Karel Vollrath

Karel Vollrath

Class Year


Current home

Chicago, Ill.


Marketing and Japanese

Current Position

Senior Trade Compliance Analyst, Life Fitness

Karel Vollrath ’10 is a senior trade compliance analyst at Life Fitness. He develops strategies and supports Life Fitness’s international trade and customs operations.

“The small classes and accessibility are unmatched.”

Karel Vollrath, ’10

What have you enjoyed most about your career?

“I have been lucky to work in a few different industries during my career which has allowed me to learn a lot of great skills. What I have enjoyed most are the places I get to travel to for work. Most recently I spent some time working at our office in The Netherlands and I extended my trip to do some additional traveling as well.”

How did Carthage prepare you?

“The clubs at Carthage helped me prepare for my career in a big way. The wide variety offered added interpersonal, business, cultural, and general life skills to my professional toolbox. Also, the opportunity to take leadership positions helped prepare me to lead in my career and in organizations where I am a board member or volunteer.”

How has your liberal arts education benefitted you?

“The most recent example is the current trade dispute between the United States and China. Once these increased tariffs were announced our company was facing more than $4 million in increased costs. I was appointed to lead an action team to figure out a strategy to tackle the tariffs. The liberal arts skills I learned at Carthage played a huge role in successfully handling this situation. Being able to manage a team of people from various departments and effectively communicating our strategy to executive leadership are the top two most important skills that came into play.”

What's your favorite Carthage memory?

“The wide range of classes that are offered gave me a broad skill set to draw from in my career. The small class sizes, which are similar to the size of meetings I am in these days, helped me get comfortable sharing ideas and asking questions. The various clubs helped me apply what I had learned in class to really exercise the information in different scenarios which proves extremely useful in my career.”

Tips for current Carthage students?

“My main tips would be to really utilize the resource and knowledge of your professors. The small classes and accessibility are unmatched and a very good tool. I would also say to take advantage of as many clubs as possible, they really help foster growth.”

Are you a Carthage alum who is excelling in your field?