Cerbone believes in helping people

Minot, N.D. – Originally from New Jersey, Paul Cerbone moved to North Dakota in 2016 in search of something more. In July 2022, he became the human resource (HR) coordinator at Minot State University and has enjoyed the experience ever since.

After obtaining a Bachelor of Fine Arts in photography from The Art Institutes of Dallas, he craved to do something that would require more from him and give him an opportunity to work with people.

“I always enjoyed working with people and trying to help with any problems or situations they may be going through,” he said. “I was working as a HR generalist over at Burdick Job Corps before coming to MSU. I currently live in Stanley, and there weren’t any HR positions available in town. So, I looked to Minot State.”

Prior to these roles, Cerbone had worked as an HR assistant for an insurance company and decided to gain professional knowledge in this field.

“I always enjoyed the role that I had so I decided to go back to school for it. I went to Concordia University, St. Paul for my master’s in human resource management and my career in the HR world began,” said Cerbone.

Some of the duties for Cerbone’s current role include recruiting solutions, hiring new employees, benefits overviews with new employees, background checks, conducting exit interviews, and assisting with policies and procedures.

“I have worked in many different states with different people from across the United States. With working with such a vast variety of diversity, it helped shape me for the HR role that I am currently in,” he said.

Images courtesy of Paul Cerbone Photography

Since undergrad through today, Cerbone has not abandoned his artistic side and has also found a way to preserve and develop that aspect of his life professionally.

Cerbone’s passion for photography began at an early age and was fueled by his father’s SLR 35mm film camera which eventually led him to buy his own.

“I began falling in love with the art form as I used to walk around with a camera while listening to music and it was therapeutic and relaxing,” he said. “After learning and gaining experience in a multitude of different aspects within the art form — portraiture, product, studio — I took what I learned and worked as an assistant wedding photographer in the Dallas/Fort Worth area.”

With the help of his wife, Jennifer Tronset, he was able to begin a professional photography business in North Dakota — Paul Cerbone Photography — where he gets to work with different clients for different projects such as weddings, senior portraits, and family portraits, and so on.

With the years to come, Cerbone sees himself living close to his family on the east coast and improving his skills and knowledge in human resources and photography.

“I’d like to think that the older I become, the more wisdom I will obtain and also become a better human being both mentally and spiritually,” he said.

Cerbone’s experience is definitely a unique one; with his experience and dedication to both sides of the coin, he has learned loads of life lessons, both personally and professionally.

“Stay true to yourself and never sell yourself short, your time is money, and that is valuable,” he said. “Being employed as an artist is quite difficult. There will always be someone out there who will claim to do the same work as you at a fraction of what you charge. Know your worth and never settle.”

His advice for current MSU students would be to never stop learning and pursuing one’s dream.

“I graduated with my undergraduate degree when I was 35 and obtained my master’s degree when I was 43,” he said. “Anything is possible and don’t let anyone tell you differently.”

Image courtesey of Paul Cerbone Photography

About Minot State University
Minot State University is a public university dedicated to excellence in education, scholarship, and community engagement achieved through rigorous academic experiences, active learning environments, commitment to public service, and a vibrant campus life.

Published: 08/15/23   

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