40 Under 40 honoree: ‘Things that make me successful are what I learned between classes’
Andrea Yanicky arrived at InfoWorks in 2002 with the ink barely dry on her Vanderbilt University engineering science degree, ready to start her business consulting gig at the then 20-person firm.
But by the time she arrived, her gig wasn’t open. Instead, the Nashville firm needed a custom software solution to manage events for a women’s entrepreneurship center. Immediately.
So Yanicky sat down and started writing code.
“Today, you can pick things up off the shelf or buy 10 apps that do the same thing I wrote,” she said. “But that experience, plus actually going into business consulting when it was over, gave me a great perspective on our business.”
She uses that perspective every day as the recruiting and training director for the now 100-person firm, where she has worked since that first assignment. Her success drew the attention of the Nashville Business Journal, where she recently was selected for its 40 Under 40 list. It recognizes the city’s most prominent young business leaders.
Yanicky’s involvement with Vanderbilt spans well over a decade – the medical center was her primary consulting client for two years. But she remembers her first time on campus clearly: She was a math and science whiz at Pittsford Sutherland High School in suburban Rochester, New York, and decided to visit the university she’d heard so much about before her family moved away from Brentwood, Tennessee.
She sat in on a calculus class with a friend who also was considering Vanderbilt. (The friend ultimately enrolled in the College of Arts & Sciences.)
“My friend said, ‘Doesn’t this make you scared?’ And I said, ‘No, I understood it,’” Yanicky said. “If we’d sat in on an advanced literature course, it might have been another story.”
Since graduation, she has returned each year to recruit for InfoWorks and advises students to make the most of all the knowledge surrounding them right now, meeting with their professors and asking lots of questions. There’s a lot to learn outside of lecture halls, too, she said.
“The things that make me successful today are what I learned between the classes,” Yanicky said. “Time management and prioritization. Walking into a class and thinking, ‘How am I ever going to get through it?’ and then getting through it, step by step.”
At InfoWorks, she’s surrounded by fellow Vanderbilt alumni, many of whom also have been there since graduation. She attributes that longevity to the firm’s emphasis on work-life balance, something she’s benefiting from now as a wife, mother of three and certified Pilates instructor.
Heidi Hall, (615) 322-6614
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