Apprentice Hoots: My overview of the year working as an apprentice for a Salesforce consultancy

Apprentice Hoots: My overview of the year working as an apprentice for a Salesforce consultancy

At the start of the year we were mid-pandemic and I was working as a carer looking after the elderly to keep me busy. I was in the process of completing my Business A-Level and was eager to begin working within the Business and IT industry. After months of searching in a time where unemployment was high and opportunities and morale were low, eventually I came across the friendliest bunch called Coacto. In this Apprentice Hoots blog, I share an overview of the milestones of the exciting and engaging experiences I have had since joining Coacto in April 2021.

Learning Salesforce

The first part of my Salesforce apprenticeship consisted of lots of learning resources, including Francis Pindar’s Udemy course and lots of Salesforce Trailheads. On top of learning about Salesforce, learning providers LDN Apprenticeships also provided lots of business analyst learning resources to learn the business analyst skills towards the apprenticeship. A big part of my initial learning included the Admin Beginner Trailmix and the Prepare for Your Salesforce Administrator Credential Trailmix on Trailhead. This enabled me to understand the foundation principles of the Salesforce platform.

My first hands on experience

I learnt a lot from the learning resources I had been using, but this did not compare to the escalation in my development after completing my first hands-on experience. A couple months into my Salesforce journey, a potential prospect who were close colleague of ours at Coacto expressed an interest in Salesforce. They were the coworking office space company that we hire desks from and where we work. Our Director, Paul, wanted to enable me to practice the theory I had learnt and gave me some responsibility to understand their processes and create the Salesforce demo system for them. Although my knowledge was still building this early in my journey, I am glad I was “thrown in at the deep end” (with so much direction and support when needed) as this enabled me to sharpen and consolidate my learning and gave me great feelings of fulfillment and achievement so early on.

Responsibility on a client project

Paul had brought me along to all of the prospect meetings where I had been listening, understanding and taking notes. Within the first six months of my apprenticeship, we had the joys of winning a project with a special charity who provide a unique centre to enable children, young people and adults to overcome disability. Before coming to us they had a Salesforce system in place that had been very minimally configured by a previous Salesforce partner which had not suited their needs. Paul started by leading the meetings while we both took notes and gradually he began to put more and more responsibility in my hands. Eventually, Paul allowed me to lead the meetings single handedly, with project management meetings with him to ensure the project remained on track. It’s been a pleasure understanding their processes and building a system that aligns with what they do to manage their processes effectively. This has been a great experience and has enabled me to grow my business analyst and Salesforce consultant skills, as well as building a brilliant rapport with a charity I love working with.

Superbadges with a peer apprentice

With all the theory and practical knowledge I had gained so far, I was more than ready to complete a Trailhead Superbadge. LDN apprenticeships provide Salesforce and business analyst training for apprentices all over the UK. Half an hour drive away, another apprentice on the same course as me with a different Salesforce partner reached out to me. We quickly became close with monthly meetups to complete Superbadges together. Superbadges let you take the skills that you have already learned and apply them to complex real-world business problems. This consolidated the learning that I had not crossed on my path with previous customers as their requirements did not cover all Salesforce solutions. It was great to come together with a fellow apprentice who was on the same journey as me to share our knowledge and experiences. Completing each Superbadge together was definitely an enhanced learning experience and a great milestone in my book.

Helping out

In between projects, it’s been great fun working alongside the rest of the team helping out on their projects, consisting of data imports and field mapping for a supplier for clinical medical trials and creating flows and formulas for a render and insulation supplier. I was also tasked by Paul to help resolve our support cases and also work alongside our team members to improve our internal processes with a series of mini internal projects to improve Coacto’s own Salesforce org.

MFA and MyDomain

With new releases coming out by Salesforce, we wanted to ensure we were there for our customers to help them with changes such as MFA and MyDomain. Working alongside our marketeer, Jessica, we did our research, put together a plan, practiced on multiple sandboxes and our Orgs with the different scenarios and also created the email content that we sent out to our customers to educate them on these changes and offer our support. For those who wanted it, I had great pleasure in rolling out these new features for them.

A new apprentice at Coacto

Midway through rolling out the MFA project, we had a new apprentice, Stuart join us. Eager to get started on projects straight away, it was great to have Stuart jump on the MFA project with us. It’s been a great experience having someone within the team that I can now pass  my knowledge onto and be a person someone can reach out to for help, as well as having a new member onboard to add value and input into the work we are doing. Since Stuart joined, we have had great fun working on projects together and completing the SalesforceBEN quizzes together and he’s been a great addition to the team.

Writing my first apprenticeship project for learning providers, LDN apprenticeships

As part of my Apprenticeship with learning providers LDN Apprenticeships, I was tasked to write a document on a project I had delivered to showcase my knowledge and experience as a business analyst and Salesforce consultant working at Coacto. The project I chose to write about was the first project I helped to deliver – understanding the coworking office space company’s processes and creating the Salesforce demo system for our prospect. I went through Coacto’s full service delivery process when creating this demo and made it much more in depth than a standard demo as Paul wanted me to learn about the entire process so I was able to write about this for my project as this covered a huge part of the apprenticeship syllabus. 

I am now one project down, and only two more to go. As I covered a huge amount of the apprenticeship standard within my first project report, this will make the next two projects much easier as it is a matter of just covering the small amounts of the syllabus that I didn’t cover within this project. It has been a challenging yet fun experience and I look forward to writing my next project with the structure and understanding I now have.

Goals for next year

Next year, I will be sitting my Salesforce Administrator credential exam and completing two more LDN projects. After this, I will be Salesforce certified and also qualified with a Level 4 Business Analyst Qualification. 

I have loved my experiences so far and appreciate the amazing team and customers that I have been able to work with. I am super excited for next year to continue on my journey with Coacto and hopefully be a permanent part of the team.

Have a Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Charlotte

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