A Milwaukee, Wisconsin native, Rebecca Bormann has spent the last 14 years in Indianapolis, working in tech.

Recently elected as the President of the Women & Hi Tech Board of Directors, Rebecca has had an interesting career path. After attending pre-pharmacy school and working in the industry, she found out that it wasn’t the job for her. Changing jobs, Rebecca found herself working in B2B sales in the tech industry. This role was more in line with what she is passionate about—connecting with people and building relationships. She is now the managing director of sales and services for Bell Techlogix, an Indianapolis headquartered global IT Managed Services firm.

With Rebecca believing in empowering others to reach their full potential, her involvement in Women & Hi Tech comes as no surprise.

“I knew I wanted to be involved with Women & Hi Tech because the organization is not only a resource for professional women in the STEM field but also girls in K-12,” Rebecca stated when asked what attracted her to the STEM organization. She believes inspiring and encouraging girls to take an interest in STEM is critical to close the gender gap in the STEM fields.

Rebecca started her involvement with Women & Hi Tech as an active event attendee,then a volunteer. She was drawn in by the mission of changing the landscape of women represented in STEM to be equally inclusive to all.  In July of 2017, Rebecca was elected to the board of directors and served as the board’s Corporate Engagement Director for two years. Rebecca was a highly engaged board member and was elected to be the 2020-2021 President, serving in the President-Elect role last year and beginning her role as President of the Women & Hi Tech Board of Directors this July.  

Rebecca is looking forward to many things for Women & Hi Tech. “I am excited about our Leading Light Awards on October 1, 2020, it’s our signature bi-annual event to celebrate the accomplishments of women in the STEM fields and pave the way for new female STEM talent in Indiana by awarding scholarships and grants. We’ll be awarding $50,000 in scholarships and grants this year, more than ever before. This year’s theme is equity and inclusion. I look forward to sharing at the event some of the actions Women & Hi Tech has taken and continuing to advance the mission for equity and inclusion for diverse women in the STEM fields. I want all women to feel celebrated, empowered and supported.”

To showcase her love for connecting and helping others, Rebecca is also involved with The Brandon Foundation, a mentoring and tutoring program where students are shown the power of their potential while supporting them academically and socially; a Pass The Torch For Women 500 Circle member and mentor; as well as the co-founder of R&D Networking, a local Indianapolis professional networking group.

Getting involved with an organization that you are passionate about is advice Rebecca has for college and university students as well as current professionals looking to make a career change. Find more advice and encouragement, plus a glimpse into Rebecca’s professional life below.

Help us picture your work environment.

I split my time between working at the office, visiting clients, attending networking events (virtually these days) and working remotely.

What do you love about the work you do?

I am a connector by nature. With my current role as the director of sales, I am able to learn about people and their business. Making those connections helps me with finding solutions. Then I can help them reach the next level of what they’re trying to accomplish.

Which personality traits, interests, and abilities are important or common for a person to succeed in and enjoy this occupation?

One will need to have the aptitude to keep learning. A curiosity to continue to learn about technology and business is important as it changes so frequently. Adaptability and embracing change are key. Listening skills are also extremely important, to thoroughly understand the client’s needs as well as the technology. You have to listen to the client and the experts to know when there is a good fit.

Which tools/technologies or technical skills are particularly important for a person in your job to be proficient in?

Specific tools will vary depending on what area of tech you would work in. I would encourage someone to research the technical skills or potential technologies used for that specific role. Shadowing someone in the area of tech you are interested in can be very valuable. 

Which soft skills are important for a person in this occupation to be proficient in?

People and communication skills are the most important. You have to be willing to connect, build authentic relationships and be comfortable being the one to initiate conversations. 

From your experience with new grads applying for and beginning jobs in this occupation, are they missing any particular knowledge, skills, or experiences that hold them back? Please describe.

Nothing that may hold them back but sales can be tough especially when it comes to prospecting. A positive attitude and resilience is important because you will hear no a lot. You have to be okay with being told no.  In my experience, sales reps with a servant leadership attitude are the most successful.  They keep the clients needs and goals at the forefront at all times and also understand when their solutions are not a good fit.

Which resources, people, books, websites, etc. would you recommend to those who want to learn more or advance their skills in this occupation?

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen Covey is a great book to read. The book talks about adapting to change and how to take advantage of opportunities from change. The Phoenix Project is also another good book as it relates directly with IT. Another personal favorite is Never Split the Difference: Negotiating As If Your Life Depended On It by Chris Voss. A couple favorite podcasts include, The John Maxwell Leadership Podcast and Indy’s Jessica Gendron’s Ladies Leading episodes which can be found on LinkedIN.

What encouragement or advice would you offer to others considering this occupation or wanting to stand out amongst others?

It’s important that you research the company with whom you’re interviewing with—what do they do, what is their mission, culture and goals? If you weren’t able to find something during your research, be prepared to ask those questions. Show that you are a well-rounded person—what else are you passionate about, where do you spend your time outside of work? But most importantly, be authentic!