Today on the Salesforce Admins Podcast we’re speaking with Nicholas Grant, a graduate of the PepUp Tech Salesforce Boot Camp.
Join us to hear about how he went from signing up for an internship knowing nothing about Salesforce to speaking at Midwest Dreamin’, with the help of a program called PepUp Tech, and how you can take Salesforce things to Twitter.
You should subscribe for the full episode, but here are a few takeaways from our conversation with Nicholas Grant.
The PepUp Tech Salesforce Bootcamp
Nicholas got into Salesforce through the PepUp Tech Salesforce Bootcamp at Monroe College. Alum Selina Suarez is one of the founders (along with Amy Buccifero, Rebe De La Paz, Shonnah Hughes, and Stephanie Herrera), so she came back to organize it there last year. “On the flier the professor handed out to me it said outstanding students get an internship so I said, ‘Well, I’ve just got to be outstanding.’”
When Nicholas was volunteering for Meals on Wheels in New Rochelle doing their website, he heard that one of the things they wanted was a database. Since he had just learned Salesforce, he volunteered to build it for them, with help from Selena as his mentor. From there, Selena introduced Nicholas to David Giller, the owner of Brainiate Consulting, where he was able to work as an intern on several different projects. “I learned a lot about the ecosystem and the different roles there are as a Salesforce professional.” He graduated from college on August 3rd, and passed his certification test the next day.
From Jamaica to Chicago
Nicholas was born and raised in Jamaica, and came to the US for school on an F1 visa. “I googled Salesforce because I had never heard of it,” and after doing some research he decided “it was big, it was fast, it was innovative, and I knew I wanted to get in there.” There was a bit of hesitation, however: “I was afraid that I didn’t know the right people because of my background.” Instead, Nicholas found a vibrant community waiting to help him grow and learn.
From a young age, Nicholas was drawn to problem solving. He wanted to be a design engineer when he was growing up, because he wanted to figure out solutions that would make everyone’s life better. “For me, it’s understanding, before I can go in and solve I have to understand the problem,” Nicholas says, “you need to know what you don’t know so you know what you need to learn.”
When it comes to Salesforce, Nicholas knows he’s aiming to be a Dev: “I have a passion for development, but I really want to start off as a Salesforce Admin.” Nicholas is looking ahead to what’s next, and he’d like to go to a consulting firm and “drink from the firehose.” He’s trying to get as much experience as he can on the platform, because he wants to still be client-facing even as a Dev.
How You Can Make a Difference
Mike and Gillian are meeting Nicholas live at Midwest Dreamin’, at the Palmer House in Chicago, but it’s not his first Salesforce event. Beyond User Groups, he’s been to World Tour in New York twice already, and he spoke on diversity in tech with Mary Scotton and Selina.
If you’re looking to help a Nicholas near you, PepUp tech is trying to expand their reach and they need your help. There’s a lot of ways to get involved, and you can really make a big impact on someone. You can reach out to Amy Buccifero (@ifitfloats), Rebe De La Paz (@rabedela), Shonnah Hughes (@SaaSy_Sistah), Stephanie Herrera (@steph_herrera_), and Selina Suarez (@selinaSFDC) on Twitter or through the Success Community.
This is the second PepUp Tech Boot Camp, and they’re also adding a summer camp where they teach kids to code. Nicholas volunteers there, and his sisters are going there too.
For more insights, make sure to follow Nicholas on Twitter (@versatgrant)
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