Nick Beattie: Exploring His Vocation

By Mieko Yamamoto

As a 5w4 enneagram type, Nick Beattie is “The Philosopher” described as being curious, creative, and reserved. The 5w4 enneagram types tend to be guarded and withdrawn from others, preferring time alone to reflect and recharge. Although I saw such characteristics in Nick, I am in no way shape or form confining his existence into a single personality trait. Instead, I plan to do the exact opposite.

Manifested in this profile exist only a chapter of Nick’s story that I have the pleasure of sharing. As I write this profile, I hope I can do justice to the person that is Nicholas Beattie, and I hope to do so in a way that allows for the colors of his personality to seep through what began as a blank Word document.

Developing Character

Nick grew up in a family of five, with one older brother and one younger brother. His dad is a judge back home in Iowa, and his mum is a neonatal nurse. Although his family would describe him as a private person who appears to be closed off emotionally to the rest of the world, his quietness exudes both independence and individuality, thriving in places that allow for free expression.

Nick is a good listener, always seeking knowledge wherever he goes. He is innovative in his ideas and seeks to learn in ways that may challenge his perspective. Nick’s strengths seem to lie in creative thinking and expression, observing and understanding small details through deep levels of attentiveness.

Nick’s Five Seconds of Fame

When asking about a memorable story from his childhood, one event seemed to light up immediately in Nick’s mind. He points to the 2008 election, his parents both donors and campaign workers for Mike Huckabee during his primary campaign. Kickstarting the election during the Iowa caucus, Nick’s whole family visited a hotel to listen to his victory speech.

It was then around the age of 8 or 9 that Nick encountered his “five seconds of fame”. Tired and wanting to go home, the last thing he expected was what came next. His dad hoisted him up onto his shoulders as Huckabee went down to shake the hands of his supporters. Nick reached out his hand. The next day, a picture of Nick shaking the hands of Huckabee was on the front page of Yahoo News! His few seconds of fame seemingly describes how little he steps into the spotlight, portraying his humble nature.

Seizing New Opportunities

Though he describes himself as appearing cold or closed off, his story would speak otherwise. High school for Nick was a blur. From his involvement in cross country, working with Fellow Christian Athletes (FCA), and the National Honors Society (NHS) or for his local church, his last year of high school was what he would describe as jam-packed.

One night, Nick’s dad suggested dropping everything to go and work for the Iowa State Capital as a legislative page. The offer to him seemed ridiculous, considering the amount of hard work he had put in so far. Nonetheless, knowing Nick had already fulfilled the requirements to graduate, his dad believed this opportunity to be one of growth. Soon enough, he was accepted to take on the job.

Needless to say, Nick’s high school experience differed significantly from the typical life of a senior preparing for college. He describes the job as being “while a little tedious as I was mostly an errand boy for the legislators, and distributing bills and messages, it was a fun and relaxing change from school nonetheless”. It seems that Nick never conformed to a box our society so easily shapes individuals to be. Instead, Nick was willing to step into unfamiliar settings, challenge himself, and seize opportunities placed in front of him.

A Hidden Gem

Throughout middle school and high school, Nick dreamed of becoming an astronomer.

His love of space as a kid may contribute to his curiosity in exploring new environments. In asking what had led him to Wheaton College, Nick explains that his brother played a significant role in deciding what college he would attend. Nick’s older brother graduated in 2017 as an Art History major and served as support in navigating his college life.

Prompted also by the exceptional archaeology program which he would describe as “a hidden gem of the college”, Nick decided to attend Wheaton. When asking about some of his favorite memories from college, he mentions one summer of his trip to Israel. Nick had the opportunity to participate in Wheaton’s archaeological excavation at Tel Shimron.

Through the tangible digging up of history, Nick was able to experience both the culture and history of Israel. Though labor-intensive and tiresome, Nick explains this experience as being formative. In seeing staff embrace their specialties; whether it be archaeology, art history, Bible, Islamic studies, architecture, biology, geology, spatial analytics, botany, etc, Nick was inspired.

Adjusting to a New Normal

Nick hadn’t wished for an extravagant end to his college experience and had only hoped his last year to be as it always was–normal. Yet, hoping for the normal seemed too much to ask for in this COVID season. How he desperately wishes for the mundane, to visit the city regularly, to take a walk downtown, to go to the Art Institute. As much as he has had to make amends with the situation COVID has put him in, he expressed his disappointment in the stark contrast of those who neglected the seriousness of this pandemic. He desires individuals to care, to love, to act upon their decisions for the sake of another.

Where does Nick stand today? Curious to know more about his plans going forward, I asked what he planned to do after graduation. Nick dreams of working in a museum as an archivist or curator, and it seems like his undergraduate studies in both Archaeology and Art History are very much rooted in his love of the museum.

In discovering his passion and creativity, Nick has undergone a diversity of experiences that have shaped who he is today. As he continues to embark on his journey of vocation, he hopes to be remembered as someone honest and compassionate, an individual who was uplifted by those around him, and as a friend.