Liberal arts education leads to career with engineering consulting firm
Baldwin City, Kan. — A lack of an engineering degree did not deter Scott Beadleston from pursuing a job in engineering.
“It was challenging to land a job in an engineering consulting firm without a degree in that field,” said Beadleston, who graduated from Baker in 1999 with a Bachelor of Science degree as an environmental technology and management major. “A lot of what I learned with a liberal arts education Baker paid off. Because of that, I was able to sell myself for a position.”
Early in his career, Beadleston spent most of his time writing lengthy reports, hitting deadlines and keeping projects on schedule. He is now environmental department manager responsible for business development for Kleinfelder’s Kansas City regional office. Kleinfelder is an employee-owned science and engineering consulting firm specializing in solutions to meet complex infrastructure and natural resource challenges.
A nationwide firm with more than 2,000 employee owners, Kleinfelder provides planning, engineering, scientific, technical and management solutions. Beadleston, who was elected for direct ownership earlier this year, has worked for the company for nearly seven years.
Beadleston was on the Baldwin City campus in mid-April to share his experiences with current Baker students at the annual Career Exploration Day at the Collins Gym.
“We have a variety of marketing and business professionals at Kleinfelder,” Beadleston said. “Graduates should explore different opportunities within a company because you never know what jobs will best fit their skills.”
Beadleston received a master’s degree in engineering from the University of Kansas in 2008 to acquire more technical skills to complement his liberal arts background.
At Kleinfelder, Beadleston has received multiple awards for his work on redevelopment projects, including a Kleinfelder Excellence Award, EPA Brownfields Star Performer Award, and EPA’s Cultivating Sustainable Communities Award.
At Baker, Beadleston was a member of Sigma Phi Epsilon fraternity and participated in Student Senate and intramurals. He developed essential people skills through his involvement in extracurricular activities.
“Every business comes down to a people business,” he said. “You have to critically think and solve problems. I am not the most technical person in our business, but you have to have enough background to identify what the problem is and identify the best solution.”
Baker University is committed to assuring student learning, and developing confident, competent and responsible contributors to society.