Name: Kandace Anderson
Location: Dallas, Texas
Education: B.B.A. Operations & Supply Chain Management, University of North Texas, May 2009

How did you determine what you wanted to study in college?

I felt pretty strongly that I wanted to go to school for business but I didn’t want to major in business management because I thought it was too broad. I didn’t want to major in accounting because I can’t crunch numbers all day. When I researched majors and saw that a career in operations and supply chain can look like so many different things and that often you’re playing around with business analytics, processes and goal setting I knew it was for me. 

Part way through school I thought about switching to interior design because I’ve always had a love of beautiful spaces. At the time I had a “Be on Time” loan from the government for about $20,000. As long as I graduated in four years I wouldn’t have to pay it back. So I decided to stick with my degree and I’m so glad I did. 

Walk us through your initial job search strategy and how you landed your first full-time role. 

My strategy for job searching started before it was time to search. I had learned how critical internships are to enhancing the quality of your education but also in helping land jobs after graduation. I worked with a program called Inroads to get a summer internship with Mary Kay’s corporate office. That led to a regular part-time internship that lasted over two years so I had a lot of valuable experience by the time I graduated. I know this is what helped me land my first job as a supply chain specialist with Raytheon Space & Airborne systems. 

How did you go from that first role to your current role—what was that journey like for you?

Oh man. What a journey! My husband laughs at how many different jobs I’ve had over the eleven years we’ve been together. When I started my career in aerospace after college, I realized after a year or so that it wasn’t the right lane for me. I still had a love of design and wanted to explore a different path. From there I had a wild journey. I’ve been a sales associate at Restoration Hardware. I’ve been a packaging buyer. I’ve been a modular floor tile designer. I’ve been a purchasing manager at a construction company. I’ve been an abstract artist. 

My journey has been just that…a journey. Each role taught me something new about my career, my strengths, my weaknesses and myself. The absolutely best things I learned from this journey? 1. Bet on myself 2. Jacks of all trades make great CEOs.

Tell me a bit more about Departmynt why is shopping so hard (seriously)?

Do you have a friend who loves to shop? Maybe that person is you? You love browsing through malls and boutiques? You happily get lost in an endless scroll on Asos? 

I am NOT that person. I care a lot about what I wear but do not care for shopping. Now before we had our youngest son, shopping was at least manageable. I could muster through it. But as our family grew bigger and my free time grew smaller, the thought of going through hundreds of online listings to find a new piece was just a no for me. Especially when new brands pop up every day, sizes vary, etc. 

I developed Departmynt to solve this problem for myself. I just want someone other than me to find my next favorite outfit. The fact that other women want to use Departmynt too is the cherry on top!

What advice do you have for young women who might be considering a career shift? 

Were you ever about to do something and that little voice in your head said “Don’t do that!” But you didn’t listen and then at some point the whole thing went to crap? Soon you were saying to yourself “Dang. I should have listened.” 

Well make it your goal to never have to say you wish you’d have trusted your gut. Start sharpening this skill asap. Then when it comes to answering those life-changing questions like if a career shift is the right move, your mind will be clear and you can move forward on your chosen path with confidence.

What has been your biggest career “hurdle” and what did you learn from it?

I’d say I’m in the thick of my biggest career hurdle right now which is starting up a company that I know can be the next multi-million dollar business. What I’m currently learning from it is not to give up when things feel impossible. I have a new major challenge to meet every day. When the risk feels too great or the goal too big, I ask that little voice in my head “Should I keep going?” Thus far the answer is always a resounding yes. Because I’ve worked so hard to sharpen my intuition, I know I can trust that little voice pushing me forward. So I continue in (skeptical) confidence. 

Do you have a mentor? Who do you look to for inspiration and support?

I have so many mentors, whether they have that formal title or not. I have three mentors in particular who I talk with every week or so. I also listen to several podcasts that provide different types of insight. My absolute favorite podcast is ‘How I Built This’.

What does collaboration over competition mean to you? 

Listen. I am here for every girl boss no matter what that boss life looks like. I want us all to win and I know that my winning doesn’t have to mean bringing other women down. Departmynt is all about making women’s lives easier. I go out of my way to hire women for my team and provide resources to women who need the support that some other generous woman once gave me. I am here for the girls! That’s what it means for me.

Final words of wisdom to all the young women out there who are strategizing to reach their education and career goals?

I’m a super goal-oriented person so I’ve always got many goals in mind. This can be a good thing but in times I’ve been inflexible with my goals, it has been a hindrance. I can’t recall who in the startup community coined this phrase that goes “Have strong convictions, loosely held” or something like that. What it’s saying is be smart enough to believe very much in what you believe while also being open to those beliefs being challenged.

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