Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast we’re talking with Misty Fierro, Senior Salesforce Analyst in Sales Operations and Commercial Analytics at SolarWinds to learn how she overcame the experience barriers that were limiting her career.

Join us as we talk about the power of the community, the amazing Vetforce and Merivis organizations, and getting the experience you need to get the job.

You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Misty Fierro.

Working Salesforce after 12 years in the Army.

This is the last in our series of interviews from Texas Dreamin’ (so there’s a bit of background noise on this live recording). We’ve talked to some amazing people with some amazing stories of how they got to be where they are today, and Misty is one of them.

“I had a nontraditional route into the Salesforce ecosystem,” Misty says, starting with being in the Army for 12 years. After her service, she was teaching at a college and had lunch with a friend of hers who happened to be… Stephanie Herrera. Plot twist! “She forced my hand into a change,” Misty says, and after attending a Vetforce class and a Salesforce 201 session she called Stephanie and said, “I’m quitting my job, this is it!” She took the first job in Salesforce she was offered and hasn’t looked back.

How Vetforce and Merivis build a community.

Misty had been a part of Girly Geeks meetings before Vetforce started up. “I was like ‘I don’t know why I’m here, but I’m here. But finally, when I went through Vetforce I realized why I was there,” she says. That first job that Misty took in Salesforce in customer service, and she says that for her the hardest part of her journey was getting her foot in the door and actually getting a job as an Admin.

Throughout that struggle, Vetforce was an extremely motivating force in Misty’s life. “One thing you’ll find with veterans is we know how to bond together, we know how to motivate each other,” she says. That gave her the drive to start working in the nonprofit world and build a Salesforce instance to give veterans coming through Vetforce and Merivis some practical experience.

Merivis is another amazing training program for vets. Misty was a part of the first class, where she met Hector Perez, Jr. “Knowing Hector and his motivating presence, and what his nonprofit does for the community, it just makes you want to give back and ask yourself what are you doing for anyone but yourself?” Beyond Salesforce training, they teach you things like how to interview, how to network, how to use LinkedIn, and other things that vets have probably never had to deal with before.

Gaining experience by doing good.

On the weekends, Misty helps run two dog rescues: Justice4Mutts, and Texas Tailblazers. “We get a lot of stuff done with a little bit of resources,” she says. Around the time Misty was attending the first Dreamforce, she had identified a problem with communication in her nonprofit. At the event, she learned that Salesforce will provide a nonprofit instance to 501(c)3’s.

“I put the instance in place, but the only problem was I didn’t know what I was doing,” Misty says. She ended up recruiting other veterans to help, and they figured it out together. She’s continued to get help building out the instance from Vetforce and Merivis, which helps her nonprofit and also gives vets the experience they need to build their careers.

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