Ep. 10 From a Bachelor’s in Psychology to CTO, with Stephen Carvelli
Leading domestic U.S. and global organizations through technology transformation that unlock business growth, increases business productivity, and enhance agility. Highly experienced at delivering consumer facing and core technology strategy, digital commerce, machine learning, agile product development, cloud transformation, and data security for leading brands.
Areas of focus include design thinking CX/UX and delivery of B2C and B2B facing digital commerce, store technologies, CRM & ML/AI Analytics, IOS & Android mobile applications, wearables, mPOS, distributed order management, contact center, and supply chain technologies always with data security in mind.
A strategic leader and business partner, who has built long-standing relationships on a track record of partnership, integrity, and delivering results at multiple brands that include OfficeMax, American Eagle Outfitters, Disney, Chico’s, and Lowe’s.
In today’s episode of Develomentor, we have Stephen Carvelli. Stephen shares powerful insights about breaking into tech with a psychology degree and becoming a top level executive. Listen to hear about his journey from Psychology to CTO. Click here to learn more about tech careers.
Stephen is currently Vice President of software development at Comcast. Prior to this, he worked at at other publicly traded brands including OfficeMax, American Eagle Outfitters, Disney, Chico’s, and Lowe’s.
Stephen graduated with a B.S in Psychology. He scored his first job at Office Max, where he got a crash course in both retail infrastructure and e-commerce. During this time, Stephen gained experience working with large companies and building lasting partnerships – skills propelled him for success in business and technology.
Stephen went on to work at big name companies and rose to leading technical roles. And he did this all without a computer science degree.
Stephen also shares:
- The importance of relationships for career growth
- Key challenges faced by the modern C-level executives
- Advice for anyone looking to switch careers
[00:59] Stephen Carvelli’s backstory
[03:11] How Stephen’s early multiple roles in EDS helped him gain valuable experience
[8:37] Stephen gives insight into the qualities of C-suite executives
[16:11] Shifting from individual contributor to management
[19:29] Stephen on the importance of building relationships
[21:31] How Stephen went from a degree in psychology to CTO
[25:50] Key challenges faced by the modern CTO, CIO
[35:38] Stephen talks about the retail apocalypse and how retail industries can thrive in the post-Amazon world
[42:02] Stephen’s advice for transitioning careers
“When you do [projects] with a group of other people, you will develop trusting relationships naturally as an outcome of that. Many of the opportunities I had in my career were with people that I knew or had worked with before.”
“This life is about relationships. It’s about the capabilities that you gain from being part of teams. The team work that you do can really sustain you and create value both for you and for the companies that you work for.”
“The most successful people that I’ve seen in my career have paid very close attention to relationships and how important they’re going to be in their career.”
Thinking like a C-level Executive
“For me, the most senior people you meet honestly don’t believe they have all the answers. It’s a mindset that you’re never the smartest person in the room, remaining very open to outside influence and the influence of your team regardless of the level.”
“The closer you are to the customer or the capability you are looking to deliver with that end-user, the more real you are about what you need to tackle or achieve.”
“Most of the peers I’ve worked with in all kinds of corporate roles were all smart enough to grab themselves a mentor. They are always looking to improve themselves. They are very strong learners.”
“You have to be open to influences and make them into your own and turn them into your own capabilities.”
Going from psychology to CTO
“Know when it’s time to make your next career decision. It’ll be scary. You won’t always be successful with it, but keep pushing.”