Campus Closeup: Jim Groesch
Jim Groesch (Central Receiving) is a self-described “Warehouse Guy.” That has been his working environment for most of his career, whether at Elizabeth Arden in Chicago, Hilltop RV in Ishpeming or NMU in Marquette. He is one of two full-time operations specialists responsible for the vast majority of the shipping and receiving on campus. That includes truck freight, as well as mail sent through the U.S. Postal Service and parcels delivered by companies such as UPS, DHL and Fed Ex.
“I don’t think most people understand the sheer volume of material we handle on a daily basis,” Groesch said. “They see the mail and packages that arrive at their particular office or department, but you need to multiply that many times over to get an idea of what we deal with. We’re talking thousands of pieces every day. It’s pretty amazing, but there are some big departments on campus.”
Several part-time student employees assist with loading trucks and making deliveries. Groesch said working with students “keeps me young. The only drawback is the high turnover rate related to graduation or shifting schedules and having to retrain new employees every semester. But I enjoy a consistent schedule with more manageable hours than I had with my previous jobs.”
Groesch was born and raised in Chicago and admits to being an avid Bears fan. He attended Dominican University as a political science and economics major. He originally planned to go to law school, but changed his mind. The decision worked out well for him personally. He met his wife, MaryAnn, a Marquette native and NMU alumna, when both were employed by the same company in Chicago. The couple relocated to the Upper Peninsula about a decade ago. MaryAnn was hired by Cliffs Natural Resources and Jim worked at Hilltop RV until the NMU opportunity surfaced last year.
His free time is occupied with outdoor activities including golf, fishing, softball and snowshoeing. Groesch may soon have an indoor hobby as well. He recently purchased a used keyboard that NMU was selling in a surplus auction. “I can barely play the radio, but I bought it with the goal of learning how to play the piano. That’s been on my bucket list and I’m hoping to cross it off.”