Wartburg helped me learn to be persistent through adversity

NAME: Sarah Albertson Corkery 

CLASS YEAR: 1998 

MAJOR: Communication (public relations concentration) 

CURRENT EMPLOYMENT: Vice President of Marketing, Veridian Credit Union

WHY WARTBURG: Grant Price was chair of the department. He shook my hand and told me that if I chose Wartburg he would ensure I was successful. The communication program was very highly regarded. Also, it felt like a good fit when I visited campus. It was not too big or too small. I felt connected.

WHAT IS THE ONE THING YOU NEVER IMAGINED YOU COULD DO BEFORE COMING TO WARTBURG: I never imagined that I would help raise $1 million to build an inclusive playground in my community.

HOW DID YOUR WARTBURG EXPERIENCE PREPARE YOU FOR LIFE AFTER COLLEGE:  Wartburg helped me learn how to work with others who are not like me. I always say that life is a group project, and I learned a lot about group projects at Wartburg. I also learned to be persistent through adversity. If I didn’t know how to do something, I figured it out. That has been one of my strengths throughout my personal life and professional career.

Sarah Corkery

WHY WAS YOUR WARTBURG EXPERIENCE WORTH IT: Wartburg provided me hands-on experiences starting my first year. I wanted to go into broadcast journalism, but changed my mind after trying it out. One of my professors owned an advertising agency. I got hired as an intern because of the connection. That would also lead to my first job and a 16-year career there. That job led me to meeting many clients and mentors throughout my life. Wartburg was a building block to my successful career. Wartburg inspired me to also follow callings to give back to my community.

HOW DO YOU LIVE OUT THE WARTBURG MISSION: Wartburg truly prepared me for a life of leadership and service. I try to pay this forward by being involved on nonprofit boards that are instrumental to causes I’m passionate about, including inclusion and breast cancer assistance. In these capacities, I’ve helped raise $1 million to build an inclusive playground, created conferences to raise awareness about inclusion where hundreds of people have attended, and raised $100,000+ to help women going through chemo for breast cancer receive free meals and housecleaning. I’ve become a Patient Partner and mentored women going through breast cancer treatment as well.

WHAT ADVICE DO YOU HAVE FOR CURRENT STUDENTS: Don’t think anything is too big to try. Enjoy every opportunity that Wartburg allows: travel, volunteer, try an intramural sport, write for the paper, host a radio show, join student senate, and more.