Lashonna is a Technical Analyst for the run:CRM team at Slalom. In her role, she assists with various areas of Salesforce customization and maintenance, including composing user stories, testing, and building out enhancements for existing orgs. Lashonna was recently appointed as a board member for the non-profit organization, Amplify, which helps to empower underrepresented voices in tech, and provide resources to those who may not otherwise have access.
How did you get started with Salesforce? How has your career progressed since then? Have you used any sort of strategy/approach you think is worth sharing?
I came into Salesforce as an accidental admin for a start up. I was tasked to learn everything I could about Salesforce and how to manage an instance at little-to-no cost for training. After months of posting questions on the Trailblazer Community, I went to a Salesforce Admin User Group in Seattle. That was a game changer. Through the user group, I was connected with the opportunity to attend a 10 week Salesforce course sponsored by Dress for Success and Slalom that was held at the Slalom offices. The experience solidified that not only was I in the right career track, but I had people who were ready and willing to fully support me in this career journey. It wasn’t really like anything I’d experienced on a professional level before.
“My only strategy is to never stop learning. I have to constantly acknowledge that I will never know the full depth and breadth of Salesforce, but I have to always be open to learning whatever is put in front of me.”
About five months later, I got the opportunity to interview for the run:CRM department at Slalom. When I was attending the Salesforce course at Slalom, I never imagined I would have the opportunity to work there just a short time later. In January, I started my job at Slalom which kicked off with a 6 week Salesforce Academy. That experience was like a door in my brain being kicked open and seeing what was behind it for the first time. I’ve now worked on a few client projects and am developing my skills as a consultant.
My only strategy is to never stop learning. I have to constantly acknowledge that I will never know the full depth and breadth of Salesforce, but I have to always be open to learning whatever is put in front of me.
What does your typical workday look like?
Aside from working on different customizations throughout the day, I also jump in to provide support where I can, whether it’s working on customized reporting or creating new users. I’ve also got my dog who has his own work day (consisting of laying on the couch) so there are a few walks sprinkled throughout.
What tools do you use to make your job easier?
If I didn’t have the Salesforce Seattle Slack channel, I’m not sure where I’d be. Having people with such a wealth of knowledge at your fingertips has been a tremendous advantage to me throughout my career and I’m incredibly grateful for it. I’m posting questions at least 1-2 times weekly.
Are you involved in the Salesforce community? If so, how? What do you give back to/get out of the community?
During a time when I was lost in my career and life in general, I had an amazing person I met at the Admin User Group bring me into the Salesforce atmosphere. From that moment on, I have always been amazed at the giving, selfless nature of people working in this industry. It’s inspired me tremendously to do what I can to help others in their Salesforce endeavors.
“Connect with fellow Trailblazers. I can’t say this enough. It’s the people in the community that have pushed me to where I am and it’s the people I’ve learned the most from.”
I recently was appointed a board position for a non-profit organization called Amplify, which helps to empower underrepresented voices in tech, and provide resources to those who may not otherwise have access. I’m also helping a couple of my friends who were looking for a career change kick off their Salesforce journey. I really want to get into teaching others and helping those who may not have the same access to opportunities elevate their careers. Just as this person has done for me, I want to do for others.
“With each step I accomplish, I hope to help elevate others whose voices may not be heard otherwise.”
How do you think your race/age/gender/orientation has affected your career journey? Any advice or perspective you’d like to share?
As an African American woman in the tech industry, I can’t help but feel like I defy the odds everyday just going to work and doing what I do. I think that although the industry has made some progress, there’s still a very long way to go in opening up opportunities from a diversity perspective from every angle (race, gender, age, orientation). In general, I know what it is to experience marginalization and discrimination. The common thread for me is doing what I can to open up the way for others as well as myself, especially in the work I’m doing now. With each step I accomplish, I hope to help elevate others whose voices may not be heard otherwise.
What key advice do you have for folks just getting started with Salesforce?
Connect with fellow Trailblazers. I can’t say this enough. It’s the people in the community that have pushed me to where I am and it’s the people I’ve learned the most from. There are times when Salesforce seems gargantuan and overwhelming, and I know for me, I needed the support of people in the ecosystem.
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