Beau Gatewood, is living his dream and right now, that’s in Mongolia, where he’s helping build one of the largest mines in the world.
Gatewood, a Columbus, Kan., native, said he always knew he wanted to work in the mining industry, but wasn’t quite so focused in his university career.
“Perry (Cummins), a member of the faculty, and I clashed like no other,” Gatewood wrote. “However, to this day, I have the utmost respect for Perry, as he molded me into the person I have become today.”
After college, Gatewood said he struggled – not in finding work, but in finding the job that fulfilled his passion. He worked as a diesel technician in Kansas City; Livingston, Mont.; and Joplin, Mo., and even for a time as a wildland firefighter in Montana. In 2008, Gatewood took a position as a master driller/technician with Excel Drilling, but was soon caught in the recession. Discouraged, he moved home to Columbus and started working at a sporting goods store in Joplin.
A call from an uncle, who works for Atlas Copco Drilling Solutions in Garland, Texas, changed everything.
“He had me send my resume and I got an interview,” Gatewood said. “With my degree from Pittsburg State, I was hired as an electrician for their Road Paver Division. I got my foot in the door and started to work my way up the ladder. It was slow, but I got a break. I applied to be a Contract Training Manager. I had no Idea where it would take me but I applied.”
Gatewood took the job and it has taken him to China, South Korea, Czech Republic, Indonesia, and now Mongolia. The next stop is Africa.
At the Oyu Tolgoi Copper & Gold mine in the Gobi Dessert in Mongolia, Gatewood is responsible for coordinating blasting and driller training to all the nationals.
“This is my dream job and it has taken me all over the world,” Gatewood said.
Gatewood said he has many people to thank for his success including his wife and father.
“I want to say thank you to Pittsburg State University for the education and knowledge to secure my dream,” Gatewood said. “Without this I would have never made it come true. Also, I want to thank Perry Cummins for testing me the whole way through the program. Without his input, it would have been all but impossible for me to reach this milestone in my life.”