Nicole, Senior Director of Operations, Translates Business to Technology
Nicole, Senior Director of Operations, shares how she transformed from business to product and technology throughout her career journey at ADP.
Coming to ADP
Nicole’s career journey to Tech was an evolution. She has 20 years of experience in payroll and hadn’t thought about the technology behind it when she first started. “A mentor of mine changed my thinking. She reminded me what we did was software implementation, which changed my perspectives on projects and future opportunities,” Nicole says.
When she came over to ADP’s Global Product and Technology (GPT) group, Nicole played a role in translation between business needs, operations goals, products, and technology. “With my background in payroll, I can put processes together and execute them,” Nicole says. “I proudly serve as a liaison between business goals and technology to build great products.” She felt accomplished when another ADP associate thought she came from a traditional product background. It was a defining moment for Nicole, knowing how much she transformed into a product and technology subject matter expert throughout her career journey.
Designing for People
“STEM is the foundation of our daily life, constantly changing and transforming how we do things,” Nicole tells us. “Working at ADP is exciting!” She loves how ADP always offers a variety of new projects. “Even though we are a large corporate company, ADP values the individual voices of its people. There’s always an opportunity here to deliver impact and make a difference,” she says.
Early in Nicole’s career, she worked on a migration project for over three years with about 200,000 clients. She is currently working on projects Payroll Innovation (PI) and Next-Gen Technology. “The Next-Gen in payroll calculation and compliance is powerful. These are my favorites because they are at the core of how ADP operates,” she says.
Nicole looks for opportunities to lead others who come from similar backgrounds in operations and business sides, getting them closer to ADP’s products without feeling apprehensive. She also recognizes the value in bringing the operational and the business sides closer to technology. For those who have a traditional tech background, she makes sure they understand the impact.
ADP: Transformation to Tech
Nicole always likes to ask other leaders their thoughts on ADP’s transformation into a technology company. As an associate who’s been here for 20 years, she enjoys ADP’s blending of great service and technology. “We went from a traditional service provider to leading with technology, and eventually, we hope tech is the first thing that comes to mind in the future,” she says. “I enjoy watching the transformation, as do other long-tenured associates! Seeing them use innovative technology in new ways is inspiring.”
“I am blessed to have some incredible mentors who have shared valuable insights with me,” Nicole says. She also had the opportunity to mentor multiple talented individuals, and advocates organic mentoring relationships. “I’ve never met a leader who refused to spend time with associates. Be open and ask questions! Mentors are there to guide your learning experiences. It’s a growing process for everyone,” she says.
Everyone is a Leader
Nicole thinks highly of her associates and recognizes people’s strengths and understands how they fit in her team. She likes letting someone develop what he/she is good at, providing all the support. “I ask questions: Is that skill an asset? Do we need the skill in the team? Job descriptions for my team are detailed and crafted with intention,” she says. Nicole loves learning about people’s passion and motivation behind the tasks.
“It takes confidence to be bold and conquer the fear of leaving your swim lane,” she says. Nicole encourages STEM women to speak up and offer ideas, even if the ideas are not mainstream. As she says: “Always be prepared to back up your opinions with a clearly articulated vision for the team! It is one thing to have an idea and another thing to execute it.”
Nicole has a 10-year-old daughter who loves robotics and electronics. She loves supporting her and getting involved in a lot of youth activities at her school. “It’s great to see children get creative and passionate about technology!” she says. To her, #ADPTech is creative, human, evolving, and diverse. The elements together create a culture that is inclusive and understanding. Regardless of experience and background, people take the time to listen to one another’s opinions and ideas.
Recharge and Reset
Nicole loves to travel. She books with a company that caters to women traveling alone, and gets to meet other amazing women during her trips. Some of places she has visited include Glacier National Park in Montana, Banff National Park in Alberta, Chile in South America, Calgary, and Costa Rica. Her next trip, a fitness retreat in Bali, is coming up next year. She can’t wait!
Nicole has always been an athlete, and her trips often involve outdoor activities. “As much as I love technology, I love to disconnect and travel solo,” she says. Traveling allows her to rest and recharge. When she comes back to work, she is filled with innovative ideas and so much energy. “Not to mention, these experiences make me a better person.”
Interested in a tech career at ADP?