Women in the Channel: Carissa Scholl Offers Advice on Succeeding in the IT Channel Previous item Women in the Channel: Jen... Next item Women in the Channel...

Carissa Scholl has seen a lot in her five years at TD SYNNEX. Starting off working within Professional Training and education, she quickly found herself expanding her role towards Product Management supporting Cisco data centers. Shen then managed more programs and projects that lead to the management role she is currently in. “It’s been a great journey,” Carissa began. “What keeps me here is my growth opportunities, projects, programs, being able to be creative and innovative, support from the organization and Cisco, my team, and my Director, I’ve been super fortunate on all those fronts, I work with some really creative, intelligent, and hard-working people that really want to help our partners grow and be strategic.”

As part of EDGE360’s commitment to telling the stories of women in the IT Channel, our editorial team sat down with Scholl to learn more about her experience in the industry and to gain a better appreciation for one of the latest winners of the Glenn Grise Award.

Scholl was first introduced to the channel after moving to Colorado and hearing about the company from a former manager. “I was working at Global Knowledge at the time but when I was introduced to the, then, Comstor team, it was just a perfect culture fit,” Scholl told EDGE360. “After that the rest is history.”

As a new hire, Scholl set about learning all that she could and quickly learned that problem solving was a talent that the IT Channel rewarded. “I like to be very creative when approaching challenges and coming up with unique solutions to complex problems,” she said. “A lot of my drive, a lot of my teams’ successes, they come from our freedom to be creative and to solve problems the way that we think is best. We have a lot of support from Cisco and our internal teams.”

Scholl added that the support she and her team receives from management, partners, and Cisco all create a collaborative atmosphere where the top priority is delivering quality solutions to the channel. “That is the common ground that binds me, my colleagues, and our partners,” Scholl said. “We succeed because we have the freedom to be able to dream and turn those dreams into actions that benefit everyone.”

These successes make it hard for Scholl to note any one moment that she is most proud of from her career. “That’s a tough one,” she began. “There are a lot of amazing things that we’ve done that I am proud of, but the biggest is my team. They’re smart, capable, hard-working, and I’m very honored to lead them.” Scholl adds that she also takes pride in seeing the giving nature of her company, and to play a part in giving back to communities, “I’m on the board of Share the Magic the Colorado chapter and have been part of planning sessions and our golf event, and I’m proud that that dynamic is a key part of our company.”

As mentioned earlier, in 2021 Scholl received the Glenn Grise Award which recognizes the person who best exemplifies the qualities of integrity and good character. When asked about the award, Scholl noted that “while I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting Glenn, I know about his legacy. To be put into the same caliber as him is incredible. To know that my hard work, building programs, solving complex problems, and bringing unique tools and applications to the channel, to know that is something that Glenn would have done himself, it’s rewarding on its own.”

While Scholl has had much success in her career, she adds that there are always challenges facing a woman in a predominantly male field. “There are always challenges, right? In any industry, there are different challenges for women and men. I’ve been very, very fortunate, and lucky because I’ve had some great people vouching for me, giving me chances, I have never really felt like I couldn’t do something. It’s part of that ‘let’s figure it out’ attitude that I love here.”

Scholl added that in her experience, the hardest challenge to overcome is just getting in front of the right people to share your ideas, knowledge, and strategy. “That sometimes doesn’t come easy for a woman, but I’ve, thankfully, been supported by some amazing people,” Scholl noted.

TD SYNNEX, Scholl said, supports efforts to bring more women into the channel through educational programs and initiatives. Alongside those programs, Scholl serves on a board for a STEM program in Highlands Ranch, where she helps encourage young women in high school to explore their interests in engineering, science, and math. “We try to get them on that path sooner rather than later and help open up that pathway by providing them the means to explore this career field,” Scholl said.

In the end, Scholl’s advice for other women in the channel or looking to pursue a STEM degree is to not doubt yourself and to advocate towards your strengths and manage your weaknesses. “I know women are strong, intelligent, and collaborative, and if you can surround yourself with people that support you, that believe in your vision, that are actively uplifting you, that is how you can grow your career, and grow as a person,” Scholl added. “Don’t overthink, don’t over-analyze, don’t put yourself into a negative mindset thinking about ‘oh I don’t know this,’ or ‘I couldn’t do that,’ if you meet 70 percent of the job description for your dream job and you have that opportunity, take it. It’s something that you can never regret.”