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Kansas Wesleyan University

Almost three years ago, Halstead native Madyson Beckett stepped onto Kansas Wesleyan University’s campus without so much as a major to guide her. Now on the verge of graduating with her Business Management degree, Beckett embodies the Power of AND slogan, which has enriched her life professionally and personally.

“One of the reasons I picked KWU was because I was offered the degree fast track,” said Beckett. “So, I get to graduate with my undergrad in three years and my masters in one.”

Settling into KWU’s Business Department came naturally to her.

“Business is a lot about talking to people, and I’m really good at that,” Beckett said. “That really piqued my interest, and the classes I took solidified my choice.”

Through her involvement in the Business Department, Beckett was introduced to DECA — a business-based competition that provides students with problems and gives them 30–60 minutes to produce a solution.

“DECA has helped me grow and develop my [professional] skills,” she said. “I was prepared to apply my knowledge and critical thinking skills to each DECA case because I do it every day in class.”

Beckett is a prominent competitor in the program and has achieved first-, second- and third-place finishes, including a second-place finish, alongside partner Alexis Utz, at the international conference in Baltimore, Md., in April.

“Maddy is an exceptional student, an outstanding mentor, leader and teammate to her peers, as well as a remarkable person,” said Trish Petak, associate professor of Business and Accounting and head DECA coach. “The Business and Accounting Department thinks the world of her.”

Beckett was able to put some of the skills she learned in the classroom to use during the summer of 2021, when she worked as a global compliance intern at Spirit Aerosystems.

The company, headquartered in Wichita, is “one of the world’s largest designers and manufacturers of aerostructures for commercial and defense aircraft,” as per its website.

While Beckett spent a good portion of her time with the company doing deskwork, she wasn’t limited to pushing papers.

“They wanted to expose me to all aspects of the company,” she said. “I got to work with the design team and the community relations coordinator. I helped host and market a charity event.”

Beckett finds success through other avenues on campus, including the volleyball team. In 2021, she was named a pre-season Kansas Collegiate Athletics Conference (KCAC) player.

“I’ve had to develop a lot of maturity and self-confidence, and I’ve done that through volleyball,” she said. “One of the biggest benefits [of team activities] is that I was already part of a family,” she said. “It’s nice to be able to walk across campus and say hi to just about anybody.”

In addition to DECA and volleyball, Beckett is also involved in campus ministry, the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, the Coyote Activities Board and is a member of the dance team.

Beckett will begin studying for her MBA this summer in the hopes of becoming a community relations coordinator.

“She’s truly embraced the Power of AND while at KWU,” said Petak. “We’re so excited we get her for another year.”

Story by Skylar Nelson