Introduce yourself to our audience. Tell us who you are and what you are currently focused on.
My name is Andrea Houtkin. I am a consultant - large IT technical (infrastructure) project management, process engineering and a specialist in Disaster Recovery - planning and aftermath. I started my consulting business in 1993. I am now started a real estate business that will focus on commercial and commercial as data centers, one of the
How would you define your professional mission?
To be the best that I can be; to provide a quality product and service; to grace the customer with a consistently high level of customer service, to know what battles to wage or engage in and to help my customers and friends about the importance of disaster recovery planning and staff accountability.
What qualities does it take for someone to be successful in your line of work?
1. Years of learning about network infrastructure-related technology and how to map the design to the actual implementation. 2. Ability to review engineering documentation and specifications and enjoying it. 3. Understand the ins/outs of the technology and implementation best practice. 4. The internal fortitude to push back when challenged and I know when I am correct. 5. Not to let anyone bully you and diminish your ideas. 6. The ability to make solid, logical decisions on behalf of the customer. 7. Understand the business of technology. 8. The willingness to always learn. Each new contract brings new lessons. Willingness to integrate what you learn into your business approach and process. 9. The ability to communicate to all strata of the organization and understanding of the power of the written word.
What is one of your most memorable career accomplishments?
The 15 disasters that I experienced, feet-on-the ground with my various clients and the things I learned that permitted me to be a disaster recovery specialist.
We’d love to hear more about your career path. What led you to where you are today?
I have a masters in music history - medieval and renaissance music. I became enamored with infrastructure when I saw my first management system. I was hooked. My career path is taking what I learned on each project and integrating that into my knowledge-base of how to run and how not to run a business.
What is the most rewarding part of your job?
1. Completing the deployment. 2. Knowing that there is a process to find staff in the case they are injured or need support during and after an event. 3. Building-out the data center. 4. Watching the artistry and choreography of ip traffic as packets traverse the network. 5. Leading a team of great infrastructure engineers.
What does success look like to you?
Going home with the knowledge that I accomplished a lot; The great feeling I have when I thank every member of the team for the good work they perform/performed; Meeting the customer deliverable; Paying my bills.
What advice would you offer future leading ladies wishing to break into your industry?
Unfortunately, I cannot seem to find anyone interested in infrastructure. Many women are interested in coding, but quite frankly, how can you code without knowing about the infrastructure that supports the application/service.
What is one piece of advice you’d offer working moms?
Do what you love, be what you want to be, believe in yourself and your ability to accomplish what you want.
Tell us about your favorite Ellevate Network memory or success story. Why are you a member?
I am a member of Ellevate because I believe that we should support each other. I am also at an age when I would like to mentor younger women in business, people who are starting a new business. I have been through alot and I would like to share what I have learned. Technology, Infrastructure and Disaster Recovery are fields where men out-number women. I am often the only woman around the table.
I did not have anyone that I could trust who was there to train me on the financial side of my business and I am looking forward to Ellevate to help me in both my private life and business.