FLiP Files: FLiP Mentorship Program


Eric Ellenbogen didn’t plan for a career in plastics.  In fact, he found the industry through- in his words- “happenstance.”  A positive internship experience with the packaging company Sealed Air Corporation led to a full-time job after college.  Eric is a chemical engineer at Sealed Air Corporation and recently celebrated three years at the organization. 

Eric now wants to learn as much about the plastics industry as he can.  And that is why he signed up for the FLiP Mentorship Program.

The FLiP Mentorship Program pairs young professionals with more tenured plastics industry professionals to share ideas and learn from each other during a six-month timeframe. Eric learned about this program while attending NPE2018 in Orlando. After returning from NPE, he expressed his interest in the program and applied. In March of 2019, he was paired with Paul Walker, the director of Global Process Engineering at Otter Products.

The pair scheduled regular calls for the first five months of the mentorship program. Eric valued the calls and the chance to “gain perspective and professional feedback.”

“Having a mentor in a different area of the plastics industry allowed me to gain a holistic outlook on the industry.  But our conversations were not just a one-way street. I was able to share a few ideas from my experiences as well.”

During the last month in the program, Eric learned that both he and Paul were planning to attend PLASTICS’ 2019 Fall Conference. The pair enjoyed the chance to meet face-to-face after months of talking and sharing experience. Eric and Paul kept in touch after their meeting—sharing notes and ideas gathered from the Fall Conference.

For those considering signing up for the FLiP Mentorship Program, Eric says that there are “only upsides” in the program.

“It is a valuable experience having a mentor in the plastics industry.  Anyone who is driven and wants to develop in the industry should sign up for the program.”

The FLiP Files is a blog series spotlighting young professionals who are active in PLASTICS' Future Leaders in Plastics (FLiP), a group for plastics professionals under the age of 40. Interested in participating in the FLiP Mentorship Program? Email Leslie Schmiesing, Manager, Business Development by Friday, February 28th to apply.