25 May Annamaria Hickman – My Vetforce Story
Position at Simplus:
Lead Consultant/Vetforce Ambassador
Experience in Salesforce:
Navy Military Spouse
How did you discover Salesforce?
My Vetforce journey all began with my husband serving in the military for a solid ten years between six years in the Navy and four in the Army. As a #milspouse, my biggest struggle was having him leave and come back for a period of time and readjusting to a new routine with him being back from deployments and then leaving again. Vetforce came into our lives seven months after having our first child and really battling the financial bind we were experiencing. We had a sit-down and had a very deep and life-changing conversation one night and thought we needed to make a change and get our family out of this hump that seemed like a mountain at the time. My husband had looked into Salesforce and came across Vetforce; that’s when he signed up and started his way of self-paced learning with Trailhead by Salesforce. He brought this to my attention and I, of course, jumped on and began doing the same. I had very little knowledge of the CRM systems and wanted to learn more and more about it through Trailhead. I became fascinated with the idea that there was a program out there for Veterans and Military Spouses to learn a whole new skill set through this program and receive strong support that I had not seen from anywhere else.
In June 2018, I had been completing a few modules and earning badges when I received an email from Michael Halles for an interview to be a part of the 50 cohorts that would represent Vetforce at the 2018 Dreamforce Conference. I remember during the interviewing how nervous I was and also having my son accompany me during the interview. I was sure that I had ruined my chances of being chosen. Lo and behold, I was chosen to attend Dreamforce and represent Vetforce with 49 other members.
September 2018 had arrived and it was time for me to head off to San Francisco for the conference. Leading up to departure, I experienced significant anxiety about leaving my son for the first time since having him to the point I almost backed out. Thankfully, I overcame that and headed off to the airport. Dreamforce was an experience I will never forget for a few reasons: I had the pleasure of meeting some of the most amazing individuals; embracing all of Dreamforce by attending keynotes, breakout sessions, and networking receptions with the Vetforce team; and, lastly, landing my first Salesforce career with Simplus off of the Vetforce Career Fair.
What is your #vetforcevictory story into Simplus?
The following month, upon returning from the conference of the year, became quite a busy one with continued unconventional interviewing with Simplus to be a part of the very first US Bootcamp. I accepted the offer immediately and began the bootcamp end of November 2018. The bootcamp lasted a consecutive three months, and during that time I learned Admin Essentials, CPQ Basics, and best practices as a consultant. Since graduating from the bootcamp, I joined Managed Services, became a Salesforce Certified Administrator, and became a Simplus Veteran Ambassador continuing the communication between Vetforce and Simplus. Lastly, I have the pleasure to work with an amazing team as a Lead Consultant living the values of being a critical thinker, stewardship, and having the underdog spirit.
How has Vetforce made an impact on your life?
I cannot thank Vetforce and Simplus enough for completely changing my life around and the continued support I receive on a regular basis. Vetforce puts their complete passion into helping veterans and military spouses from all walks of life to assist them in learning a new skill set and establishing a new career from the beginning to the end. Thank you, Vetforce Team!