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Monday, April 3, 2017

Get to Know LATIS's Jake Kramer

Name: Jake Kramer

What is your educational background? Bachelor’s of Communication Studies from the University of Minnesota

When did you start working at UMN? As a student, September 2010, as a full-time employee, July 2015.

What is your current job title and describe what you do ? Assistant Equipment Manager. Essentially my skills are creating digital media, managing media creation tools (video equipment/spaces), working closely with employees, and troubleshooting software and physical issues with gear/electronics.

What brought you to your current job?  I’m a product of the system! I attended the University as an undergraduate and stumbled my way through the first few years. In my junior year I finally discovered courses in the Communications field that dealt with television and film, and from there everything fell into place.
Soon after my first production course I took a job as a student technician in what was then CLA-OIT. I spent a few years working for CLA-OIT as well as picking up a second job with OIT as an ATSS student editor. Before I knew it graduation was looming. Luckily for me, it was coinciding with the opening of a new position.

The application process and appointment were still a few months off when I graduated so I had to spend a few months in limbo. Luckily I was offered a temporary no-post position that kept me afloat. Eventually the position posted and I applied. Approaching two years later, I am happy and successful in my position and always grateful for the opportunities I had as a part of the “system."

What is your favorite aspect of your job? What is your favorite aspect of your job? Easily the most enjoyable aspect of my job is seeing new students come up and grow through their classes and employment with us. Each semester is a bit of a new adventure. As is the function of universities, we get a lot of student turnover due to graduation. This is both tough and exciting. It challenges me constantly and keeps me fresh and in-check on the day-to-day functions of our workplace. I need to train new folk all of the time!
The sad half of that is seeing the students grow, become successful adults and move into their own positions upon graduation. It is a bittersweet feeling.

What is your favorite place on campus? The Knoll. Hands down one of the most beautiful places on our campus, especially during the Fall. It’s what initially drew me to the campus. It has that prestigious feel as well as being connected with what was the once homey feeling Dinkytown. It’s an excellent place to relax, quickly walk across the street for lunch, and it is essentially a thoroughfare for everywhere else on East Bank. I’ve always thought to myself if they filmed one of those dramatic college films, it would be shot largely in and around the Knoll area.

Your hometown and the first place you lived after leaving your hometown? My hometown is Holmen, WI. It’s a little place, just north of La Crosse, where we have a yearly celebration dedicated to corn (tis a silly place.) After I moved away I did the usual and lived in a dorm for the first year. The shift from rural Wisconsin to Minneapolis was a bit shocking. Thinking about it now, I am so, so happy, that I was able to experience the culture shock.

What was your worst or most unusual job? My worst job? I can’t really say I had a worst job, I was just happy to be making money and surviving. Although I will say, working late nights at Qdoba in Dinkytown wasn’t the most wonderful experience.  Drunk people tend to not be the greatest patrons of food service.

Pet peeves:
Hypocrisy and people who don’t respect the opinions of others.

Before I die, I would like to:
Go back to Ireland for an extended visit.