Student Spotlight: Ben McMurray
Ben McMurray is one of three students offered a 2020 internship through CPULD’s Distribution Packaging Internship Program. McMurray grew up with two younger sisters in Lorton, Virginia, and is now one of the many Northern Virginia students who attend Virginia Tech. Both of his parents are alumni, and McMurray has wanted to attend Virginia Tech since childhood and his first trip with his family to attend a Hokie football game. Over the years, he has visited the Blacksburg area regularly with his family and considered it a second home even before moving on campus.
McMurray started his college career in the Pamplin College of Business. He enjoyed learning how companies function and create revenue but wanted something different from the normal business curriculum. He chose to change his major to packaging systems and design and is still working on a minor in business. He decided on this pairing because it will allow him to apply his business background to the production of sustainable packaging solutions.
McMurray has found Forest Products Business Systems to be his most interesting course so far. He especially enjoyed how the class tied business concepts into sustainability issues within the packaging industry. He stated that the most helpful skill that he’s learned during his time at Virginia Tech is time management. McMurray said that he would tell future students that being able to effectively manage their time is a great skill to have, and it makes life much easier on every level.
In the future, McMurray hopes to start at the production level of a packaging firm in order to learn the ins and outs of the industry. After a few years at the production level, his ultimate goal is to work his way up to sales for a packaging firm. He plans to work with individual clients daily and feels that having prior experience on the production side of the industry will allow him to provide his clients with more insight as well as any information they might need.
McMurray said that easily the best part about his time at Virginia Tech are the friends and memories he has made. He stated that “everything, from tailgating before football games, to hiking the mountains around the Blacksburg area — all activities are always made more enjoyable when done with friends.” McMurray fills his free time with hunting, fishing, and playing baseball. And, although his favorite food is his grandmother’s homemade ravioli, McMurray said that his ideal Saturday would include fishing and then cooking the fish he caught for his friends and family.