German and History
Intelligence Manager at James Drury Partners
Matthew Wehmeier ’15 double majored in German and history at Carthage. After graduating, he earned a Master of Arts in the Social Sciences at the University of Chicago.
Mr. Wehmeier now works as an intelligence manager at James Drury Partners, which offers a service called BoardSelect that helps executives find opportunities to serve on the boards of publicly traded companies. In his role, Mr. Wehmeier identifies companies that suit the needs and interests of clients and prepares materials to help clients find the ideal position for them.
“I got to travel extensively thanks to my experience at Carthage. I traveled with professors Greg Baer and Temple Burling to Berlin, Dresden, and Munich during my freshman J-Term study tour. I liked Berlin so much, I chose to study abroad there for a semester during my junior year.”
What have you enjoyed most about your career?
“I really enjoy working with amazingly committed and talented professionals, and feeling like my work makes a direct impact on the success of the firm’s projects.”
How did Carthage prepare you?
“One aspect that stands out in particular is the writing and research experience I gained while writing my senior theses in history and German. Writing two 40-page papers based on original research in a single academic year was a challenge, but that experience has been invaluable in drafting both my master’s thesis at the University of Chicago and my current writing projects.”
How has your liberal arts education benefitted you?
“One way my experience at Carthage has helped me is in my writing work. Since graduating, I have written nine articles (both fiction and non-fiction) that have been accepted for publication, and my work has appeared in SJ Games’ multi-award-winning Pyramid Magazine, The Baffler, and on the English language website of the Rosa Luxemburg Stiftung — New York.”
Why did you choose Carthage?
“When I was first starting to think about colleges back in high school, Carthage quickly shot to the top of my list and stayed there. I visited the campus multiple times and talked to some of my future professors. The more I learned, the more I knew it would be the right fit for me. I knew I wanted to major in German, so a strong language program was a must. I was also extremely impressed by the numerous opportunities for travel and research.”
What opportunities were made possible because of your Carthage experience?
“I got to travel extensively thanks to my experience at Carthage. I traveled with professors Greg Baer and Temple Burling to Berlin, Dresden, and Munich during my freshman J-Term study tour. I liked Berlin so much, I chose to study abroad there for a semester during my junior year. I also traveled to Cuba in January 2014, which was an amazing part of my cultural and historical education. In 2015, I taught English for a year in Jena, Germany as a Fulbright English teaching assistant.
“The quality of my senior thesis as a work of original research was also a key factor in my admission to the Master of Arts in the Social Sciences program at the University of Chicago.”
What Carthage professors played a part in your success and how?
“My relationships with the professors in the history and German departments are particularly meaningful to me. Professors Greg Baer and Richard Sperber helped me to sharpen my German language abilities and nurtured my love of German culture and history. Professors John Leazer, Stephanie Mitchell, Eric Pullin, Stephen Udry, and Tom Noer provided me with the research methodology and broad base of historical knowledge that still serves me to this day in my various pursuits.”
Were you an award recipient? If so, tell us about the awards you received and what they meant to you.
“I was a recipient of the Mortensen-Martin Scholarship, the German Modern Language Scholarship, and the 2013 Nelson Peter Ross Award for Outstanding Junior Student in History. My study abroad was supported by the Deutscher Akademischer Austauschdienst (DAAD) Grant for Study in Germany in 2014, and I received a Fulbright English Teaching Assistantship to teach English in Germany in 2015. I was a member of the Phi Alpha Theta History Fraternity, the Pi Sigma Alpha Political Science Fraternity, and the Alpha Chi Honors Fraternity. I graduated Summa Cum Laude. I also received the Best Paper Award in European History at the 2015 Ferris State University Phi Alpha Theta conference in Big Rapids, Mich.”
What role have the values in Carthage's mission, "Seeking Truth, Building Strength, Inspiring Service — Together" played in your life?
“Over the past five years, I’ve become very involved in various progressive organizations in the City of Chicago. It has been a fantastic experience for me professionally, and I have built connections and friendships with people all over the city. In that time, I’ve written articles, hosted political education trainings, raised over $2,000 for progressive causes, knocked on doors and made calls for amazing candidates, and showed up for causes I really believe in.
“This work has also given me a sense of community that I lacked for a long time. It is energizing to know that there are people out there who share my values and who are ready to fight for a better world, and that there is more to participation in our democracy than just voting once every few years. I’ve also been able to use my experience to mentor students at Carthage who want to build the same kind of spaces for political exploration and growth.”