It took Mike three jobs and a period of six months of unemployment before being given the honor of working for WGVU and PBS/NPR. Starting as a copy editor for GVSU’s student newspaper, The Lanthorn, Mike was quickly repositioned to graphic artist when the marketing manager noticed him creating graphics on their new state-of-the-art Macintosh computers (with monochrome screen) in his spare time.
For the next four years, Mike concentrated on learning film, video, and his main focus animation. After his senior year at GVSU, Mike landed a job with a local newspaper and stayed for several years until offered a job at a print shop largely due to his innate knowledge of computers. Mike later found a job restoring old and damaged photos for a company whose roots were in creating slide presentations for local businesses and big corporations in the 80s. Restoring these photos proved to be quite rewarding as it provided people with lasting memories and often new ones as clients would ask to have backgrounds, items or people removed from a setting to create a completely new photo.
Mike grew up on the east side of Michigan with his mom and older brother. His mom was an English/Literature teacher for middle and high school and after retiring, moved back to the same house in which she was raised. “My brother had an interest in cars from a very young age,” Mike remarks. “We both inherited our father’s artistic skill (Mike’s father was German, hence the last name – the “y” replacing the original “i” when his father was born in Poland) and while I was drawing horses and other animals my brother was drawing cars.” His brother attended Central Michigan University and graduated with a degree in journalism which he put to good use writing for many popular car magazines and publishing four “how-to” books on car repair or modification, including some pictures and illustrations from his favorite brother, Mike.
“I’m very fortunate to have had the experiences in my life that led me to working for WGVU,” Mike said while reflecting back on those long six months of unemployment. “After taking the advice of a friend, I joined a temp agency and within weeks was offered some work for WGVU and lucky for me they liked what I did enough to offer me a job.” And now, 7 years later… he is the web master/graphic designer for WGVU Public Media.
“I can’t imagine a better job!” Mike exclaims. “I work with great, caring people, I get to be creative making each day enjoyable and I go home knowing that I help provide a great educational and fun service for the community. You can’t get better than PBS!”