If you haven’t heard already, one of our alumni now volunteer, Shaniqua Fields, has earned her Salesforce Certification. We had the pleasure of meeting with her to highlight all her accomplishments.
How did you find out about Salesforce?
I found out about Salesforce through my sister, Janelle, who went to Austin, Texas to attend the Merivis Salesforce Administrator cohort back in February of 2020. She went through the cohort and loved it. She really felt that it was something she could also see me doing and excelling in, so she encouraged me to look into it. She had seen how comfortable I was with navigating the system we used at my former job and she felt that if I could navigate the software that confidently I could learn to become a System Administrator. She became Salesforce Certified in February 2020 and I began studying on my own shortly thereafter once she introduced me to Trailhead.
How did you find out about HBCUforce and our founder, Tiffany Spencer?
Well, my sister called Tiffany to catch up with her and introduce me to her. Tiffany had become something like a mentor to my sister at that point and I really admired how openly Tiffany shared her knowledge and advice. She dropped MAJOR GEMS and it inspired me to not only continue my own journey into the Salesforce Ecosystem but keep in touch with her as well. I eventually enrolled in Pepup Tech for which Tiffany wrote my letter of recommendation. I completed the Pepup Tech cohort, but was still not completely confident enough to take the exam. I had even become a Trailhead Ranger, but still struggled with much of the core concepts. Then one day I saw Brian Owens’ Twitter post about the HBCUforce 8-Week Challenge and I applied. Since I hadn’t yet passed the exam the HBCUforce Challenge seemed like a great next step.
What was your journey while taking the exam?
In June of 2020, I was extremely excited to take the Admin exam! So when I failed it I was shocked – I didn't think that was going to happen to me at all! I immediately scheduled to retake the exam the very next day and I failed it again. I wanted to take it again a few weeks later, but I just didn’t feel prepared. Taking this exam multiple times and failing it made me feel anxious and discouraged. Interestingly enough each time my scores were very close to passing, just not enough to get me that Cert!
Later in the year, I had a major health scare and I had to put the exam on hold. While I was lying in bed, one night, I realized that I needed to get serious about Salesforce for many reasons. With encouragement from my sister I started studying again, every single day. I made two more failed attempts at the exam, but just couldn’t figure out what wasn’t connecting for me. I was interested in Salesforce, I really wanted to transition into tech, but for some reason I was not able to pass this exam.
Then my sister reached out to me after she was contacted about a Junior Admin position. She told me that she told the recruiter that the position wasn’t a good fit for her, but that it would be perfect for me. She was transparent with the recruiter about me not yet being certified and the recruiter agreed to interview me for the role. My sisters take on the whole thing was that it would click for me once I was actually working in the role and a Junior Admin role was just the opportunity I needed. I interviewed for that role and received my official offer in October 2020.
So, in November 2020 I started in my Junior Salesforce Administrator role at Pace Center For Girls, which is a nonprofit organization that provides at risk girls and young women a safe and caring environment to learn, grow and create a bright new future. I accepted the role with the understanding that I was expected to eventually gain my Certification. After my one-month review, my manager nudged me to get certified. So, I dedicated four months to studying for the exam with some additional restrictions for myself which meant:
No social media
No Popeyes (This was the hardest thing to do since I was used to eating it 3x week)
I studied three hours every Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. I made a study guide based on the Salesforce Administrator Exam Guide. I knew I was ready to take the exam once I was able to confidently write out each of the topics of the exam guide sections. I took the exam for the last time on May 29, 2021, almost a year from the first time I took it, and I was finally able to receive the satisfaction of passing. I am now a Certified Salesforce Administrator and I am extremely proud of myself for earning this Certification. Everyone in the Salesforce Ohana was so supportive of me during this journey. I can’t thank everyone enough for their support. I love the person I am becoming as part of this journey because I can honestly say I’m now a better version of myself.
What’s next in your journey?
At the moment my Pace team members and I are building a Help Desk application, so much of my focus is there. I plan to continue to learn and grow with Pace, I really love their mission. I’m currently volunteering with HBCUforce for the Administrator Cohort and I’m continuing to pursue any opportunities I can to teach salesforce to others and introduce them to the #SalesforceOhana.
Congratulations on your amazing accomplishment, Shaniqua! We are so proud of you! You can congratulate her too on Twitter: Certified Admin Tweet