Welcome Melissa VanDyke – Girly Geek of the Week!


This week we have yet another Admin Assistant turned Salesforce #AwesomeAdmin!! Most of you may have seen Melissa speaking at DF15, active in the Success Community or on Social Media.  Here you can get some of her advice and see what kinds of things she enjoys outside of the Salesforce world!  Hint:  She is a fellow Stout lover like myself!! ❤  PS – don’t miss all of her social links at the end  – she has an awesome blog site!

Me:  How & when did you start working with Salesforce?

Melissa: In 2010 I graduated with my BA in project management (I was 30 years old and had been attending night school for 4 years) and was ready to make some big changes in my career path! I had been a legal administrator for about 8 years, the last 3 of which I had also administered our new automated lease drafting software (which had been built on the Microsoft Dynamics platform). The experience of working with Dynamics made me realize the power of using CRM platforms for process improvement, and now I wanted to see what this Salesforce.com thing was that I kept hearing about over the years! I convinced a different company that because I was proficient with Dynamics, I was qualified to implement a new Salesforce.com solution for their business development team – it was love at first login of course, and I haven’t looked back since! Good for you taking charge and going for it! 🙂 #TakeCharge #Driven

Me:  What is your current role working with Salesforce?

Melissa: I have managed a Salesforce team at Orbitz Worldwide for the past year.  Being responsible for the roadmap and stakeholder relationships on the hotel supply team has been the most satisfying part of my work. For the past three and a half years I have worked to improve business process for my team to bring a return on their investment in Salesforce. My efforts have been extremely successful.  When I started as the Global Coordinator/Salesforce Admin for our GVP, Salesforce duties made up about 10% of my daily duties.  Now we have three full time employees dedicated to Salesforce and business process improvement! It has been so thrilling to be part of such a transformational experience.  Congrats that sounds amazing!

Me:  What is your favorite thing to do in Salesforce and why?

Melissa: Improving people’s lives. I know it sounds dramatic but people spend a lot of their time at work. I know that Salesforce is the vehicle I use to transform people’s work lives for the better. Don’t underestimate the power of improving process for people! When done right, you can ensure people are enabled to spend more time on the work they enjoy instead of spinning their wheels in process torture all day!  #TRUTH  This is something we haven’t really heard in this series.  When you are happy and satisfied with your work, your life is better.  Accomplishing part of this with a great Salesforce UX is really important!

Me:  Are you currently certified? And if so what certifications do you hold?

Melissa: Administrator and Developer Certified.  *Thumbs Up*

Me:  What are some of your aspirations and/or goals when it comes to Salesforce?

(1) I dream of helping new administrators on a big scale to further their careers by training them on how to combine Salesforce technical skills and project management methodologies to empower their teams and bring real value to their organizations and
(2) making a career move to salesforce consulting so that I can help even more companies and people in my daily work.  I think you are headed in the right direction and good luck on your journey! 🙂

Me:  Do you have any advice for women working with Salesforce?

(1) Give yourself permission to be the Salesforce expert in the room, and
(2) Give others a seat at YOUR table to get a seat at THE table (i.e. set expectations for and give ownership of requirement building to your users, request their feedback and value what they say highly, allow them to be your biggest supporters and see what happens…)!  I am SUCH an advocate of empowering your users!! you do this and you will NOT be disappointed!

Me:  What kinds of things are you involved in, and/or do you like to do outside of the Salesforce world?

Melissa: I have a 17-month-old niece and 20-month-old nephew who light up my world, and they empower me to see life through a new perspective that is absolutely magical. I love a good dark stout or oatmeal beer at the end of the day! I also enjoy playing board /card games with my husband (anything strategy related such as Magic the Gathering, Game of Thrones, Firefly, Pandemic). I actually almost became a professional poker player five years ago, but decided to make the career move into Salesforce instead… what a great decision that turned out to be — wow!!!  I also love blogging at melissavandyke.com as much as possible to bring free content to ambitious admins trying to figure out how to keep bringing value to their company!!  OMG a fellow STOUT lover!! This whole IPA trend is just not something I enjoy!  and Poker?  I remember playing poker as a child with my grandparents – although NOwhere near pro level lol!!

Me:  Are you part of a Girly Geeks Chapter?

Melissa: Yes, Chicago!  YAY! 😀

It was a pleasure getting to know you Melissa and thank you very much for sharing!

You are definitely an inspiration!

For those of you that want to follow Melissa, here are her links:
Linkedin:  https://www.linkedin.com/in/melissavandyke
Google+:  https://plus.google.com/u/0/+MelissaVanDykeMVDSFDC/posts
Twitter handle:  @MVDSFDC
Sfdc Community link:  https://success.salesforce.com/_ui/core/userprofile/UserProfilePage?u=00530000007qGDWAA2

Admin to Admin Academy:  https://success.salesforce.com/_ui/core/chatter/groups/GroupProfilePage?g=0F9300000009OAh
Blog:  www.Melissavandyke.com

Here is my “in the news” page with all my videos and news related info!  http://melissavandyke.com/big-news/


Quick Bio on Melissa:

Melissa VanDyke is passionate about helping ambitious salesforce.com admins further their careers. Her own career path started as an administrative assistant, and after being asked to start administering a new CRM system she started working hard to identify techniques to be successful at her new additional job duties. Knowing what it feels like to transition a career from administrative support to salesforce.com administration, she brings a unique perspective to her trainings and content. You can find her resources at www.melissavandyke.com and @MVDSFDC on Twitter.