Mentoring students a great way to give back to the college

NAME: Phillip Wessels 
MAJOR: Mathematics 
CURRENT EMPLOYMENT: Senior pricing analyst, Nationwide Insurance Company

WHY WARTBURG: Many of my relatives went to Wartburg so it was something I was very familiar with, and it was a place where I always felt welcome. Going to school out of state was not intimidating because of this familiarity, and it gave me many opportunities to get involved in things that interested me.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO HOST A STUDENT FOR ORANGE CONNECTION: As someone who found the actuarial profession late in college, I wish I had the opportunity to learn about it more while at Wartburg. Being able to help current students learn about it and demonstrate how my experience at Wartburg has helped me is one way to give back.

WHY WOULD YOU ENCOURAGE OTHERS TO DO THE SAME: At some point we were all students who did not quite understand or appreciate what life after Wartburg will be like. This is a chance to help current students determine what sort of career they want to pursue and demonstrate the impact of a Wartburg education.

HOW DID YOUR WARTBURG EXPERIENCE PREPARE YOU FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE:  It helped me become comfortable asking questions about something I may not understand.

WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU NEVER IMAGINED YOU COULD DO BEFORE COMING TO WARTBURG: I did not expect to join Student Senate. That sort of involvement did not appeal to me before Wartburg. But a tennis teammate was involved with it, as well as one of my roommates, and I saw the difference it could make across campus.

Phillip Wessels

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE WARTBURG TRADITION: Outfly, of course. I helped plan it one year and understanding the work that goes into it gave me a deeper appreciation for it.

WHY WAS YOUR WARTBURG EXPERIENCE WORTH IT: The professors genuinely cared about my education both inside and outside of classes. Student Senate was a unique experience, being able to collaborate with students across campus to better the Wartburg experience for our constituents. It demonstrated that I am able to impact things that are important to me.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS: Explore your interests and don’t be afraid to try something different.