College of Natural Resources and Environment: What have you been doing since you graduated?

Trey Good: Since I graduated from Virginia Tech, I have been working mostly as a packaging engineer for Newell Brands and, for a short time, under Stanley Black and Decker. In 2017, I started working as a packaging engineer supporting the Writing Division. After about a year, I took over as the packaging engineer supporting new product development for brands such as PaperMate and Sharpie. About a year ago, I was promoted to senior packaging engineer for the Rubbermaid Commercial Division. Most recently, I moved back to the Writing Division as the senior packaging engineer on Elmer’s.

Outside of my career, I married my beautiful wife Carrie. We bought a house together and are loving every minute of it. We also adopted our dog Oakley. I started my own business with my friend Greg: Queen City Golf Tour LLC. It’s an amateur golf league in Charlotte for players of all skill levels. We set out to create a fun and social space for golfers and, eventually, to give them access to some of the amazing private golf clubs in the area. In January 2022, I also started pursuing my Master’s degree in business administration from Auburn University.

What is your fondest memory?

Good: My time as a CNRE ambassador. I have found, post-graduation, how much I love getting back and working with students. I got a sneak peek at this while I was an ambassador. I was able to interact with and tell prospective students about the reasons I love being in the college and at Virginia Tech. I know when I was considering Virginia Tech, some ambassadors called me and this made a huge impact on my decision to attend. I knew then that I wanted to do what they were doing.

CNRE: What is the most amazing thing that you did or learned?

Good: The most amazing thing I did in my time at Virginia Tech was reconnect with my eventual wife Carrie, who attended James Madison University! But when it comes specifically to my career, one of the best things I ever did was reach out to Dr. Laszlo Horvath about the internship program at the Center for Packaging and Unit Load Design (CPULD) as a freshman. I learned how to create and give presentations, how to do research, and how to execute testing. This experience landed me an internship opportunity at Packaging Corporation of America and then at Newell Brands. Without that experience, I don’t think I would be where I am today. Just taking that leap of faith to ask Dr. Horvath if I could apply for the internship really changed the trajectory of my career.

CNRE: What professors inspired you?

Good: It’s hard to pick, but two professors inspired and pushed me. First, I would say Dr. Horvath. He really challenged me very early on in my time at Virginia Tech, and I was fortunate enough to be given the opportunity to work at our CPULD as an intern. I received firsthand experience, face time with companies in the industry, exposure to professors and graduate students, and tons of knowledge. It really set the groundwork and gave me confidence in myself. Dr. Horvath believed in me and guided me throughout my time at Virginia Tech, and, for that, I am forever grateful!

The other professor who really inspired me was Dr. Young Kim because he gave me opportunities to grow as a leader. He pushed me to put my name in the hat to become the Packaging Club president. Through his guidance and mentorship, we were able make improvements to the club to set it up for success. He makes the effort to stay in contact and shows compassion for and genuine interest in his students. I was and will continue to be forever grateful to him as an alumnus!

CNRE: If you could go back in time, what’s the one thing you would tell your undergraduate self?

Good: Get out of your comfort zone and challenge yourself. There are few times in life when you get a second chance, but when you go to college, not many people know you. This is your time to start with a clean slate, reinvent yourself, and build confidence.