Meet Jessica, 3x certified, Awesome Admin, and Salesforce “Cool kid”
Salesforce transformed my professional confidence and self-worth which poured over into my personal life.
Describe your first encounter with Salesforce.
I was working as a Sales Assistant when my VP told me that he needed me to handle adding users and resetting passwords in something called “Salesforce”. I started exploring and realized the potential it had to help my sales team. My Salesforce rep got me in touch with the Customer Success team and that sealed my fate.
How does Trailhead help you do your job better?
When I hit a mental wall at work, I’ll hop on a trail to get out of my head. Often, it is just what I need to be able to come back to my task with fresh eyes.
What were your biggest challenges and how did you overcome them?
My biggest challenge was probably earning my certifications. Standardized testing has never been a strength of mine. I know a lot of people struggle with certs and it's important for readers of this to know, it's ok if you don't pass the first time. The important part is mastering the material, not how fast you do it. Honestly, it took me a couple tries to earn my Admin and Advanced Admin certs. It is easy to listen to the voice that says, “If it isn’t easy the first time, you aren’t good enough,” but you can't give up on yourself.
Which accomplishment are you most proud of?
My company won a 2018 Manufacturing Leadership Award for our Salesforce implementation. It takes a team, but it was a proud moment for me because I’m the Salesforce leader at the company. Yet, it's the personal growth that I’m most proud of. I am learning that my greatest asset is just being me. It's about trusting myself and not worrying about fitting into what a “perfect image” may be. Salesforce has transformed my professional confidence which has poured over into my general self-worth.
What was something you first believed about Salesforce that you later learned wasn't true?
Early on, I thought Salesforce employees were as unapproachable as movie stars. I stayed back and stayed quiet until I realized that there was no velvet rope. I’ll never forget the time that Mike Gerholdt saved me a seat in the Admin theatre at Dreamforce, which never would have happened if I hadn't introduced myself to him earlier that day. Chris Duarte was so helpful when I asked her to help me with a volunteer project, I initially thought she'd confused me with someone else. Turns out, she's just wonderfully supportive!
What does the Trailblazer community mean to you?
There are hundreds of people willing to meet you where you are and walk life beside you. I spent most of my life not knowing who I was because I desperately wanted to fit in. Enter the Trailblazer community, where everybody is the cool kid and you're always invited to sit at the cool kid's lunch table. It still makes me tear up. Being welcomed and accepted makes it impossible not to want to welcome others in return; to help others feel that they have a place and a purpose.
How has your Salesforce expertise changed you?
I've become a much more confident person because of Salesforce and Trailhead. At my company, I have a team that looks to me to be the Salesforce expert, so I must believe in myself and in my ability to build great solutions at work. I've learned that I don't have to be the most seasoned person in the room in order to have the best idea. I've learned that even without a college degree, I have value to add because I am a Salesforce expert. I'm experienced, I've put in the hard work, and I've learned to trust myself.
How has Trailhead impacted learning for you or others?
In 2016, Karla Coop gave me the opportunity to work with some amazing women through two programs, the Mary Hall Freedom House and Every Woman Works. We introduced these women to Trailhead, helped them work through modules, and built trusting relationships with them. The determination and tenacity of these women was inspiring. They were ready to leave the past behind and blaze trails into the future. Seeing their resilience made me believe more in what I was capable of. One year later, I reenrolled in school and I'm going to finish my degree. This time I have the entire Trailblazer community in my corner.
What advice do you have for new Trailblazers?
Don't wait. Start today. You have a choice in what happens in your tomorrow. Don’t sit back and think you don’t have something to offer. Don’t feel like there is a club that you have to earn a spot in. I lurked in the background for awhile. Don’t be like me… we are all excited that you’re here. We are all better, together.