Peabody Reflector

A World of Experience

Austen Heim, BS’05

by Lew Harris | Fall 2008, Peabody People | No Comment | |

Austen Heim, who has studied and done volunteer service projects all over the world—Japan, New Zealand, London, China and Ecuador—now has a corporate job title that perfectly matches his skills. He is a human capital analyst at Deloitte & Touche in Manhattan. Heim, BS’05, consults with various client companies on a variety of employee issues. 

“We (human capital analysts) come in after a strategic decision has been made and work with the company to implement solutions,” Heim says. “Maybe a company is having problems with turnover or failing to retain its best people. We handle communications and management when there is a major change in a company, like a merger or the hiring of a new CEO.” His work also includes troubleshooting organizational design issues, such as successfully merging two separate departments within the same company or assessing how to get the best use out of the employee talent to set them up for success.

Heim says his human and organizational development degree from Peabody has prepared him well.

“My HOD coursework was beneficial in giving me experience in the kind of work I am doing at Deloitte,” Heim said. “We specialize in finding people-centered solutions to the most complex operational and strategic problems our clients have. The HOD program, with its focus on developing interpersonal skills and social and emotional intelligence, has given me insight into the way that all people operate, and that puts me a step ahead of many of my peers.”   

The HOD program, with its focus on developing interpersonal skills and social and emotional intelligence, has given me insight into the way that all people operate, and that puts me a step ahead of many of my peers.

~ Austen Heim

Prior to his current job, Heim spent a year volunteering as an advisor and consultant with Manna Project International, helping establish a site in Quito, the capital of Ecuador. Heim spent the year after graduating from Vanderbilt as a volunteer for World Teach, a Harvard University-affiliated nonprofit that sends volunteers all over the world to teach English. He taught about 1,000 Chinese sophomores and juniors weekly at a high school in the rural city of Yuegang.

“It was what I wanted after graduation—the opportunity to travel, the opportunity to serve, and the opportunity to get outside of my comfort zone,” he says. “My average class size in China was 70 students.” 

Heim, who began his volunteer service in high school, continued it at Vanderbilt, where he was a member of the Manna Project and participated in Alternative Spring Break. Heim was also active on campus, serving as the president of Interhall, the student life government, and Reinke Hall.

photo credits: Elena Olivo

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