Heidi Vekemans

Heidi Vekemans

Program Manager, State Organizations


ACT

Milestones

My road in life took a while to figure out.
Started out right of college as a supervising field archaeologist in Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
After 3.5 years tried to find a job in Belgium but could not find work so moved to US!
Started as a temp at the UIHC as a medical secretary and ended up being hired for this position.
Decided on a career change and moved to UI International Programs!
After 5.5 years made the jump to Pearson, first as an executive secretary and got promoted to PM.
In April 2016 my whole department got cut at Pearson, so I made the transition to ACT!
Started as an executive secretary again and landed my current position in Jan 2017!
And who knows what the future will bring!
Keep following my journey

Education

High School
Scheppersinstituut, Mechelen (Belgium)
Bachelor
Archeology
Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium
Graduate
Classical, Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Studies and Archaeology
Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium
Certification/License
Junior & Senior High Teaching Certificate
Catholic University of Leuven, Belgium

Career

Program Manager, State Organizations

I develop, maintain, and track information and program activities of the ACT State Organizations effort.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Education
Non-Profit Organizations
Learning / Being Challenged

Day to Day

Every day is different! I work with my State Organizations team members on organizing events, creating newsletters and marketing materials, and work on special projects. I get to work with people from all over the company which helps me to built vital relationships to be able to complete tasks in an efficient and effective manner!

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

For every job I have held outside of archaeology, there was a MAJOR learning curve. Being a supervising field archaeologist right out of college thought me all about project management and handling the stress & chaos that comes with rescue excavations. I obtained two project management certifications on this side of the ocean and enhanced my public speaking and leadership skills by joining Toastmasters. Practical experience is the best learning method and learn from your mistakes!

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

Sometimes the focus is too much on the destination right out of college instead of on the journey and what makes you happy as an individual. Do not let success be defined by the title you hold but by the respect you receive from your peers and what value you add to your workplace. Enjoy your career journey, learn from your mistakes, when you fail get up and try again and never pass up an opportunity to completely step out of your comfort zone! That is where all the learning happens!

Recommended Education

My career is related to what I studied. I'd recommend the path I took:

undergrad
Bachelor
Archeology
graduate
Graduate
Classical, Ancient Mediterranean and Near Eastern Studies and Archaeology
certification
Certification/License
Junior & Senior High Teaching Certificate

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Society in General:

"You should not study to be an archaeologist because it does not make any money. You will not be able to find any other jobs if you decide to step out of doing archaeology."

Challenges I Overcame

Cultural