Last December’s launch of the Salesforce Essentials Advisor Program paired new and aspiring Salesforce Admins with small businesses looking to get up and running with Essentials. Those of us who’ve been fortunate enough to work with the advisors over the past twelve weeks could not have predicted the positive impact it would have on participants' lives.
Since applications for the next Essentials Advisor Program cohort is now open, we wanted to share the stories of three advisors whose career journeys inspire us. And, if you’re a small business using Essentials and want to connect to an Advisor, check out the Essentials Advisors Marketplace.
Want to know what dedication looks like? While in the process of moving houses, Rob Bowers took time out of his day to talk about his Advisor experience. Bowers’s new place didn’t even have WiFi yet, so he fired up a mobile hotspot to chat with us. The chance to inspire someone to apply to the next cohort was too important for Bowers to pass up.
“This isn’t just a job, it’s a career,” he said. “I love what I do.”
Bowers holds multiple Salesforce certifications and works as an implementation consultant for a company that focuses on Field Service Lightning. When he heard about Essentials Advisors, Rob saw the opportunity to expand his skillset and impact small businesses. “It was so amazing to take the skills I learned during the Essentials Advisors program and help a small business leverage Salesforce to its full potential,” Rob said. “Truly harnessing the ability to know, understand, and provide for the customer is so powerful."
Rob’s dad also owned a small business, so he saw firsthand how much work and passion goes into running your own business. “He sold insurance, working out of spreadsheets. I always think about how useful Salesforce would have been to him back then,” Bowers said.
Whether it’s leading Salesforce Saturday meetups in San Antonio, or finding time for the Advisors program outside of his full-time job, he constantly pushes himself to keep learning and keep making new connections. “It’s about bringing people together and sharing information,” he said. “When it comes to job hunting, you never know who knows who.”
When Chandana Beesu immigrated to the United States with her family, she was a computer science graduate and later, a stay-at-home mom. But with her passion for tech, Beesu knew she’d eventually want to get back into the workforce. When discussing career plans, one of her friends mentioned Salesforce. Soon, she took an admin training course and discovered Trailhead. “I fell in love with the self-paced learning and low-code platform. It made me curious about Salesforce and potential opportunities in the ecosystem,” Beesu said.
Later, Beesu joined a Salesforce user group in the greater Chicago area, where she lives. One day, late last year, Beesu saw a tweet from Salesforce Essentials mentioning the Advisors program. “I applied right away without having second thoughts,” she recalled. Six months later, she called the program a “life-changing” experience.
Though she held Salesforce Administrator and Platform App Builder certifications before joining the program, Beesu said becoming an Essentials Advisor elevated her expertise on the platform and opened doors for her. “It’s really tough for small businesses right now,” she explained. “But Salesforce Essentials will help them not only survive but also thrive in this digital economy.”
After two years of implementing Salesforce for nonprofit and small businesses as a volunteer, Beesu landed a contracting job as an Essentials Advisor with Torchlite. Her next goal is to land a full-time position as a Salesforce Admin/Consultant. If successfully juggling the demands of the Advisor program, consultancy study groups, and additional certifications — all while homeschooling two kids during the COVID lockdown is any indication — she’s got the drive and skills to get there. “I am so grateful for workforce development organizations like PepUP Tech, RAD Women, and Pi-Tap who have helped me personally,” she said. “Now I enjoy paying it forward to fellow Trailblazers.”
Miami-based Juan Vado became an Essentials Advisor to get the real-world experience employers are looking for. Sure enough, we chatted with him just after he’d attended an online career fair as part of TrailheadDx. Vado said Essentials Advisors has already opened doors for him, including the one to the career fair at TrailheadDx. “You have to apply to get into the Dx career fair,” he said. “I feel like the program gave me more leverage.”
Though Vado already had 10 Trailhead badges under his belt, the Advisors program gave him valuable hands-on experience working with customers. He made it a priority to complete the program and earn his certification simultaneously. “I’ve grown a lot, but the biggest thing was when the program ended and I added the experience to my LinkedIn,” Vado said. “A lot of new connections started showing up!”
He also reaped the unique rewards of helping small businesses during the cohort. “You are actually helping a small group of people grow their company. You’re teaching them about technology, adding value, and seeing them put so much into their business,” he said. Working so closely with a company’s founders was something Vado doesn’t think he could have gotten at a larger company — as was the community within the Advisors program itself.
“Everyone in the cohort was so helpful,” he said. “People answered each other’s questions, and just helped each other out. It felt like a university course or the most amazing internship you could ever have.”
The Essentials Advisors program is for anyone interested in growing their career in the Salesforce ecosystem. Whether you are working toward certification or are a newly certified Admin, this program gives you the chance to gain more Salesforce knowledge and real customer experience. Plus, it gives you the opportunity to collaborate across a network of other Advisors who share a similar passion for Salesforce and helping small businesses find success.
*Applications are now closed for the Essentials Advisor Program. Thank you for supporting small business success.*
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For more business and leadership inspiration, check out our entire Leading Through Change series.