Professional development, Women in tech

Embracing Challenges for New Solutions and Happy Customers

Meet Kate, a Nuance Business Development Manager. She embraces challenges head on and isn’t afraid to be unconventional. The result? Smart solutions and happy customers. See her story.

Meredith Mascolo joined Nuance in 2013 and is the Senior Manager, Communications. A perfect job for her, as she loves words, puns and idioms. She’s also the community manager for our company intranet. Meredith earned a B.M. in music education from Oberlin Conservatory and a M.S. in Administrative Studies, Innovation and Technology from Boston University. She is a classically trained violinist who enjoys playing her 5-string electric at yoga classes and other musical projects. She loves reading, cooking and yoga.

What do you do at Nuance?  

I am the Business Development Manager for the North America Enterprise Team.  I lead an incredibly talented group of professionals who bring years of knowledge and expertise to work with them every day in supporting both our Sales and Marketing teams with research and prospecting efforts for our Nuance Omni-Channel solutions. These solutions help brands provide a superior customer experience, while preventing fraud and empowering agents with AI-first intelligent engagement.  My team and I bring a personable approach when engaging with potential and existing clients, and we love helping them solve business and industry challenges that come their way.  

What’s your background and how did it impact where you are today?  

I was surrounded by strong women growing up – my mother and grandmother worked in male dominated industries at the time. I have always been shown that even though they may have what’s considered an “unconventional approach” and hit plenty of roadblocks throughout their careers, they’ve been able to pave the way for other women who followed behind them. They taught me that sometimes taking a new approach or having a new perspective might just be what sets us apart from the rest. Just because someone thinks you shouldn’t be able to do something, doesn’t mean you can’t. 

As an only child, and the oldest and only female in my immediate family, I always felt I had the freedom and support to pave my own path. My mother and grandmother always reminded me to get a good education and to keep thinking big.  

I graduated from the University of Central Florida with a degree in Communications and aspirations to work in Public Relations. Because I have always been a bit competitive, I ended up with a passion for Sales and Business Development and have worked in that field for most of my career. When I joined Nuance almost 5 years ago, I was looking to take the next step in my career. I wanted to work for a company that truly wanted to make a positive impact on people’s lives by using the technology they create. I started on the Healthcare Business Development team and found that not only does Nuance want to make an impact on our customers’ lives, but also the lives our customers treat or interact with every day. It’s easy to love your career when what you do can make a positive change. 

What inspires you to think big? 

Working at Nuance has shown me that the only way to achieve great success is to cultivate an environment that allows people to bring big ideas to the table. Our experiences and differences can give a new perspective.  

I have always been of the mindset that if you want to think big you have to learn how to fail, and with failure comes growth, and most times, a really great story. Sometimes we have to think big and fail to propel great ideas to the next level. While working at Nuance I have been able to surround myself with incredibly intelligent individuals and have learned to not be afraid to push conventional boundaries outside my comfort zone. Within my own team, we regularly adopt the motto, “Let’s give it a try and see if it works!” Just the same as the technology we create that continuously improves over time, so do our ideas and the way we put them to work. 

What is your most memorable moment at Nuance so far?  

There are so many memorable moments to choose from, but one was when me and the rest of the Business Development Team was given recognition in front of 1,000+ people, for our successful year on stage at JumpStart, our annual Sales Kickoff conference.  We had such a small team of 4 or 5 people in Healthcare Business Development, and we worked incredibly hard that year redefining what our team was, and it commemorated how far the team had come up until that moment. We all got to celebrate our success together and it was such a great moment. Since that first JumpStart, we have almost completely reinvented what the team does. Many of us have moved up within the company and the team overall has grown to almost 30 people across the globe. 

What is a recent challenge you were faced with and how did you overcome it? 

If I’m not being challenged, then I must be doing something wrong! My biggest challenge has been working completely from home when I am so used to working in an office full-time. I am a people-person and social butterfly, and I learn best from interacting with my peers. I thrived from the exchanges I had with peers in the cafeteria, the hallways, and group discussions, and felt satisfied learning new skills from others every day. When I moved to a remote environment, I was challenged to find new ways of staying interconnected and keeping collaboration among the team strong.  

I quickly realized that the technology we use on a day-to-day basis could connect me with colleagues all over the globe. We were all working from home, no matter what country we were in, and I was able to break out of my little office bubble to start conversations and ask questions to peers I may not have reached out to in my typical office environment.  

A few weeks ago, was International Women’s Day (IWD) and we’re also celebrating Women’s History Month right now. What does it mean to you?  

It’s about honoring and celebrating how incredibly resilient women are. We have endured a year like never before that has shone the spotlight on how multifaceted women have always been. So many of my friends and coworkers, including myself, have juggled careers and children, and have become teachers and caretakers, all at the exact same time. This month is about reflecting on all that we have overcome, giving ourselves the credit we deserve, and lifting each other up to build strength in numbers. 

Celebrating IWD and Women’s History Month means showing my 11-year-old daughter that her confidence alone can be an inspiration to others. By being open and honest about my experiences, and what the women before me have achieved, will hopefully make whatever path she chooses a little bit easier and confidence unwavering. 

What’s your advice for your 20-year-old self?  

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Kate and her daughter volunteered at The Children’s Hunger Project as part of the Nuance Cares program. They packed up food for children in need to eat over the weekend when food was not accessible.

Stay curious and don’t limit yourself. Surround yourself with people who you might think are smarter than you. You will find you have a lot in common and will learn so much at the same time. Don’t be afraid to ask tough questions. Know your worth and then know how to ask for what you are worth. 

What are you currently listening to? 

I find myself listening to The Joke by Brandi Carlile on repeat a lot lately. It has such a powerful message and is emotionally and beautifully sung. My go-to is always The Allman Brothers Band, Janis Joplin, or really anything with a bluesy-rock feel. I honestly have an appreciation for all genres of music because it can completely define a moment in your life and spark energy or emotion.  

During the beginning of COVID, my team had to adjust to a remote environment, and I used Microsoft Teams to create a group radio station dedicated to song requests to lift everyone’s spirits and take a little pause throughout the day. It was a great way to pump the team up or share what was going on in your day-to-day through music we could listen to together. 

Pave your own path and bring your own ideas to the table… at Nuance!

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