Salesforce Academic Alliance

Over the last year I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to work with Salesforce Academic Alliance team. They first came to Phoenix posting in the Phoenix User Group for anyone interested in sharing their story on a customer panel. I was happy to share my story of becoming a Salesforce Admin. It also happened to be a panel in front of educators at University of Phoenix. This is where my story began. I was a young adult, working full time, raising my son and working my way through a bachelor program at University of Phoenix. It was refreshing to share how far I’ve come since first starting out with Salesforce and inspire others to jump in feet first!


Academic Alliance started boot camps at University of Phoenix. The first session was the beta program for Business Specialist. This session was all about the business user and helping them be an expert in Salesforce. These users learned the basics of navigation in Salesforce, chatter, account management, email, marketing needs and most important reports and dashboards.

The next workshop was for Admin 201. This is the base Salesforce certification. It was wonderful to see some many students and business users interested in learning more about Salesforce. This certification covers the basics of administration of Salesforce. Many learners found the workshop helpful, especially learners that had already had experience on the platform.

The final workshop that was held was for DEV402 or more widely known as the App Builder certification. It was wonderful to see admins and developers in the same room learning about Salesforce; the collaboration between the groups of learners. Continuing the path of learning data modeling, deploying custom applications and customizing application for mobile gives students and learners the opportunity to expand their knowledge of Salesforce.

UofP Group

I continued my journey with the Academic Alliance team by attending a 5 week session for ADM201 Pro Pack. The Pro Pack is a virtual 30 day learning program that walks learners through skills to prepare them for the administrator certification. Shadowing the instructor over the weeks helped me to add skills to my backpack. Learning key points that the students needed help with and seeing how they improved every week was thrilling. I even got to teach one of the weeks the next round of the session!

I was so excited when the Salesforce team asked me to join in review sessions for students that had attended prior workshops. Being able to share my expertise, narrative and examples of where I had implemented Salesforce was special. Students had the opportunity to ask questions to sections they needed help with and get tips on Trailhead and certification testing.

While at Dreamforce the Academic Alliance team brought students from all over the country to learn more about Salesforce and the career path. I was able to join the students in the Admin Meadow to share in person my path as an admin over the years. It was an amazing group of diverse students. My first group was full of ladies in different programs getting ready to graduate in the spring. I shared with them some advise I was giving at 20 when starting my path in college and Salesforce. “If it scares you that means you should do it!” Starting college with so much already going on in my life was scary… Then deciding to take on a new learning opportunity like Salesforce when no one else wanted to learn it made me nervous. It was one of the best decisions I could have made for my career.

Salesforce also announced the Educator Program. This gave community #Trailblazers an opportunity to give back like I had been doing all year. We enjoyed breakfast learning and sharing our stories with other members of the community to encourage them to join as educators. I had been so excited about the educator program and Business Specialist badge that was now required; I completed all the requirements prior to Dreamforce. Now I’m officially teaching in the December session along with another community member just joining the program.

If you are interested in learning Salesforce or becoming an educator you can find more information here:

Trailhead for Students Educator Application

Trailhead for Students

Salesforce Fundamentals Trailhead Bootcamp – December 2017


The year I spoke at Dreamforce

My heart is racing. All those faces looking at us. “You’re the expert here, well they think you are at least.” The voice in your head telling you “well you got yourself here, no turning back now…” One long look at my support people in the audience and here we go!

Speaking at Dreamforce is a roller coaster. When Leslie, Meighan and I submitted our session we had high hopes we would get in. We waited, but didn’t hear back when sessions were chosen. We took like champs and started notes for next years submissions.

One day my phone was ringing off the hook… It was a busy day as I had just started a new path in my career. I had meetings back to back, but paused for a quick break. My phone rang again from the same number before. I answered and was surprised! Our session coach had been trying to get a hold of us. Our session had been selected after all. Holy moly!

Weeks of calls and prepping took place. We had friends and family listen to us mold our panel discussion. We really wanted it to be a conversation between three women in technology sharing stories and best practices. Our session was bookmarked over 800 times so Salesforce asked us to repeat our session. This added more prep and anxiety to my plate.

Thus it was finally the Monday of Dreamforce. All I could do was read my note cards and pace the speaker room floor. The three of us were a whirlwind of blue, coifed hair and nervous energy.  Once the timer started we were off on our stories of Org of Horrors, Developers are like car mechanics and fast paced rants on how amazing Salesforce is. We laughed at our memes and connected with the audience. Just like that 40 mins was up! Tuesday was much calmer for me. We had done this once now and it was just a repeat with a larger crowd.


I’m thankful for my support group: My husband, best friends Holly and Mike, Leslie and Meighan, and all of our friends for filling in the crowd. Plus a couple of amazing ladies at Salesforce that helped us review our session.

The rest of my Dreamforce was filled with connecting with my #Ohana that I interact with virtually. We have an amazing group of user group leaders, MVPs and this year students! I had the pleasure of speaking with young #Trailblazers just starting our their journey with Salesforce. In addition, I can’t wait for the next round of students to enter the educator program.

If you missed our session at Dreamforce we are hoping to take it on the road at one of the local Dreamin Events. But if we don’t catch you there here is the recording to our session: Secrets from Admins to Level-Up Your Developer Career