Candy is a mom of 3 from Canada, with a background using SAP and Excel but when an opportunity for a new challenge arose and with only 2 months to learn Salesforce before her colleague when on maternity leave, it forced her to learn fast…..and soon she realised how things could be done faster and more efficiently by using Salesforce.
Now with over 14 years experience as a Salesforce Admin and in her current role as a Solutions Designer in the FinServ sector, she is looking to bridge the gap in her knowledge to the end user, something which our Consultancy course is helping her gain.
Supermums courses taken or in progress:
Supermums Consultancy Programme
What is your job title?
Salesforce Solution Designer
Where do you work now?
Manulife Financial, Ontario, Canada
What does the business do?
Manulife Financial Corporation is a Canadian multinational insurance and financial services company.
Do you work flexibility?
I’ve worked from home full time for more than five years now, even before the Covid-19 pandemic. It is definitely a blessing. Sometimes my job can be demanding but because I work from home, I don’t ever feel too distant from my family.
How did you get into Salesforce?
I was working for a food manufacturing company in 2006 as a “CRM” Analyst for SAP – I was an end user and ran analysis on promotions both in the system and Excel when I decided it was time for me change. I uploaded my resume to one of the job sites, and I guess I was picked because I had “CRM” in my resume.
I started a new job at an office supplies company with no knowledge of Salesforce whatsoever. My new manager was going on maternity leave in two months so it was very important that I get up to speed. She ran the National practice of Salesforce with more than 600 users.
Why did you decide to take the Supermums Consultancy course?
I have worked in the Salesforce Administration role for a long time as mentioned. I know I am good at what I do but wanted to learn to work with projects from end to end. I have seen some of my colleagues work and I know that there is a skill gap that I need to fill. After having a meeting with Supermums staff, I really did think that the Supermums Consultancy course is what I needed to acquire the Business Analysis, Project Management and Change Management skills that I needed.
In addition, these skills were designed with Salesforce in mind. Not only am I learning transferable skills in working with projects, I am also learning Salesforce best practice and industry standards from a consultancy point of view. Did I mention that Supermums has its own consultancy?
What were you doing before the course/ are you doing now and how do you hope this will change with your new found skills?
I love learning, it is one of my passions. Before the course, I was going through bits and pieces of the skills I thought will help me grow in my Salesforce career by using online learning sites and reading. None of the resources I have gone through directly applied to Salesforce.
Knowing what I know now, I am more confident. I know I have the tools that I need to succeed in my job by using the templates, techniques, checklists and tools that Supermums provided.
I started using the techniques – such as diagramming, the importance of communication, learning styles, keeping in mind my “customer’s” happiness as one of the measures of my success, etc.
Have you encountered any challenges in building your career and how did you overcome them?
I have three children thirteen and under. My mother is staying with my husband and I as well. We are a busy bunch.
Sometimes, I get really overwhelmed with my responsibilities at home, at work, in the community, my social life and even my path to growth in my career. It is real and it is not going away.
I am grateful to have a support system and I welcome them too. I was reminded by someone in the Supermums Community of the seasons of life. That at this time, I am juggling crystal balls – valuable, precious and delicate. That I need to spend some quality time with my children because they will soon grow up and I would want them to have great memories of their childhood and with my mom in her late years as well.
There are a few things that I did this year to take back some time to study:
- I got an Instant Pot to help with cooking lightning-fast recipes
- We purchased a dishwasher. We run it once a day, at night
- Trained my kids to help at home (age appropriate)
- I set a schedule to study at night from 10PM
In addition, I am using one of the tools that I learned from the consultancy course. The MoSCoW prioritization method. It is still a working progress, but I always have it in my mind to analyse if what I am doing is a “must have” or is it something that I “won’t have (this time)”.
In my career, I’ve learned to advocate for myself, ask for help and become the student, have a good attitude, never stop learning and try to have the discipline to practice what I learned.
Can you share a little about your experience of the course(s)? What was the best thing about it and what was the most challenging?
The best thing for me is to see and hear the answers to the questions I have in my head — what does it take to deliver a project from a consultant’s point of view from beginning to end?
The video assessments are by far the most challenging. I love it though. Video assessments are not essays or exams that I need to write and submit but a presentation that I need to deliver to prove that I got the point. Yes, I am still working on those.
What do you think is great about the Supermums programme and why do you think people should do it?
Supermums is a great programme because the materials were put together from a successful consultant’s point of view. It is a living and breathing course in which a consulting company is using to provide services to real life customers. It is not compacted into a 5-day course We get a year of access to collaborate with the staff as well.
I believe super mums who are trying to get into the Salesforce ecosystem should look into it. It is not enough to just pass the Salesforce Administrator Certificate anymore. Please reach out to me directly if you want to hear more.
What do you do in a typical day?
I work full time as a Solution Designer at an amazing Financial Services company. My responsibilities are mostly in the platform operations’ side. I work on solutions to make our developers’ lives better and of course some administration.
What is the most challenging thing about your role?We have an advanced and sophisticated Salesforce implementation. One challenge I can mention is keeping up with the requirements to keeps our orgs healthy and to provide the environment to keep our squads delivering great products.
What is the best thing about your job?
For someone like me who loves to learn and loves challenges, the best things are the opportunities to work on them.
What certification do you have and what are you working towards next?
- Salesforce Certified Administrator
- Salesforce Certified Platform App Builder
- Salesforce Certified Advanced Administrator
- Salesforce Certified Platform Developer I
- Salesforce Certified Sales Cloud Consultant
- Salesforce Certified Service Cloud Consultant
- Salesforce Certified Community Cloud Consultant
- Salesforce Certified Sharing and Visibility Designer
- Salesforce Certified Data Architecture and Management Designer
- Salesforce Certified Application Architect
- Professional Scrum Master 1(PSM1) – Scrum.org
- Copado Administrator – Copado
Next year, I am looking to get my Professional Scrum Product Owner (PSPO1), Development Lifecycle Designer and Integration Architecture Designer certifications.
What are your top tips for studying for Salesforce certifications? (you can be specific to those you have taken if you like)
I used a combination of Trailhead, exam study guide, work experience and of some blogs, including SFDC99 and Ladies Be Architectsplus the blogs they recommend. I have also used Focus on Force when felt like I needed more guidance.
What has been the biggest challenge in your Salesforce career so far?
I think my biggest challenge is now being dealt with in the Salesforce Consultancy course. Understanding the different aspects of a project / product will gives me the wholistic insight of what makes a “customer” happy which is the ultimate measure of success.
What is your favourite thing about Salesforce?
Salesforce solves business problems. It is iterative, it is agile and therefore can pivot with the advancement of technology to meet the needs of its customers or prospects.
If you love to learn, you will love Salesforce. It updates 3 times a year for free!
Who is your favourite Trailhead Character?
Ruth! She is cute and the smartest one there (shhh).
Are there any groups / networks you would recommend joining (online or in real life!)
- Customer Architect Community:
- Ladies be Architects: – inspiration and live and recorded study groups
- Jenwlee’s Salesforce Blog: – one word: Flow
- Release Readiness Trailblazers:
- Join the group that are relevant to you, if it’s not there, I am sure you can start one.
Is there anything else you would really like to tell people who are considering a career in Salesforce?If you are just starting your Salesforce career, I want to be honest with you. The company is now 20 years old and it has grown exponentially, and the job market has become quite competitive. I really do not think a certification is enough. I think Supermums can give you the edge with other skills that they offer. The community and the mentoring you will receive can help guide you with your next steps towards your first Salesforce job.
Anything else about your experience that you think it is important / useful to share: