2018-19 Member Profiles
Learn more about Communicators Forum members.
November Profile: Paul Schwarzkopf
Started working at the U: 2 years, 3 months, and 14 days ago. [as of October 24th]
Current job title / Unit: Communications Specialist for U Market Services / Printing Services
When did you become a UMCF member? The first week I began working at the U. For serious.
What brought you to your current job? Previously, I was managing communications at various non-profits throughout the Twin Cities. One of these non-profits was right next to the U, so I was near campus a lot. I loved the energy and vibrancy that seemed to be emanating from the place and I wanted to tap into it. Now, that I work here, I still feel this kinetic pulse when I walk around campus.
What is your favorite aspect of your job? I’m the only communications person in my department, which means I get asked to do all kinds of things. I get bored with repetition, so it’s perfect for me. I have done everything from designing UMN themed mini-golf courses for the Community Fund Drive to operating a boom mic on a video shoot. I’m willing to try my hand at pretty much anything.
Tell us about one of the coolest projects you’ve worked on for your job at the U. This past October, I had the pleasure of helping the University gather stock video using a portable jib. The idea was to get dynamic, aerial shots of different places on campus. To do so, we had to take this giant jib contraption apart and then reassemble it each time we changed shot locations. It was exhaustingly fun.
What do you do for fun? In my free time, I make electronic music using synthesizers and drum machines. My goal is to twist, tweak and affect these machines until they don’t sound like machines at all, but like something you’ve never heard before. Or ever want to hear again.
What was your worst or most unusual job? My worst job was working at a place I named “The Dust Factory.” It was at an industrial plant that made the core ingredient of colored concrete, which is a very light-weight, colored powder.
I was hired to keep the place clean, but the task was virtually impossible. Once I would finish sweeping up all the colored powder off the floor, I would turn around to find that the entire floor was once again fully covered in dust. It was like I was an actor in a Samuel Beckett play. But it certainly motivated me to finish college!
Motto or personal mantra: It’s a lot easier to do nothing, than something.
I’m happiest when: I’m deep enough in nature that I can’t hear the sounds of the city, but still know that civilization is close, because I have, like, zero survival skills.
Favorite place on Earth? The House on the Rock. This place is simply indescribable. After I’ve gone through it (and I have many times), I’m never thinking to myself “Wow, I’m so inspired,” or “That was such an amazing experience.” Generally I just leave with this feeling of disorientation from reality and an uncertainty of what just happened. It’s great!