Wartburg taught me the importance of teamwork

By Katie Hirv ’22

For Marty Fredericks ’96, teamwork was an invaluable skill throughout his collegiate years and continues to be in current career as a partner at BKD, a certified public accounting firm in West Des Moines.

“I’m an audit partner, so I have roughly 30 audit clients that I file work for around the Midwest. I specialize in telecommunications clients’ management and auditing. I also do a little bit of tax work by reviewing the clients’ tax returns,” Fredericks said.

Accounting has been in the books for Fredericks since his high school years.

“My golf coach in high school was also my accounting teacher. One of my friend’s brothers worked at a CPA firm in Minneapolis, and I always looked up to him. That combined with having a good accounting teacher in high school really got me interested. I’m pretty good with numbers and did well on my testing, so I thought it would be a good major for me at Wartburg,” said Fredericks.

In addition to the accounting major being a good fit, the athletics program and faith-based opportunities Wartburg offered checked all the boxes for Fredericks.

Marty Fredericks

“I wanted to play both football and golf in college. I’m also Lutheran and grew up in a Lutheran home. Curriculum-wise, I knew Wartburg had a solid business department, so knowing I wanted all these things, Wartburg was a good fit,” Fredericks said.

As a student in the classroom and athlete on the golf course and football field, Fredericks quickly learned the importance of teamwork.

“Being on sports teams at Wartburg helped me in the audit teams I’m on now. I learned the importance of understanding that in teams, you aren’t the most important thing. It’s the people around you. It’s also about understanding that sometimes you need to be the leader, and other times, you need to be the follower. That really helped prepare me for what I do now,” Fredericks said.  “I’m also on a lot of audit teams and they’re always different. Having lots of group projects helped and working closely with other students helped quite a bit. Giving speeches and presentations are things I have to do a lot now, so the communication courses at Wartburg that teach these formats were really important in addition to the accounting curriculum. These all helped me excel.”

Reflecting on his time at Wartburg, Fredericks mentioned the importance of students enjoying the time they have as students before heading off to the working world.

“Enjoy college. You have the rest of your life to work. Attend class and pay attention to what you’re doing, but there’s no rush to get to the rest of the world. Stay active, enjoy yourself, and don’t become an adult too soon!”