UNT business computer information systems (BCIS) and information technology graduate Nicole Scheffler recently earned a spot among the top twenty-six notable women in tech for the State of Michigan. Based on an extensive nomination process that reviewed her career accomplishments, community involvement, and evidence of mentorship, Scheffler is single-handedly growing the number of women in the technology industry.
Promoted to Partner Organization Engineering Strategy and Planning Leader at Cisco Systems earlier this year, Scheffler participates in a number of groups and activities aimed at women empowerment. She plays an active role in her internal employee resource group, Cisco Connected Women, leads public-facing activities as part of the Cisco Empowered Women Network, and participates heavily in other networking groups to encourage and celebrate women in the engineering field.
“I honestly believe the best innovation is unlocked with diverse ideas, so I carry that with me daily,” said Scheffler.
Scheffler also continues her women empowerment efforts outside of Cisco through a tech podcast she co-founded called Diva Tech Talk. A five-time winner of the Association of Women in Communication Clarion Awards, Diva Tech Talk cultivates a network of distinguished women in tech for others to learn from and become inspired by. If that wasn’t enough, she also volunteers for nonprofit organization Michigan Council for Women in Technology, and encourages women to pursue careers in technology in virtually every circle she interacts with, especially those of younger generations.
In addition to all the aforementioned accomplishments, Scheffler also received the Cisco Chairman's Club award. The recognition, deemed the company’s highest honor, is given to the top 1% of the sales force, which is made up of more than 20,000 employees, annually.
Scheffler’s career goals did not always involve technology though. She initially came to UNT to pursue a teaching degree, but her involvement in the electronic music scene, coupled with insight into technology salaries, had her quickly swayed in a different direction.
“I started with that passion for music and was encouraged based on the rise for more careers in technology. After the great education from UNT, I was able to pursue a career and layer on a very valuable master’s degree.”
Her technology expertise grew deeper while working as a teaching assistant for BCIS and tutor in the technology lab throughout college, too.
“I just loved the entire BCIS program and staff. Everyone was so supportive that I really believed it left a gift of confidence with me I carry to this day.”