Jack Salzwedel

Appreciate the true ‘value’ of a Wartburg education

NAME: Jack Salzwedel


HOMETOWN: Madison, Wis.

MAJOR: Biology and business administration

CURRENT EMPLOYMENT: Chairman and CEO, American Family Insurance Group

WHY WAS WARTBURG WORTH IT: Wartburg was worth it if you value lifelong friendships, great teachers who believe in you, and awesome extra-circular experiences. I also met my future wife and the love of my life.

WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU NEVER IMAGINED YOU COULD DO BEFORE COMING TO WARTBURG: Double major in two completely different fields and still graduate in four years.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WARTBURG TRADITION: Outfly. I wish I could institute that at AmFam. 

HOW DID YOUR WARTBURG EXPERIENCE PREPARE YOU FOR YOUR CAREER: Wartburg trained me to think for myself, to trust my smarts, to work with others in a group, and how to stand up for myself. It instilled in me a passion for succeeding – and giving back.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS: Study hard and learn a lot. But don’t underestimate the value of the friendships and friends you make in college – and the ‘soft skills’ that are developed and honed at college. Often, success after college is less about raw knowledge in whatever your field of study is, but more about how you interact in the work environment, how you team across a group of people, how you interact with others, AND what you know from your field of study.