Rick Minnich talked to us about his life story, how he ended up in Germany (by total mistake, as he hadn’t even made the decision of what he wanted to do earning his degree), and why he absolutely loves what he does. He went to Columbia University after being born and raised in California. During his junior year there, he studied abroad in Vienna — which really helped him when he did end up living in Germany. He graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in English, spent a few years traveling and going to graduate school (which he ended up dropping out of because of the cost), and took up a career in TV Production all the way over in Lithuania, starting as an intern. He then moved to Germany, found work and a place to stay through his connections, and ultimately obtained his Master’s diploma from a German University.
Professionally, he primarily makes documentaries. He told us that he has made a few fictional pieces, however he does not prefer to show them because it’s not what he truly enjoys. On average, it takes him about three years to complete a documentary—meaning he usually has several on-going projects that potentially overlap one another. Rick is currently working on two documentaries: the first is about an elderly New York man who was the personal tailor for five different U.S. presidents (including Obama) after surviving a concentration camp in Germany; the second film concerns Russians and Americans working together to try to build an underwater railway tunnel to connect Russia and Alaska. He has to do a significant amount of writing, so his English degree did certainly come in handy. He lives in Germany, has a German wife, and speaks fluent German with his children.
The biggest idea we took away from Rick was to study abroad and experience everything. Life will never take you where you think you’ll go — but that can work out as something quite positive, and the people you will meet and the things you will experience will be very worth it. Along with studying abroad, it was highly recommended to us to travel. Live your best life. Do what you want to do.
– Brittany Burmester