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Esko shares expertise and knowledge with Ryerson University students at international Honours Class

Friday, September 11, 2015

Press release from the issuing company

Successful student course, in its second year, reinforces Esko’s industry commitment 

Miamisburg, OH (USA) – Esko reports that Ryerson University students participated in a highly successful edition of this summer's Honours Class in Flexible Packaging. The Honours Class was organized in cooperation with the Artevelde University College Ghent. 

The unique Honours Class provides a complementary in-depth course on Flexible Packaging Prepress. Returning after a successful Summer Class last year, this year it was formalized with credits and widened to include international partners of Artevelde University College. "Esko invited students outside of the Artevelde University this year. Ryerson University was the only participant from North America, and represented five of the twenty students who participated," explains Ian Baitz, Chair, School of Graphic Communications Management, Ryerson University. "They received university credits, participated in plant tours, and were taught by Esko engineers and instructors who are experts in their solutions. Students were able to focus for two full weeks on the content of the course, and nothing else. There were 80 hours of classroom time which, in terms of Ryerson, represented two full semester courses." 

All of these third-year students enjoyed both a theoretical and practical education that included real-life situations, allowing them to experience the complete packaging development process from design concept to ready-to-print flexo plates. There were also visits to flexible packaging printer Segers & Belcaen, folding carton packaging printer Du Caju and flexo service provider Athena Graphics. 

Getting business-ready

Jan De Roeck, Director of Solutions Management at Esko, says the course was a great success, commenting: “We know that all of the students who attended our program have a very good educational and technical foundation due to the high quality of the classes. We are very excited to add our industry expertise to this high quality education program.” 

The initiative is one of many examples of Esko’s long-term commitment to supporting schools and students as part of its mission to “educate to innovate”. This is accomplished by providing software and hardware solutions and through hands-on training at a variety of educational institutions worldwide, including Ryerson. De Roeck adds, “While a good, broad, basic training is provided by the institutions, our insights into the latest innovations and practical experience in the field of packaging, signs and POS displays help develop a more business-ready understanding for students. We continuously research the market and develop solutions that address key challenges and consider it vital that we invest in ensuring that our knowledge is passed on to emerging industry talent. This Honours Class ticks all the boxes."

“The Honours Class consisted not only of the two weeks at the premises of Esko but also of personal work to be done beforehand and after,” comments Baitz. “In the months before the class, there were very significant course work assignments learning about packaging workflows. Assignments were received by students through Esko WebCenter. There was also a post-course assignment required." 

Real-life testing for greater understanding

So how did the students feel the Honours Class went? Michelle Paquette comments, “Students who are studying Graphic Communications Management at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada must complete a summer internship program in the graphic arts industry between their third and fourth year of university. The purpose of the internship is to allow the students to apply their education to real life situations. This course was a great way to broaden my knowledge about the entire packaging supply chain, understand how it all works and improve my ability to explain it to other people.”

Amy Nhan says, “The nice thing about this Honours Class was that it combined all of the information we had already received from school, and we gained a more in-depth understanding of Esko’s products and software. I thought there was very good communication between the students and Esko. It opened doors, developed cooperation with other schools and students, and offered new contacts." 

Competitive insight

"It was a great international event," adds De Roeck. "The Honours Class is an eye opener as it gives students the opportunity to develop new skills and to get to know the company better. It is a stepping-stone towards a professional career. Everyone benefits! Students enjoy the unique experience and it presents job opportunities; Esko is able to share knowledge with future employees, and Ryerson enjoys the exchange of knowledge and expertise, expanding the value of its programs.”

"The feedback from students and the organizers was extremely positive. We were all able to develop a partnership between Esko and schools around the world," concludes Baitz. "It was unique, offering a one-of-a-kind intensive learning experience. We would certainly like to participate again."


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