Damen Soriente, Millennial, Rutgers packaging engineering Rising Star and 2015 graduate, talks about what his career looks like working in packaging for Coty’s Sally Hansen brand.
First there was our Rising Star series of notable packaging students—see below—and now we’re launching a spinoff, so to speak: We follow up with those star students and other Millennials working within the wide world of packaging in a new series.
Kicking things off is Damen Soriente, a 2015 Packaging Engineering graduate who had been recognized by Rutgers University as a Rising Star. When we reached out to him to see how things were going, we found out that Soriente had landed a position at Coty shortly after our article was published last spring (see Engineered for packaging by Rutgers University).
“I accepted a job as a developer for the packaging concept development team at Coty,” Soriente says. “To my good fortune, I have been able to utilize a great deal of the information and techniques that I learned while at Rutgers to support me on my projects and tasks.”
Soriente responds to our questions about his work in packaging in this Q&A:
What do you do in that positon?
Soriente: I work on the development of the packaging primary and secondary from the conception phase through the execution phase for the Sally Hansen brand. I work cross-functionally with multiple departments as well as outside sources in order to deliver a product that is imagined by the marketing and creative teams. I also work on prototyping of new designs with CAD drawings using Solidworks and other available resources.
What do you like the most about your job?
Soriente: The team I work with and the open environment. There is such a wealth of knowledge of the packaging industry and technologies through the leader and directors in my department. I have had the opportunity to pick the brains of each of the people I work with and learn new information. They are always nearby to answer any questions that I may have, or help me through something I have never done before.
Also, the company has put a great deal of investment into me through different trainings and classes that I have taken. With the popular mindset that work is terrible, I would say I am lucky enough to enjoy what I do every day.
Coty brands and packaging on display.
What’s it like to be a Millennial in packaging working for a major brand owner?
Soriente: It has been an incredible experience so far. Being such a large company there is such an abundance of information to take in. Coty has such a diverse employee base in both age and culture, which allows the company to explore an enormous customer base. It is really rewarding that I can walk into a store and see items on the shelf that I had a hand in working on and developing.
What has been the biggest work-world surprise?
Soriente: That is being able to make such an immediate impact. Since the day I started, the ideas that I have come up with have been taken into serious consideration, which pushes me to better myself and create an even larger impact in the company. It’s also incredible how well that “it’s a small world”, applies to the packaging industry. At almost every industry event that I have attended, colleagues of mine have known a ton of people at the event from either working with them in the past or them working for Coty in the past.
What’s been your most rewarding or stimulating project?
Soriente: Working on blue sky development, which is designing something that has never been done before. With the resources I have available I can design something and prototype it the same day. The stimulating part of these projects is getting to watch the potential customers test out the prototypes during panel testing and give immediate feedback on the designs.
What’s your next challenge?
Soriente: I look forward to receiving more project roles and responsibilities as we move forward. There is always something new to learn and challenges that arise because Coty covers so many different types of products in the beauty industry. Going forward, I hope to receive new types of projects that will expand my knowledge of different types of materials and packaging methods and to really test what I know and have learned.
Our virtual reunion, Rising Stars shine a light on packaging education, features our first six Rising Stars.
Interested in continuing your professional education in packaging? Join like-minded professionals at EastPack in New York City June 14 to 16 in New York City.