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“Every Handshake Matters”

WIT Interview with Nicole, Partner Manager of North America at Signavio

Women in Technology WNY is here to feature the stories of women in our local community and the various technology roles they fill, traditional and non-traditional. TechBuffalo is here to highlight these women to encourage others to not only explore technology opportunities but to take advantage of them.

How did you get your start in tech?
My original goal was to work for an elite sports team. I have my Masters in Biomechanics and I had done work manipulating a software platform that evaluated athletic performance. As a woman trying to get into sports, I felt like I was constantly facing an uphill battle. I interviewed with a few sports teams and got a really bad taste in my mouth. Moving forward I decided I was still going to work in sports independently and started my own business doing gait and biomechanical analysis for runners. After some time, I realized I needed to do something else, so I taught Technology in Sport at SUNY Fredonia for 8-9 semesters. After that, I worked at a few places helping entrepreneurs in Buffalo and was exposed to different business practices, and then landed in tech sales. I worked for several companies in sales and business development and did really well. A coworker of mine who had left my previous company and went to my current company, Signavio, called me and said, “I feel like you might have plateaued, do you want something more?. I didn’t see a lot of women moving into higher positions around me at the time, so I said, “YES, of course.” I interviewed with Signavio and I’ve been here for over a year now. That’s the funny thing about technology, it leads you in so many different directions. I’m not in Biomechanics anymore, but I’m in the application of science and technology. Until recently I was in a business development role. So essentially, I had to source the strategic partners that we wanted to work with to advance the capabilities and drive the results of our Transformation Suite of products.

You’ve had some recent good news, congrats on the promotion! Would you mind describing your current role at Signavio?
For 2021, I was promoted from business development for the channel to Partner Manager. We built the channel and on-boarded some great partners in 2020 and now we have to work with them to produce! It is my pleasure to maintain relationships with Strategic Partners, assess new partnership opportunities, utilizes our Partner Portal and generates sales through the channel. I identify, build and grow and maintain partner wins with our sales team to achieve the best possible business process management and process mining capabilities across all of Signavio’s use cases and sales plays through our strategic partner’s expertise in North America.

Working with and understanding technology and business, what are some essential skills you’ve learned so far? Business process is a discipline and highly integral part of any business transformation.
I’ve had to learn how to communicate with CIOs, CTOs, program managers and engineers, enterprise architects, and high-level technology consultants with lean and agile methodologies….in their “language”. I had to understand the way they look at things, how their minds work, and understand jargon to discover how to best approach situations. The learning curve has always been tough, as I come from a different technical background, but I enjoy being a lifelong student.

With your career at Signavio, you’ve been working remotely the entire time. What is some advice you would give those who are still adjusting to this remote working life?
Focus. Organize. Grace. Balance.
I know with working from home the distractions come easy, with kids, significant others, or just the TV or laundry, but give yourself space to focus on the task at hand. Organizing your space so that you can work productively is also important. I think because you’re working from home people assume should be more productive than if you were in the office which isn’t always true. Be more forgiving to yourself. Some days you’ll check off every item on your to-do list and other days you won’t get to it. Not every hour of your day will be productive and that is okay. it’s okay to take breaks, life is all about balance and boundaries. If you find that you’re most productive when your child/children take a nap in the afternoon, schedule that as time to get things done for work. Sometimes I go back to the computer at 8:00 o’clock at night when my daughter goes down because at two o’clock she really wanted to take a walk around the block and that was important.

What advice would you give a woman looking to pursue a career in the tech industry?

  • Don’t undermine your value and think that you don’t deserve as much money, the title, or what you are asking for.
  • Don’t marginalize yourself. Our own thoughts and perceptions can make us feel like we are the odd one out. Know you are in your position for a reason. We all suffer from some form of impostor syndrome but do what you can to overcome it because you wouldn’t be in a position if you didn’t deserve it.
  • Don’t assume mentors are only for your career. Have mentors or a network of women you talk to that can help you with spiritual needs, family, etc. Don’t limit your “mentors” to people who can advance your career.
  • You never know where the road is going to lead you and what doors are going to open and close. Positive or negative keep moving forward.

A lot of my advice could probably be summed up as: know and believe your value.

Lastly, what advice would you give yourself when you first started your career?
Make sure you’re nice to everybody you meet along the way. A handshake can go a long way and you never know when a person could help you and be a stepping stone to your next position. The relationships that you make today and how they’re going to affect tomorrow is never known. Everybody is important.

Thanks for joining us for another installment of Women in Tech. Read more about Nicole’s career journey on her LinkedIn. Follow TechBuffalo on LinkedIn & Twitter for more WIT features!