University Recruiting

See Where Opportunities are Made.

We offer college programs that help us build future leaders.

75 Associates

The average number of full-time associates and summer interns we hire each year in North America.

20 Universities & Colleges

The number of schools we hired from during the 2018-2019 college season in North America

14 Businesses

The number of Sonoco business units that look to hire into their programs


Percentage of our Leadership Team who came from our intern or training program(s).

Employees Talking

Emerging Leaders Program

The Sonoco Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) is for students either seeking a summer "intern" position or a full-time opportunity. Each Sonoco division has a uniqueness about them, but each one has a program that is designed and guided by the same core competencies; Technical Skills, Leadership Training, Business Insights and Cultural Integration. We have opportunities across functions such as Manufacturing & Operations, Research & Development, Accounting & Finance, Supply Chain Management and Sales.

Your career journey begins here.

The Emerging Leaders Program (ELP) look similar but different depending on what business unit you join. Your title may be a Manufacturing Associate, Rotational Finance Analyst, Supply Chain Associate, Sales Associate or even an R&D or Technical Engineer.

The core of the program remains the same. The programs typically last 12-18 months where you'll develop your skills by working on impactful projects in focused areas such as Safety, Budgeting, Mentorship, Accountability, Risk Taking, Communication, Collaboration and Innovation. 

We provide medical benefits, retirement benefits, relocation assistance and much more!

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Sonoco Employee

Try us out for the summer.

Our Internship Program is designed to be a stepping stone into a full-time associate role in the ELP. Our programs last approximately 12 weeks and you'll do similar work to full-time associates, but on a shortened timeline. We assist with housing and relocation costs, because we know college students have a tight budget.

We'll provide opportunities through the summer to connect and engage with other summer associates across the company as well as senior leaders, either through our annual Summer Event, or through connecting you to our Diversity & Unity resource groups. 

Each of our divisions use this time to 'test the waters' with the hope that you head back to campus with another offer in hand!

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Group Photo

Where Can You Find Us Next?

Whether it's a career fair, information session, networking event or club/organization meeting, we want to meet you!

Virtual Event: Sustainability at Sonoco, Thursday, July 9, 2020, 3pm - 4pm EST, Pre-Registration is Required

Join Sonoco's Director of Global Sustainability, Laura Rowell, as she explains an award-winning company's commitment to sustainability. Sonoco has met goals to reduce its environmental footprint on the world but, with the help of our employees, we're not stopping there. Sonoco remains committed to prioritizing sustainability through strategic practices with company, customer and consumer benchmarks in mind. Learn about Sonoco's strategy to be not only a leader but a collaborator in the sustainability conversation. 

Pre-Register Here!
Hand holding globe

Manufacturing in a lean industry.

We value all perspectives and backgrounds, and look for qualities and characteristics that fit the Sonoco culture first and foremost. However, there are specific majors that tend to fit our needs better than others. Don't see your major listed? That's okay, still check out our openings to see if you might fit a specific role. 

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Sonoco Employees

Have a Question? We have the Answers!

1. What is Sonoco's Emerging Leaders Program (ELP)? 

The Emerging Leaders Program is designed for college students or graduates to gain the skills and experience they need to quick start their career. There are two types of positions within the Emerging Leaders Program, summer internships and full-time opportunities. Open positions vary each year when it comes to departments and divisions.


2. What sets our program apart from others?


Our Emerging Leaders Program has been around for over 40 years! Our program is not only project-based but extremely hands-on, giving participants the opportunity to take what's been learned in the classroom and former internships and apply it to real world business situations. Our ELP participants have the chance to make true impacts from day one. 

Every person in the program will have opportunities to become experienced in the following areas: 

  • Leadership Training
  • Various technical skills based on the area of focus
  • Business Insights
  • Cultural Integration

Former ELP members have continued to thrive with Sonoco and have progressed to a variety of positions including Plant Managers, Financial Analysts, Account Development Engineers, and more! Many of our current Sonoco leaders began their journey as part of the Emerging Leaders Program.  


3. Where will I be located? 


Locations of openings vary each year. Some positions are located at our global headquarters in Hartsville, SC, while some positions are in our other U.S. locations including, but not limited to, Chicago, Memphis, and Orlando. The job postings which are available to view in August, show specific location details. We also assist with relocation costs.

4. Do interns get paid? 

The answer is YES! All internships are paid and we also help with a summer housing allowance.

5. What does the timeline look like? 

Applications for intern and full-time associate positions are available starting in August each year and can be completed online. We are looking for December or May graduates for open full-time associate positions, which will start in January or June the following year. Summer internship positions typically run from May - August.

6. Who can I contact if I have specific questions about Sonoco's ELP?  

Sonoco's University Relations Coordinator is here to help!

For questions, send us an email!
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Employees at Job Fair

Career Fairs & Beyond.

To support our 160+ operations in North America, we host or attend 60+ campus events every fall season. Some of the schools we attend include the University of South Carolina, Clemson University, Michigan State University, The Citadel, NC State, University of Tennessee, and many more throughout the entire United States!

We host virtual events throughout the year for college students to attend on a variety of informative topics. We also attend virtual college career fairs.

Check out the "Upcoming Events" tab above for event specific details and pre-registration links!

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Hear their stories.

One core piece of our culture is Development. The Emerging Leaders Program is designed to train you to grow as a future leader by providing you the opportunity to acquire new skills, work in teams, and lead projects. The exposure and experiences your receive are the catalyst to your growth.

Want to know more about the projects you can work on? Hear it from current and former summer and full-time associates.

A Glimpse into Life at Sonoco

Meet the Sonoco Recruiting team.

  • Sonoco Employee

    Erica B.

    Lead, University Relations & Hourly Recruiting
    Alma Mater: Winthrop University & University of South Carolina
    "Keep your resume up-to-date with all relevant projects and accomplishments."

  • Sonoco Employee

    Caroline W.

    Coordinator, University Relations
    Alma Mater: Clemson University
    "Practice your interview skills with a friend or professor. Your career services department is also a great resource."

  • Sonoco Employee

    Kelly H.

    Talent Acquisition Lead
    Alma Mater: Francis Marion University
    "Come to the interview with some intelligent questions for the interviewer that demonstrate your knowledge of the company as well as your serious intent."

  • Sonoco Employee

    Peter L.

    Talent Acquisition Business Partner
    Alma Mater: University of California, Davis
    "Sending thank you notes after the interview is always recommended and can be the deciding factor between two stellar candidates."

  • Sonoco Empluyee

    Brittany P.

    Talent Acquisition Business Partner
    Alma Mater: Western Illinois University
    "Don’t be afraid to ask for clarification before you answer interview questions."

  • Sonoco Employee

    Judi L.

    Talent Acquisition Business Partner
    Alma Mater: Lander University
    “Don’t forget the power of your body language and energy when interviewing in-person."

  • Sonoco Employee

    Erin J.

    Talent Acquisition Business Partner
    Alma Mater: Clemson University
    "If you are doing a phone interview – make sure you are in a quiet place and have good service if you are using your cell phone."

  • Sonoco Employee

    Jackie F.

    Talent Acquisition Business Partner
    Alma Mater: University of Central Florida
    "Have a strong elevator speech to sell yourself to the interviewer when they ask you to share more about yourself."

  • Sonoco Employee

    Sarah V.

    Talent Acquisition Business Partner
    Alma Mater: University of South Carolina
    "Be sure to read the job description and tailor your resume or interview stories to the needs of the role."