Campus Closeup: Jim Berglund
Contrary to popular belief, Jim Berglund (Plant Operations) is not a custodian. “I’m a building and grounds attendant; I set up meeting and banquet rooms, hang bulletin boards and pictures, and take care of the customers in the building. There are no toilets involved whatsoever,” he joked.
Berglund has been with NMU for 22 years, the majority of which have been spent in the University Center. “My entire career has been spent in the UC except for 14 months when I was working over in West Science. I like it better over here though; this building has been a part of me for over 20 years, so I’m pretty attached to it.”
Berglund was born and raised in Marquette. The farthest away he has ever lived is Ishpeming, where he worked in the mines for six months. “I liked my job at NMU and my hometown too much, so I came back,” he said. “And after that I have never again considered leaving. I don’t know any place that could be better than this.” Berglund’s mother, father and three siblings also live in the area. “My dad is 79 and is as healthy as a horse. I think it’s because the air and environment are so much cleaner up here.”
While Berglund’s job finds him inside most of the time, he is mostly outside during his free time. A few of the activities he enjoys are bicycling, snowshoeing, and hunting deer, rabbits and birds. “I love the outdoors; fresh air, clean water and good people. When it’s nice outside, I ride my bike to work. It gives me a little kick of energy that I can start the work day off with,” he said.
One vivid memory that stands out in Berglund's mind was an ill-timed, water-related dilemma in the UC several years ago. “Plumbers had been tinkering with something in the building, and they turned a pipe on that hadn’t been on before, and it flooded the entire ground floor. It was Christmas break, so there wasn’t anyone around. I was sucking up water for eight hours, and I’ll never forget it.”
The best advice Berglund has ever received came from a student that he once worked with. “We were cleaning up a banquet room, and he told me to think about it as a challenge instead of a job. That had a great impact on me, and I now tell the same thing to the other student employees that come through our department. It made me realize that we’ve got some really wise kids here.”
Campus Closeup is a new feature of the NMU faculty-staff newsletter. It profiles individual employees, offering a glimpse of their professional responsibilities and personal interests.