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< Golden Hoodie
Paul Ginsberg
Nonprofit Specialist, NaturallyIQ
Amsterdam, Netherlands
See my Trailhead Profile
No matter where I go, I know there will be amazing, interesting, and fun Trailblazers to meet.
Do you remember when you first heard about Salesforce? How did you get started with Salesforce?
My first experience with Salesforce came about somewhat by accident! A friend asked me to help him on a project because he was swamped with work, and it involved using Salesforce to configure formula fields. Helping others is the main reason I pursued a career in IT; even simple things, like having formula fields to present information in an easily digestible way, can have an enormous impact. Back to my friend—at the end of the afternoon, he asked me how much he owed me for my time. My response was, “Don't be silly, just give me more work like this to do!” Three months later, I quit my job and happily joined the Salesforce ecosystem.
Has Trailhead ever taught you something you can directly attribute to a success at work or life?
My all-time favorite Trailhead badge is the Impact of Unconscious Bias, as this is an area where I'll never stop learning nor taking it into account in my daily interactions. So many people (myself included) think that they understand their own biases and can counteract them, but it's not always easy to do.
A good example of being aware of potential bias: Our Community Group (in Amsterdam, in case anyone is passing by!) recently decided to schedule a whole year's meetings in advance. Why? We realized that while some people have the flexibility to attend meetings on short notice, this isn't the case for everyone. We wanted to be sure to accommodate members who have caregiving responsibilities, business travel considerations, etc. I should point out that this wasn't my idea, but that's why diversity and inclusivity is so important—you get a range of perspectives, knowledge, and experiences that can help shape better decisions and environments for all.
What does being a Trailblazer mean to you?
Being a Trailblazer means striving to be the best you can be! It's also about not being afraid to discuss your successes with others. Sharing helps us all realize that we are not alone in our ambitions and our willingness to support each other.
What impact has the Trailblazer Community had on your Salesforce experience?
In the past, I wasn't really a fan of traveling. Now, because of the Salesforce Ohana, you can't get me to stop! No matter where I go, I know there will be amazing, interesting, and fun people to meet. When I relocated from London to Amsterdam, the first thing I did was find out which Community Groups were around. Now I count many members as dear friends. I recently visited Bulgaria. I would never have thought to go there, but a Community Group leader invited me, and it's always fun to meet local Trailblazers!
How will Trailhead be a part of your future?
I love Trailhead, and there's no turning back! It has the power to transform a potentially daunting task into one that is easily digestible and fun. Since I learn best by doing, Trailhead's hands-on, practical challenges are perfect for me. Over the years, Trailhead has enabled me to learn new skills and pass exams, but most importantly, it has unlocked potential in me that I never knew I had!
What message do you have for people new to Salesforce/Trailhead or considering learning Salesforce skills?
Learning Salesforce skills is fun and a great way to bring people together! For example, on Saturday mornings in cities across the world, people gather and learn about Salesforce for free. These events are called Salesforce Saturdays, and they're organized by Salesforce enthusiasts. Attendance is for absolutely anyone. Some participants have no prior experience and are persuaded by friends to come, and others come to hone their skills for the ultimate of challenges: the Technical Architect certification. All in all, Salesforce Saturday is a great way to meet new people while learning something new, and I highly recommend it. Oh, and in Amsterdam, sometimes Miguel will play the piano.
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