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  • hi1668

From Educator to Awesome Admin – My Salesforce Journey

Hello! I'm Shayla Mark, a Salesforce Certified Administrator with a background in the education and nonprofit industries. After 14 years in the education space I am proud to share my Trailblazer journey with you.

I happened to stumble across a local group called Black Orlando Tech (BOT) and noticed that one of its leaders – Tiffany Spencer – was a 7x Salesforce Certified Professional. I had no clue what Salesforce was, but I was intrigued. I signed up to attend a Salesforce workshop in July 2019 and the rest is history…I.WAS.HOOKED!

In September 2019, I attended Florida Dreamin’ in Orlando which really opened my eyes to the endless career opportunities within the Salesforce Ecosystem. I met people from many different backgrounds and walks of life who’d made the pivot – some by “accident” and others intentionally – to join the Salesforce Ohana.

Within two months, I had become a Trailhead Ranger, earned three Trailhead Superbadges, and began working on projects for a few small nonprofit organizations. I was on a roll, and in January 2020, I decided to tackle the Salesforce Certified Administrator (SCA) exam. I hit my first roadblock – I failed the exam.

I was extremely disappointed, but thanks to my BOT Salesforce cohort and the Salesforce Ohana on Twitter, I learned that I was in good company and that many others had also failed the exam on their first attempt as well. I buckled down, got back on Trailhead and practiced and reviewed concepts that I had struggled with. I also applied for and was awarded the July 2020 Salesforce Scholarship which allowed me to attend an 8-hour boot camp to prepare for the SCA exam. Confident and determined, I scheduled the exam on the same day as the boot camp…and this time I passed! I am now a Salesforce Certified Administrator!

I am extremely grateful to HBCUforce, my study group partners, the Salesforce Ohana on Twitter, Military Trailblazers, and of course, #TrailheadScholarship – they have all played an integral role in my success.

What’s Next?: Even though I have TONS of transferable skills as an educational leader, I’ve found it difficult to convey these skills to those outside of the field of education. In the coming months, I plan to sit for the Education Cloud and/or Nonprofit Cloud exam(s). I believe that these will help “marry” my background as an educator with the technology field, specifically Salesforce.

Advice to Others: I advise anyone wanting to join the Salesforce Ecosystem to find a local group in your area to support your journey, immerse yourself in Trailhead, and go for it!

Favorite Quote: "What would you attempt to do if you knew you could not fail?"

Connect With Me!

LinkedIn: shaylamark

Twitter: @ShayPossible

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