logo

Alumni in Print – Where Are They Now? - Michael Schwartz

May 18, 2017

The Print and Graphics Scholarship Foundation is publishing profiles featuring some of their more than 6000 former scholarship recipients. This series gives you an up close and personal insight into the thoughts and motivations of the former students who are a part of our industry today. As our current employees reach retirement and leave, replacing them becomes an increasingly important factor for many companies. Here is one story…

A Profile

Michael SchwartzMichael Schwartz attended the University of Wisconsin – Stout, where he received his MS in Operations and Supply Management in 2012.

How did you first get interested in the graphic arts, or decide to focus on graphic communications in school?

Before starting my education at the University of Wisconsin – Stout, I was a freelance photographer. Since part of my responsibilities were not just taking pictures, but setting the file up to print correctly, I got introduced to the printing industry.

Did you take any courses in high school that were related to graphic communications, or that prepared you for your planned career?

No, I did not.

How do you think going through your education process prepared you for the workforce?

The most important thing I learned from my education is that there is always more to learn and ways to improve yourself. Also, that learning does not stop when you finish college.

In the Workforce Today

What company are you working for now and what types of products and services do they provide to their customers?

I currently work for PeopleNet Communications in Eden Prairie, Minnesota.  PeopleNet works with trucking fleets. We develop and sell GPS units, DVR and camera systems to record the action around a truck as well in the trailer. The system also produces digital logs to monitor the amount time a driver has been on the road, the amount of gas used, whether the truck needs maintenance, etc.

PGSF Donate NowWhat job did you first have with the company when you started, what position do you have now, and/or what else have you done since joining the company?

My first job when starting at PeopleNet was as a buyer. Now,  I am in charge of the Sales and Operation Planning process. Further, I am a Six Sigma Green belt and working on a project in our fulfillment center.

What do you think employers are looking for in today’s workforce and the current industry environment?

In my opinion, employers are looking for people who can think critically and solve problems.  Someone who can recognize a problem and provide suggestions for a solution. Communication is still an extremely important aspect of any job, both written and verbal, especially when it comes to process improvements and suggesting new ideas that may be contrary to what a company currently does.

Have you changed your plans or ideas about what area or type of job you might like to have since you first considered the graphic communications field and began studying for a career in it?

My plan when I first started at University of Wisconsin – Stout was to become a planner in the print industry. This was my goal throughout college, to help find ways to save money in the printing industry and reduce costs. The skills that I had gained studying graphic communications and operations management to become a planner in the print industry transferred easily into become a supply chain planner. I have had the opportunity work at Imation, Cargill, and now PeopleNet. The analytical and planning skills I gained while studying at UW continued to help me thrive when moving between industries.

What do you see yourself doing a few years from now?

In a few years, my goal is to be in a supply chain manager position.

Was being a recipient of a PGSF scholarship important, or did it have an impact on your future or ability to succeed in the industry?

Receiving the PGSF scholarship was extremely helpful. The impact the scholarship had on my career was that it allowed me the ability to study what I was interested in during college. Then to have more freedom to find a position that fits my skills and personality.


Print and Graphics Scholarship FoundationPGSF works to inform young people about the opportunities that are available in the graphic arts industry and then support them during their educational phase. To learn more about PGSF, or how you can support its work, visit www.pgsf.org or contact John Berthelsen at jberthelsen@printing.org. PGSF is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and contributions are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.

My plan when I first started at University of Wisconsin – Stout was to become a planner in the print industry. This was my goal throughout college, to help find ways to save money in the printing industry and reduce costs. The skills that I had gained studying graphic communications and operations management to become a planner in the print industry transferred easily into become a supply chain planner. I have had the opportunity work at Imation, Cargill, and now PeopleNet. The analytical and planning skills I gained while studying at UW continued to help me thrive when moving between industries.

Leave a comment

Make sure you enter the (*) required information where indicated.Basic HTML code is allowed.