Boomerang Spotlight - Nicole Chin
“It Feels Like I Never Left"
Discovering Salesforce the first time around
It was a warm July afternoon in New York back in 2017. Nicole was working for Oracle at the time when she received a text from a friend (and former Oracle colleague) to let her know that there was an exciting opportunity at Salesforce. Nicole reflects, “I had no idea what Salesforce was... I had been an accountant before my time at Oracle and had never touched a CRM (customer relationship management tool)!” Nicole listened to what her friend had to say and decided to do some more research about the company and the role. “After reading about Salesforce’s V2MOM, 1-1-1 model, and Trailhead, my conclusion was simple: I need to work there.” She applied and got the role as a core solutions engineer for small business. In this role, Nicole helped customers and prospects see the power of the Salesforce technology. “It was a crazy time! I was supporting a team in New York City that had Boston as its territory, I started in August, and went live right in time for year end!” That marked the beginning of a thrilling ride.
After nearly two years, Nicole was ready to specialize and started looking around for opportunities to incorporate her accounting background. Eventually, she found a job opening at a Salesforce Partner that built an ERP and PSA solution on the platform. “It was great being able to combine my love for the Salesforce platform with my educational and professional background as a Certified Public Accountant. I felt I could also add value by bringing over Salesforce best practices and by acting as a liaison between my new company and my former Salesforce teams”.
Coming back: From CPA to CPQ
After about 4 months, Nicole received a LinkedIn message from her, now Salesforce boss. “I overlooked the email the first time around because I thought it was spam! Luckily, after a second look, I noticed it was from a Salesforce VP, so I reached back out. Although I wasn’t looking at the time, I was definitely interested to hear more about the opportunity.” It turns out the Configure, Price, Quote (CPQ) team was looking for a solution engineer and they remembered that Nicole had specialized competencies to succeed in the role. “I decided to take part in the process... and I loved every step of it. I had a coach for the discovery and demo round of the process who was a great mentor. I also immersed myself in all the CPQ resources on Trailhead and was able to get comfortable with the product in no time. All of these things were a great reminder of why I loved Salesforce.”
Now a Senior Solution Engineer and Billing Specialist, Nicole is continuing her Salesforce journey with an exciting mix: she is able to leverage her accounting background while still expanding her knowledge and expertise. “In my new role I support the billing product for small and medium sized businesses (SMB) across the United States. Since it’s a newer product, especially with the recent launch of Revenue Cloud, things are very exciting and constantly changing. Salesforce is more than just a CRM -- being a part of our solutions gives me a chance to make an impact on the direction the product takes. I sit on a much smaller team than when I was a core solution engineer and I get to interact with product marketing and product development — so it almost feels like being in a start-up within Salesforce!”
To Nicole, the product is not the only exciting thing about being back at Salesforce. “I missed the global presence and camaraderie around the world, so it’s great to be welcomed back with open arms. I even got a brownie box (in picture below), which was amazing! It feels like I never left the company.”
Beyond the role: Growth, giving back, and wellbeing
Nicole is embracing the Salesforce culture by going beyond her day-to-day and focusing on growing professionally, giving back to the community, and looking after her wellbeing.
She is working on reactivating her CPA and refreshing her accounting knowledge. When reflecting around personal growth and her professional development, one of the things that excites her the most is doing so by connecting with other people. “I’ve developed closer relationships than ever before with internal partners, such as my CPQ solution engineer counterparts, and we've collaborated a lot. Within the billing Solution Engineering (SE) team we also crowdsource solutions and ideas and I constantly learn from the folks I work with every day.” In terms of giving back, the current times require that she get a little creative, she gets involved with the community through Read Ahead, mentoring a fifth grade student. “We meet on a weekly basis and it’s rewarding seeing the impact of these sessions — the students are very excited to share their stories!” Finally, on the wellbeing front, she is aiming to get better at meditation by taking some time to do guided sessions around midday and she loves to spend some quality time with her lovely dog, Nutella.
Nicole’s Message to Future Boomerangs
“Don’t be afraid to come back or even explore options available at Salesforce. Keep your Salesforce network active, because people here are super supportive, so make sure you stay in the Salesforce network even if you are not within the ecosystem, through LinkedIn, blog posts, Salesforce news, etc. And when you decide to come back, you’ll be surprised of how seamless it is!”