With education always playing an important role in her evolving career, Cynthia Ceil has taken on many challenges and mastered them.
As an product manager for Infor Nexus, Cynthia strives to understand the big picture and the pain points of a customer before focusing on a specific feature or functionality. She also oversees how Nexus integrates across Infor platforms. She works with the sales and consulting teams and several technical and nontechnical stakeholders to understand their business needs and expand on growth and opportunities. “My role involves working and proactively communicating with customers, while also being innovative,” she says.
Born and raised in Kolkata, India, Cynthia earned a degree in computer engineering and then gained professional experience as a quality assurance analyst at Accenture before earning a master’s degree in management information systems. “I have always loved to see things end to end. I was doing well with my technical role, and figured it was time to bridge that gap between technology and business.”
A desire to further her education led her to the US. “It was risky to move to another country without any family or acquaintances. That was my biggest challenge,” she says.
Cynthia’s father has been her mentor and support system, always stressing the value of learning. She credits her father with fostering the ideals of equality between men and women, giving her added confidence in pursuing a career in technology, a field traditionally dominated by men.
Cynthia joined Infor in 2019 when she was looking to join a product development company where she could apply her background in consulting and experience in multiple business domains, including healthcare, transportation, entertainment, banking, and finance. This background plus experience in quality assurance helps her communicate in a language that both engineers and business consultants comprehend. “I have worked on both sides of the table,” she says. “But at Infor, I get to be creative with building products, and I really like that.”
Her interest in education is widely supported by her managers. “I often have conversations with my managers to discuss how I can align myself and my work to the organization’s mission and goals.”
Cynthia’s journey has faced some obstacles as well. “I doubted my abilities. I was constantly worrying if I could code well,” she says. To counter that, she framed a mindset that she wouldn’t shy away from challenges. “This mindset pushed me out of my comfort zone. I learned to face it, fight it, and overcome it.”
Driven by her desire to keep up with the latest technology trends, Cynthia continues to educate herself and obtain a new certification every year. “I don’t do it for me. I push myself so I can bring valuable insights to the table and for my team.”
The International Women’s Day 2021 theme of #ChooseToChallenge resonates with Cynthia. “I love taking calculated risks.” By constantly challenging and improving her professional skills, she makes sure her work lives up to highest expectations. “I’ve fallen multiple times, but I always pick myself up.”
This year, she has given herself two challenges: to be a reliable mentor to high school students, and take on more leadership roles.
She encourages others to “choose to challenge,” too, and push themselves to the limit. “No idea is a bad idea. Always be confident and get up front with it.”
Cynthia’s advice to young women pursuing a career in technology: “There’s often a gender bias. But training, disciplining, and educating yourself is the way to break barriers and push forward.”
This spotlight is part of our Women’s History Month and International Women’s Day series. Read more:
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