer and Fall 2020 Student Communities through Microsoft Teams. This group has given me a glimpse what my fellow co-op students are working on at the other J.D. Irving businesses. I have heard from several speakers about what they are enjoying while working within these businesses. The jobs I have enjoyed hearing about most have been from the employees at Irving Shipbuilding, Kent Homes, and the other Irving Tissue locations. Hearing these guest speakers and co-op students share what they are working on within their business has allowed me to see all the opportunities J.D. Irving has to offer.

Q. What would you tell your fellow students about the opportunities at Irving Tissue?

Pursue a co-op opportunity at Irving Tissue, especially at the Fort Edward plant. My time here has been very educational and has allowed me to get a taste of what working as an engineer in the real world is like. I would push anyone to take part in a co-op while in college. It is important to gain an idea of what field you could see yourself working in in the future. After working as a Manufacturing Engineering Co-op student here, I can confidently say that I could see myself staying in the manufacturing environment.

I am very grateful for the opportunities Irving Tissue has given me and I hope the future students who take part in their co-op programs will feel the same way.