Michelle Heim Member Spotlight

09 May, 2011

Member Spotlight: Michelle Heim

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Heim_Headshot.jpgMichelle Heim is with AECOM, a global leader in providing fully integrated professional technical and management support services to a broad range of markets, including transportation, facilities, environmental, energy, water and government. An active member of the SMPS DC Chapter, Michelle volunteers on the Special Events committee.

How did you get started in this industry?
I was looking for a new job in marketing when a good friend who works for a construction company suggested I try the A/E/C industry. I sent my resume to AECOM – then HSMM – and have been with the firm for almost five years.

How did you first learn of SMPS and what motivated you to join?
My first boss in the industry introduced me to SMPS and was a huge proponent of the organization. She strongly encouraged me to join and attend as many events and programs as possible. She also encouraged me to join a committee; this is my fourth year on the Special Events committee.

What is your greatest achievement to date?
My greatest professional achievement is leading the winning proposal effort for my office’s largest contract to date.

Heim_Kilimanjaro.jpgMichelle Heim on the far right with her brother, sister-in-law and two guides.

My greatest personal achievement is hiking Mount Kilimanjaro. This past October, I spent two weeks in Tanzania, and spent one of them hiking to the top of the mountain with my brother and sister-in-law. The first few days were great; however, on the last night, I considered turning around multiple times while hiking through the night on three hours of sleep and fighting a cold and altitude sickness. But we made it in time for the sunrise and have pictures to prove it! It is one of the hardest challenges but most amazing experience that I have ever had.

Tell us something we would be surprised to learn about you.
I love to travel and I get the travel bug from my parents. I have visited all but five of the states in the U.S.; most of them I visited in style in a 1970s motor home with my family. I also have traveled to 14 countries, including living in Australia for six months, while participating in a work-abroad program.

What is the best tip you’ve been given for marketing?
Break out of your comfort zone because that’s the only way to keep growing. Most people don’t like public speaking or writing articles. I have stepped up and written a couple of small pieces; so I guess my next step is to speak at a program.

Who would you consider as influential people in your career?
Jen Bakos, my first boss in the A/E/C industry. As a mentor, she believed that I could become more and challenged me to become a better writer and designer. She also pushed me to speak up in meetings and to not hold in good ideas for fear of rejection.

Interviewed by: Ashley Peck MBP