Meet Rachel, Salesforce Consultant, Certified Admin, breast cancer survivor, Salesforce Saturday LA founder, and equality advocate. Salesforce World Tour Los Angeles Golden Hoodie recipient, November 2018.
I used to spend so much time creating onboarding materials, repeating the same content over and over. Now I direct everyone to Trailhead.
How did you get started with Salesforce?
In 2008, I became a power user while temping at a nonprofit that used Salesforce. When I transitioned to my next role, I was excited to see that there was a Salesforce team. By then, I'd decided that I wanted to make the leap to become an Admin. Although I wasn't sure how I'd get there, I pitched myself to the team leader. Unfortunately, there were no open positions at the time, but they remembered me when a position opened up a year later, and I officially became a Salesforce Administrator.
How will Trailhead be a part of your future?
Trailhead is such a great resource for training new Salesforce users, so I'll definitely continue to use it for that purpose. I used to spend so much time creating onboarding materials, repeating the same content over and over, but now I can simply direct everyone to Trailhead. Plus, it's fun to see the screen confetti and get those badges!
What message do you have for people new to Salesforce/Trailhead or considering learning Salesforce skills?
Find your Salesforce Ohana! There is absolutely NOTHING like it. I have worked with a lot of tech products, but the Trailblazer Community is truly unique. We are a global community, online and offline, and it's easy to join the conversation on Twitter and in the Trailblazer Community. If you work in the nonprofit world, join the Power of Us Hub. Be sure to reach out to your local Trailblazer Community User Groups, like Women in Tech. And join Salesforce Saturdays, too!
What does the Trailblazer Community mean to you?
Honestly, I could not have fully re-entered the Salesforce world after breast cancer without the love and support of all of the incredible Community Groups—especially the women-led ones, including WIT Developers, Ladies Be Architects, RAD Women Code, WIT Diversity, and Los Angeles Women in Tech.
Amplify is near and dear to my heart; I created their new website, which we launched at Dreamforce 2017, and I was HONORED to be the closing speaker at the Amplify@Dreamforce 2018 event. Now, I'm a Salesforce Certified Administrator, Platform App Builder, Nonprofit Cloud Consultant (passing that beta exam was no joke!), proud RAD Women Code graduate, and volunteer co-leader of Amplify LA.
Following the lead of my friend and Salesforce Saturday founder, Stephanie Herrera, I started Salesforce Saturday Los Angeles, where anyone with a desire to learn Salesforce can come together for a couple of hours to work on Trailhead. When I'm traveling, I love attending local Salesforce Saturdays so I can meet Ohana in different cities. I recently crashed Salesforce Saturday Chicago, followed by yummy deep-dish pizza and great conversation! :-)
How do you manage impostor syndrome?
As a woman—especially a woman of color—with a non-technical background who had been away from tech for years, I often struggle with impostor syndrome and feeling like I truly belong in the room. That said, I've realized that the things I consider shortcomings are often the very things that set me apart from everyone else. So for anyone else who struggles with this, I encourage you to let your impostor syndrome fuel you. Embrace your imperfectly authentic story, whatever it may be—it’s what makes you truly unique. Keep going!
What do you love about working with Nonprofit Cloud?
I love using my Salesforce skills for good, especially when I can help nonprofits set up for success and fulfill their mission.