By Bryan Hay

Jack Kleinert ’18 says he’s grateful that Lafayette provided him with an opportunity to pair engineering studies and economics, which inspired him to make the most of his liberal arts education.

In the engineering studies program, he describes a flexibility to simultaneously pursue other interests, whether they be academic or extracurricular, and an environment that taught him to think about technology and innovation from a broader, more holistic lens.

Jack Kleinert ’18, client services manager at FactSet,

Jack Kleinert

What gives you the most satisfaction in your current job?

My job at FactSet is to retain our existing business by helping clients maximize the value of our data and software. I find my career meaningful because I get to help solve some of my clients’ greatest challenges through the power of collaboration. 

I enjoy partnering with various internal groups like sales and engineering, with the ultimate goal of optimizing our clients’ workflows as best as possible. I need to have a firm understanding of how our data and software fit into the various niches of the finance industry.

What led you to engineering studies and your decision to pair it with economics?

As I entered college, I was looking to tap into Lafayette’s strong engineering program, while keeping my options open to other potential industries and career paths. Pairing engineering studies with economics provided me the unique opportunity to straddle both a technical trajectory and business-oriented trajectory. 

I am grateful that this pairing has allowed me to bridge this gap in my career at a financial-technical firm. There was also some overlap in curriculum requirements between the two degrees, which afforded me the chance to dabble in elective courses outside either of those departments too. Double majoring in engineering studies and economics was a rewarding combo that drove me to make the most of a liberal arts education.

How did engineering studies prepare you for your career?

Engineering studies provided the opportunity to immerse myself in a blend of technical and nontechnical offerings. Classes like Engineering and Public Policy, Engineering Economics, and Engineering Management all taught me to think about technology and innovation from a broader, more holistic lens. The foundational and specialized courses offered by the Engineering Studies Department equipped me with the context to better appreciate and understand the value of our product development teams. The communication skills I honed in my project-based, collaborative engineering studies courses served as a necessary foundation to succeed in a client-facing career.

If you had an opportunity to give a sales pitch to a student considering engineering studies, what would you say?

Engineering studies is the ideal degree for students who want to have a foundation in technical courses, but want to apply their experience outside the traditional engineering track. For students not married to the idea of design work or pursuing their PE license, engineering studies provides students an alternative way to engage in Lafayette’s renowned engineering program. 

Because the B.A. degree isn’t as rigid as a B.S. degree, students will find that they have more flexibility to simultaneously pursue other interests, whether they be academic or extracurricular. At a school like Lafayette with so many clubs, organizations, and activities to get involved in, I can say from experience that the increased flexibility is extremely valuable.


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