Student success story: Leslie Smith

by | Nov 15, 2022

Leslie Smith was a technical support specialist looking to level up her career by taking the Salesforce Advanced Administrator exam.

“I was familiar with the Salesforce platform but knew getting certified would benefit my career. Before I took the exam, I wanted to build upon my experience by taking an online certificate program. Because of the stellar reviews, I enrolled in Pathstream’s Salesforce Administrator Career Certificate through the Florida A&M University program.” 

Leslie is a working parent and set goals to prepare before the program started.

She said, “My daughter is always imitating everything I do, so I felt it was important to stay positive throughout this experience and show her anything’s possible. I made a plan and stuck to it. I took simple steps like planning my readings and projects, meal prepping for my family, and keeping the balance by scheduling one-on-one time with my daughter.” 

 

Leslie found the program “…super convenient. I liked that Florida A&M’s Salesforce Admin Career Certificate was online, self-paced, and still structured. Pathstream’s success coaches kept me on track and were accommodating. For example, I couldn’t make it to orientation, but Pathstream sent me a recording of it after so I could watch it on my own time. The courses were awesome and straightforward. I liked that we worked in Trailblazer because I could always go back and review some of the videos. I built on my Salesforce knowledge and strengthened my CRM skills. Even today, I keep practicing my new skills and joined Salesforce communities to engage with other professionals in the Salesforce ecosystem.” 

Leslie also met with our career coaches to identify new and transferrable skills to highlight on her resume and LinkedIn to transition to a Salesforce Admin role.

“I spruced up my LinkedIn profile to showcase me as a Salesforce professional. My coach also revised my resume and explained why they made the changes they did. Learning how to write a Salesforce Admin resume and what stands out to talent recruiters was helpful. The career coaches are always responsive; if you can’t meet with them, they’ll answer your questions in emails and on the alumni slack channel.”

We asked Leslie if she had any words of encouragement for students transitioning to a Salesforce Admin role.

She said, “It took time for me to transition to a Salesforce role. But I kept with it and it paid off. The Florida A&M’s Salesforce Admin Career Certificate put me in my career’s driver’s seat. I am now an Implementation Consultant and got a $35,000 raise.” 

Leslie is also applying the skills she learned daily. 

“The courses thoroughly prepared me for my role. You not only learn how to use Salesforce on the back end but how to pitch to clients and use the correct terminology. I meet with clients, gauge their needs and wants, then customize and configure their Salesforce platform. I practiced pitching in the program and got a lot of personalized feedback from the instructor. It gave me the confidence to pitch the basic services and product upgrades.” 

Leslie’s final piece of advice:

“Don’t overthink it. Take a chance and add to your current skills. If you get frustrated, stick with it and push through because you have many resources like the instructor, career coaches, and workshops. Don’t be afraid to engage with other Salesforce Admins or the Salesforce communities because you’ll learn much from networking.” 

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