Skip to Content

Straight from High School to a Salesforce Consultant

Straight from High School to a Salesforce Consultant

A young age is no barrier to a successful career, thanks to Salesforce’s Workforce Development Partners.

A young age is no barrier to a successful career, thanks to Salesforce’s Workforce Development Partners.

With many different ways to enter the Salesforce Ecosystem, we invited 21-year-old Marie von Hadeln to tell us about her journey so far. A chance glance at an advert on the bus led this young Trailblazer to complete a Salesforce Bootcamp with AW Academy straight out of high school, setting her up for a promising career at a leading Consulting firm.

Here’s her story:

Please introduce yourself.

Hi, my name is Marie, I live in Munich and I’m currently employed at b2plus Consulting as a Consultant Analyst. I love working with three main clients and really enjoy the end-to-end process of gathering requirements and deeply understanding the end user’s business needs. Building technical solutions brings me a lot of joy!

How did you first learn about Salesforce?

I saw an ad on the bus in Munich, and Astro (one of the cute Salesforce characters) caught my eye. Just afterwards, my wonderful mother, who knew that I was struggling to find something that met my requirements of a short study period but with a high salary outcome, sent me a link to the AW Academy Bootcamp project. She thought I’d be interested in the Java Bootcamp, but seeing Salesforce on the list felt like a sign and I decided to apply to that one instead.

Why did you choose to deviate from the traditional path of enrolling in university after graduating high school and instead opt to join a Bootcamp?

Honestly? Because I wanted to make my own money. School was never really my thing; I found it too theoretical. The idea of going to Law School and sitting in lectures all day for the next seven years of my life was horrifying to me.

What was your experience like at the AW Academy in terms of time commitment, live lectures and independent study?

Firstly, we had a month of self-study, and then a month of intense preparation for the Salesforce Admin Certification. We had a wonderful teacher who was there for us every day.

Subsequently, there were two months of project creation, where we had the opportunity to present to potential employers. We had a different trainer during this time who was also very skilled and helpful. This phase differed from the study phase because we did a lot of things by ourselves or in small groups, so we could gain practical experience of what it’s like to work on Salesforce projects. As a result, the trainer held more of a ‘project manager’ position than a teacher position.

For me, it was pretty easy because the Trailhead content was so good and I like logical thinking. Of course, the projects that we worked on required a lot of effort but it didn’t really feel like work to me. If you’re thinking about applying, it’s good to know that it’s definitely a full-time programme. You absolutely need 40 hours a week, if not more.

How much time did you need to find a job and how did the job hunt go?

During Bootcamp, we organized presentations with companies who were hiring and presented the projects that we’d completed. Luckily, I seemed to catch my employer’s eye – they invited me for a job interview after the presentation and I started the job at b2plus immediately after finishing Bootcamp.

What is your job like?

I’d say I was a pretty traditional end-to-end consultant. I spend a lot of time talking to our clients, finding out what they want and how Salesforce can provide a good business solution for their needs. Subsequently, I built the technical solution based on the client’s prerequisites.

Do you need soft skills in your work?

All. The. Time. I think that, as a consultant, you have to be empathetic so you can better understand your clients and talk to them in an appropriate manner. In addition, you need to communicate with your team and sometimes show assertiveness.

How well did the course meet your expectations in terms of salary, job opportunities and learning new skills?

It totally overperformed. I’m so grateful for all the opportunities I get and how endless the Salesforce Ecosystem is in terms of lifelong learning.

What have you gained since participating in the AW Academy program?

I gained a lot of experience in the corporate world; I really grew into my role also because learning Salesforce skills with Trailhead is so much fun. My technical skills are constantly improving. I would also say that I have gained a new level of confidence because I am living such a grown-up life.

What do you like about Salesforce?

I love the Drag and Drop programming functionalities for Automation and the interface is amazing and so intuitive. I would call myself a Salesforce enthusiast!

Are you thinking about getting a university degree?

Yes, but I think it would be to study something fun because experience in the field beats a piece of paper that says you’ve got a degree. In fact, I actually got serious job offers from companies who didn’t want to see my CV alone.

One sentence – What is it like working in the Salesforce Ecosystem?

I can do it in one word: Exciting!

If you would like to know more about Academic Work Academy, feel free to have a look at their website. If you would like to get in touch with the Talent Ecosystem team here is our website and if you would like to be up to date with Salesforce Ecosystem news across EMEA, join our LinkedIn group.

Salesforce Talent Ecosystem

Get our bi-weekly newsletter for the latest business insights.