Aug. 9, 2013
It's been a busy summer for Missouri State senior Nathan Scheer. While most of his teammates spent the summer in a traditional classroom setting on campus, the longest-tenured Bear pursued a different educational opportunity.
As part of his undergraduate degree plan in Construction Management, Scheer spent his summer in the elite Burns and McDonnell internship program in Kansas City. Burns and McDonnell has been one of the nation's leaders in engineering, architectural, construction, environmental and consulting services for over 100 years and currently ranks 18th on Fortune magazine's 2013 list of the 100 Best Companies to Work For.
A two-time Missouri Valley Conference Scholar-Athlete Team honoree, Scheer's academic success is well documented, but he says the hands-on experience he gained this summer has been invaluable.
"I've taken site visits to Pennsylvania and Kansas, pre-qualified sub contractors, worked on man-hour schedules, and done field work schedules," said Scheer. "It's real-world experience, and I've never done any of these things before, so it's something that hopefully will make a difference in my career."
The native of Washington, Mo., says the most interesting thing he has done this summer is organizing and collecting bids from potential sub-contractors who have submitted intricate proposals to work on particular projects.
"Assembling the bid tabs has been the most interesting," he said. "Sub-contractors send in their bids for line items and different parts of a particular project. I was in charge of collecting, arranging and comparing those bids. Even though I didn't award the bids, assembling them into an organized fashion helped the company make the best decisions on every aspect of a project."
Spending most of his summer hours in an office setting has left Scheer hungry to return to the basketball court. And even though he has been running, lifting weights and shooting after hours 4-5 days a week, the intangible part of being away from Springfield has been difficult for him.
"It's been hard not being able to establish a relationship with the new guys and not going through the conditioning and weights with my teammates over the summer," he said. "I've been able to work out and shoot on my own, but being away from the camaraderie and being a part of that chemistry has been hard."
Bears' head coach Paul Lusk said even though Scheer's veteran contributions have been missed during the team's summer workouts, an opportunity like this would be hard for anyone to pass up.
"The internship has been a great opportunity for Nate and certainly will help him for his next step after college," Lusk said.
The recreation center at UMKC has been a good place for Scheer to practice shooting and ball handling, but he noted the lack of 5-on-5 playing time has been something he missed while most of the Bears were playing in the Pro-Am League at The Courts. But with 100 college games under his belt and a 3.78 GPA headed into his senior year, the combo player knows his leadership and work ethic will be needed this winter for an MSU team full of young talent.
"I'm extremely excited for my senior year," said Scheer who will graduate in May. "It's flown by. It's my turn to help lead the team, and we have expectations to finish at the top. I think we have the people to do it now, and it will be up to me to help lead our team in any way I can."