Welcome Annie Shek-Mason – Girly Geek of the Week!
Meet Annie, she is a #PowerHouseVolunteer when it comes to all things Salesforce! Annie is not only a speaker at Dreamforce ’15 this year (see links below for her sessions), she is bringing Salesforce Training to a local community in need of employment opportunities, the Co-Leader for the Detroit Girly Geeks , the Detriot User Group, GirlForce Office Hours, and GirlForce Consultant Success Circles – WHOA!! Annie also gives some really great advice on building a strong network and #GettingThingsDone!
Me: How & when did you start working with Salesforce?
Annie: I started on the platform in 2009 as a system administrator at a philanthropic organization in NYC. After 3 years of #awesomeadmin life, I shifted to the consulting world primarily implementing Salesforce for philanthropic organizations. Earlier this year, I started a project management role at an awesome consulting firm called The Innovation Network. #NonProfitGirlyGeek 🙂
Me: What is your favorite thing to do in Salesforce and why?
Annie: One of my favorite things to do is training system administrators and end users. When a client asks me a question about their environment, I counter with questions that lead them to solve the problem. I rarely give them the straight answer. When a client answers the question with my guidance, they immediately get educated, empowered and excited. You can see that twinkle in their eye (or that “bing bing/Ah Ha!” moment as Oprah would say). That is what I live for! Love THIS! We haven’t heard this since the series started. This is a great way to empower your end users which is such a key piece to adoption success!
Me: Are you currently certified? And if so what certifications do you hold?
Annie: Yes, I currently hold 3 certifications, which are ADM, DEV, and Sales Cloud Consultant. It took me 1 year to get these three certifications and I’m aiming for Advanced ADM by Dreamforce ’15 and Service Cloud by the end of the year. Congrats! and Good Luck!! 🙂
Me: What are some of your aspirations and/or goals when it comes to Salesforce?
Annie: I have two particular goals. First, I want to encourage people to learn more on the Salesforce platform and be intentional on their career and personal development. In a span of 5 years, I’ve seen my career develop on the platform. It took a lot of hard work, planning and a bit of luck. I want to make a way for others to build a career on the Salesforce platform. I’ve got a few things up my sleeve to accomplish this goal. Firstly, I’m speaking at two Dreamforce sessions this year: 1) Advancing Your Career on the Salesforce Platform for Adminsand 2) Changing Lives through Salesforce Job Training. Secondly, I’ve been planning a workforce development program with Flint Area Reinvestment Office project, which I call FlintForce. I’m hoping to expose the Flint, MI community to Salesforce and ultimately help the community connect to Salesforce opportunities and make a positive impact in the local economy. The second goal is to become very comfortable in the developer world. As I progress in my career, I’ve had to interact with developers. By gaining a developer mindset, I believe I’ll be more effective when helping clients and communicating with team members. Fantastic goals and just beautiful that you are helping your community! Click on the links to sign up for the sessions to see Annie speak at #DF15!
Me: Do you have any advice for women working with Salesforce?
1) Build a circle of women to use as a sounding board – Without the advice of some of the most amazing women on the Salesforce platform, I would not have felt as encouraged or as prepared for some personal & professional choices that I’ve made over the last few years.
2) Reflect on your strengths, passions, and priorities and then plan for your personal and professional development goals – I bring this up because I think it’s typical for people to make goals for one category of your life (like career), but I reflect on multiple areas so that it helps me make more realistic and balanced goals. I’ll use tools like StrengthFinders to understand all my strengths. I’ll talk to my husband about our family goals. Then I use a detailed document to plan all my goals in various aspects of my life (ex. Family, professional, financial, spiritual, etc.). I break them down by quarters, then months, and sometimes by weeks. I revisit my goal planning document about once a month to see if I’ve accomplished my goals or if something needs adjusting. For me, this is how I successfully got 3 certifications in 1 year. I’ve got my 4th and 5th certification planned out by the end of the year. This is truly powerful advice! #GettingThingsDone – I can’t lie, I never finished that book O_O … 😀
Me: What kinds of things are you involved in, and/or do you like to do outside of the Salesforce world?
Annie: I’m learning different programming languages and different technologies by joining a local chapter of GirlDevelopIt and also watching tutorials on PluralSight.com. As a newly wed, I’m gearing up my cooking skills so that I can fill my husband up with delicious food. After reading this I just went online and joined the local GirlDevelopIt chapter here in Raleigh/Durham! Cooking = I like when someone else does it lol
Me: Are you part of a Girly Geeks Chapter?
Annie: You bet! I help lead the Girly Geeks Chapter for Detroit with Kathleen Lueckeman. I also volunteer as a co-leader for the Detroit User Group, GirlForce Office Hours, and GirlForce Consultant Success Circles. #PowerHouseVolunteer!!
It was a pleasure getting to know you Annie and thank you very much for sharing!
You are definitely an inspiration!
For those of you that want to follow Annie, here are her links:
Twitter handle: @AnnieForce