Interview: Lauren Zolp’s Vetforce Trailblazer Story


Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast we’ve got Lauren Zolp, Salesforce Product Manager at Figo Pet Insurance, who went from doing her first Trailhead module to becoming fully certified and employed as a Salesforce Admin in 8 weeks, all while her newborn was sleeping.

Join us as we talk about Lauren’s incredible journey, the creativity you need to be an Awesome Admin, and the magic of community.

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

From military linguist to Salesforce trainee.

“I was really into the arts growing up,” Lauren says, “and you are an artist in your own way as a Salesforce Admin, but it’s quite different than what I had expected.” Instead, she enlisted when she turned 18 and ended up becoming a linguist, learning to speak Urdu. That was her dream job, but it only lasted a year before she sadly medically discharged.

“I didn’t know how to tell people about the skills I learned in the military or how to translate them into a corporate role,” Lauren says. She was unemployed for three years, “I was really down and out,” she says, “but I finally saw something for Vetforce.” She didn’t quite know what Salesforce was (she thought it was some sort of online sales job), but since the program offered training for free she figured she didn’t have anything to lose.

The power of the Vetforce Ohana.

“I was crying at my kitchen table and wondering how, in my 20s, I could be feeling so down and out about my life. I decided that there’s got to be more than I’m feeling in this instance, and there’s got to be a job out there that’s going to make me excited and want to get me up in the morning,” Lauren says. “I got on Muster, which is the Chatter of Vetforce, and it was all these people just answering each other’s questions and talking to each other. I didn’t know anything about Salesforce or Vetforce but I knew that the community was there for each other and that they were there if you needed them to be. It was the first time since leaving the military that you felt like someone cared about you and your success again.”

Going to TrailheaDX 2018 and getting a chance to meet people like Ann Weeby, Mike Halles, and Jesse Grothaus was incredible because it really hammered home that the members of the Vetforce Ohana were just as amazing in person as they were online. “That sense of community that you feel online? It’s real. It’s legitimate,” Lauren says, “it’s incredible and I encourage anyone who can go to these events to go because the community is second to none.”

How Lauren went from her first Trail to certification in 8 weeks.

Coming to Salesforce with no background in it, Lauren was still able to realize the opportunity that working with the platform and becoming an Admin could be. “Day and night I was studying,” she says, “doing all of the Trails that I could.” She had just had a new baby boy at the time, so in between the times he would be up and he would be sleeping she would work on learning the platform (which, if you haven’t dealt with a newborn, is pretty long hours).

“Four weeks after I did my first Trail, I landed a job as the sole Salesforce Administrator tasked with implementation for a startup, which was just mind-blowing to me,” Lauren says. Four more weeks later she took her Admin test and passed, so it only took her eight weeks to go from her first Trail to getting certified. “I always want to tell everyone that you don’t have to be a superhuman to learn Salesforce,” she says, “you can do it, you just need to grab it and run with it because the Trailhead platform makes it easy.”

Onto the next challenge.

“After I got my certification and had that first job, companies began contacting me and trying to get me to work for them, which was just mind-blowing for someone who had been unemployed for so long,” Lauren says.

Lauren had a couple of prospects, but she had her eye on a Salesforce Product Manager position at Figo Pet Insurance that would enable her to not only manage an enterprise Sales Cloud instance, but also Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, and Pardot. “I knew that I didn’t have the skills that I needed quite yet, but that I could take it and run with it if I got the opportunity,” she says. Luckily, Figo agreed, and she’s been working with them for over a month now.



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