Taking charge

Anthea van Heerden believes in pursuing your passion and reaching for the stars.

18 April 2019 | People

Mariselle Stofberg



Anthea van Heerden decided to take a leap of faith to start her own company in Windhoek.

She is the managing director and head industrial psychologist at AvH Psychology Consulting, which offers a wide range of services within the field of industrial and organisational psychology.

Van Heerden was born on 23 April 1992 in Rustenburg, South Africa. In 2006 her family moved to Pietersburg, now known as Polokwane, in the Limpopo province. She matriculated in 2010 from Pietersburg High School.

Van Heerden began her tertiary studies in 2011 at North-West University and ended them on a high note by graduating cum laude with a masters’ degree in industrial psychology in May 2018.

She has been a registered psychometrist with the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA) since 2015 and officially qualified as an industrial psychologist by passing the HPCSA board examination in October of 2018.

During her time in South Africa, Van Heerden worked within the mining and automobile industries and also has other experience in the private sector.

“A mentionable accomplishment for me was when I had the opportunity to be a speaker at the 19th annual SIOPSA (Society of Industrial and Organisational Psychologists of South Africa) conference in 2017, where I presented my masters’ thesis concerning engaging leadership. That being said, I would not have done it without the encouragement of my research supervisor, Professor Leon de Beer.”

She made her big move to Windhoek from South Africa after marrying Fanie van Heerden in March of 2018.

“Namibia is a very proud country and its people are true patriots. It is wonderful to see how the people are mostly harmonious and unite when they are passionate about something.”

After going through job adverts and talking to family and friends, she soon discovered that industrial psychologists are a scarce commodity in Namibia.

After gradually building business connections she decided to take a leap of faith and opened AvH Psychology Consulting in January 2019.

“I finally took the leap to starting my own business. I never envisioned starting my own practice so soon in my career. Regardless of the end result, I believe that the journey will be fruitful and it is something that I can be proud of.”

Starting your own business provides many challenges, but also provides one with new and exciting opportunities, she said.

“I think anyone with their own business can agree that there are many highs and lows, and especially at the start it is difficult to carve out a business path and gain people’s trust.

“Being your own boss provides you with the freedom to explore and be creative. All of this develops you as a person and contributes to overall character strength and resilience,” Van Heerden said.

Her short-term goals include networking, creating awareness of the company and its services, as much as possible, and establishing trusted client relationships.

Her biggest role model and inspiration is her mother.

“My mother has always been a huge inspiration and support. She worked within the learning and development field, and as such, has some knowledge of my field. It’s a great comfort when someone you love takes an interest in what you do.

“She also started her own company in a brand new location and in that sense you can see that the apple does not fall far from the tree. She is a go-getter, while being graceful at the same time. I look up to her a lot,” Van Heerden added.

She is very passionate about her field and believes it is of utmost importance to follow your dreams.

“My field is something I find very interesting and I love being able to follow my passion. I am a strong believer in loving what you do, and ultimately, doing what you love.”

Services offered

AvH Psychology Consulting offers the following:

· Psychometric assessments of employees for recruitment/selection purposes, as well as for talent management and employee well-being needs;

· Analyses of available work positions to ensure a proper employee fit;

· Coaching and workplace counselling to address employee well-being in the workplace;

· Career guidance to school-leaving pupils who are unsure about their future career path; and

· Organisational research in association with Fisher Consulting. This can include obtaining data for campaign launches, customer service satisfaction, change-readiness within the company and industry-specific data.

Van Heerden fun facts

• She might appear to be an extrovert, but needs a lot of alone time;

• Being in big crowds can make her anxious.

• She’s an over-thinker;

• She loves spending time with her husband and pets;

• She has a sweet tooth and cannot function properly without coffee;

• She absolutely hates exercising;

• She loves to tend to her garden; and

• Her favourite two series at the moment are ‘Outlander’ and ‘That '70s Show’.

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