Our Stories

Writing His Own Story

Aspiring novelist concentrates on human capital

Keaton Shuttlesworth
Head of Amazon Advantage and US Media Retail Operations & Initiatives
Sr. Manager, Category Leader, Amazon

Vanderbilt MBA 2015

Keaton Shuttlesworth likes trying new and daring things. For example, he says, he once climbed to the summit of a glacier while wearing shorts (in hindsight, it’s not an experience he recommends for others).

Five years into his career, Keaton decided he was up to the challenge of reinventing his professional self.

After graduating from the University of Texas, the Austin native served as an AmeriCorps volunteer in Washington, D.C. He split the next four years between health care consulting and advising municipal utilities on issues ranging from rate-setting to improving operational efficiency.

He wanted to migrate into human capital consulting, and believed an MBA would equip him with the skills and professional network to switch careers. He chose Vanderbilt, he says, because “Owen has one of the best human capital concentrations in the country. Plus, I wanted to relocate at least temporarily from Austin, and Nashville was very appealing. And Owen is onto something special with its personalized student focus.”

During his first year, along with his academic work, Keaton jumped into other new things, including a leadership role in Project Pyramid — a student initiative aimed at global poverty alleviation — and a local nonprofit. In the summer, he headed off to the other Washington for an HR internship with Microsoft in Seattle.

Ten years from now, he offers, “I’d like to be running a startup in the clean-tech industry or working at a corporate venture fund.” Or, he adds, you might find him writing novels. Like he said: New challenges are fun.