Based in the UK, Janet Okuyemi trained with LDN Apprenticeships before landing a job as a Functional Consultant at EPAM Systems, Inc. She has spoken about her journey so far on the stage at World Tour London in June 2023 and is appearing on the panel at the upcoming Next Gen Trailblazer Celebration.
Hi Janet. Please, tell us a little bit about yourself.
I’m Janet Okuyemi, a Salesforce Business Analyst at EPAM based in London for the past two years. I focus on transforming the Salesforce platform, analysing business processes and driving positive change within the company. It’s a rewarding role that allows me to make a tangible impact on operations, and with EPAM’s support, I’ve honed my expertise in Salesforce implementation. It’s been an incredible journey, and I’m excited to continue to grow within the Salesforce ecosystem.
How did you first hear about Salesforce?
My first encounter with Salesforce was when I attended a machine learning course in the summer of 2019. During this course, another student mentioned Salesforce’s usage of AI in its products, such as Einstein and Next Best Action. This piqued my interest, and I became intrigued by how Salesforce leverages AI technology in its offerings.
What was your experience like during the LDN apprenticeship/EPAM program?
The LDN apprenticeship/EPAM programme presented me with a challenging but rewarding experience. Choosing this program was driven by my desire to pursue business analysis, even though my consultant role demanded significant time and effort. Juggling work, Salesforce learning, business analysis studies and pursuing additional certifications proved demanding. Despite the challenges, the program offered valuable support and resources to navigate this journey. Maintaining a healthy work-life balance became a priority as I strived to excel in both my professional commitments and apprenticeship requirements. Ultimately, the experience enhanced my skills, knowledge and dedication, proving to be a valuable investment in my career.
How did Trailhead help? How did you use Trailhead?
Trailhead has been a game-changer for me in my professional journey. I’ve spent countless hours diving into Trailhead’s modules and content to level up my Salesforce skills. Before starting any project, I check out relevant Trailhead modules to get myself up to speed. When I’m writing user stories, I often turn to Trailhead to ensure I have a solid grasp of the Salesforce requirements. It’s been an essential resource that keeps me in the know and helps me stay on top of my game.
How long did you need to find a job, and how did the job hunt go?
The job hunt following the completion of my Salesforce Admin boot camp with LDN Apprenticeships, known as Talent Path, was remarkably swift and successful. The boot camp was a two-week intensive program, culminating in the Salesforce Admin certification exam, which I passed. Soon after, we attended a Kickstarter event featuring round-robin interviews, and EPAM was among the companies attending. Fortunately, I secured a job offer from EPAM during this event. From the start of the boot camp to becoming employed, the entire process took approximately three weeks. It was a swift transition from being on the job market to being employed.
What does your job entail?
My role as a business analyst is quite diverse, encompassing a range of responsibilities. Primarily, I collate and refine business requirements to optimize Salesforce implementation. I also have the opportunity to gain hands-on experience and perform configuration tasks, which I thoroughly enjoy and find beneficial for enhancing my business analysis skills. Additionally, I run workshops, write acceptance criteria and triage bugs during user acceptance testing.
Do you need soft skills in your work?
Soft skills are crucial in my work, especially when dealing with clients directly. Building a solid relationship with clients while still maintaining my role as an external consultant can be challenging. It takes a lot of effort to strike the right balance and ensure everyone’s needs are met. Good communication, empathy, negotiation and managing complex dynamics are all essential. I’ve been working hard to improve these skills, and it’s been a learning curve.
How well did the course meet your expectations in terms of salary, job opportunities and learning new skills?
The course has exceeded my expectations regarding salary, job opportunities and skill development. I am delighted with my current role as a Business Analyst, and my wage has consistently increased in alignment with my success and professional growth. Working at EPAM and within the Salesforce ecosystem has provided ample opportunities for advancement, as the platform’s breadth allows for specialisation and developing expertise in a specific Salesforce product within my company.
What advice would you give to someone just starting on this path?
If you’re starting on this path, prioritize your well-being and maintain a positive mindset. The tech industry can be demanding, and it’s crucial not to let self-doubt or comparison with others hinder your progress. Focus on your growth and learning journey, and don’t be afraid to ask questions or seek help when needed. Embrace challenges as opportunities for growth and remember to care for yourself mentally and physically. Stay positive, believe in your abilities, and keep pushing forward. Success will follow.
What future ambitions do you have?
I’m keen on broadening my skill set beyond Salesforce and diving deeper into different industries. I want to become well-versed in various business improvement strategies and techniques and use Salesforce to support that.