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People Behind the Certs – Mia Pacey

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People Behind the Certs - Mia Pacey

SG: Let’s get started. Why don’t we start from the beginning? Please tell us about your education/ career before entering the Salesforce ecosystem.

MP: At school, I was an elite athlete competing in national swimming competitions until I finished high school. As I was so active in sports, I went on to study Physiotherapy at Sydney University. I quickly found out that I wasn’t passionate about making this my career, so I started what I now look back on as my “try anything” years. I tried many career paths, including Swim Coach, Pharmacist, Sales, and First Aid Trainer. 

Throughout this journey, I was always the one to find solutions to tricky situations, and I enjoyed seeing my colleagues excited about a new process that I had helped with. Even just minor changes to the way of doing things would be so exciting for me, and I would always help when I saw someone struggling. I wanted to find a career where I could use my ability to solve problems and help others do their jobs more efficiently.

The first place I started to use Salesforce was when I was working at Surf Life Saving NSW on the commercial side of the charity focused on selling first aid equipment and training to businesses across the state. I was the highest-performing sales rep and the “fix it” person who managed the Learner Management System to keep the business running efficiently. This organization then decided they needed a CRM to help automate and future-proof the business, which ultimately was Salesforce.

SG: That’s awesome. Now we would love to know what was the tipping point when you said, “I want to make this change,” and what was the trigger for that?

MP: In 2019 I went on to my first Salesforce World Tour and was exposed to what the ecosystem actually was. I then went on to attend the Trailhead Bootcamp in the Gold Coast that year to learn more about what my organization was signing up for. I had never logged into a real Salesforce Org and had just signed up to a Trailhead account when I started this 5-day camp. After this massive week of learning and making new connections, I successfully passed my Administrator Certification. This was the point I knew this was what I wanted to do, and my only question then was, “how do I make this happen.”

SG: You achieved many certs along the way. Can you share three things with us?

1. Why do you value certificates?

2. What are the challenges associated with the process?

3. What are your top tips for being successful in cert exams?

MP: Ya, why not.

  1. I personally use certs to validate my knowledge and experience on using a product or area of the Salesforce platform. I think they only have value when it is tied closely to actual experience. If I am interviewing and I have a certificate on my resume, I expect the interviewer to ask me about what experience I have in relation to that certificate. 
  2. Studying is difficult for me as I am Dyslexic and prefer to use a screen reader when reading content. That’s a personal challenge I had. Otherwise, everything else was wonderful for me, as I believe if we have passion and determination, nothing will pose a challenge. 

Become a Salesforce Certified Professional

  1. Everyone learns differently, so don’t compare your journey to others. Find the way you learn best, and you will find it much easier to retain the information successfully. And another tip is just Practice, Practice, and Practice! This includes creating solutions in a dev org or doing practice exams. The best way to pass an exam is to have hands-on experience in the topic to relate each exam question to something you have already done.

SG: What do you enjoy most about your work as a certified Salesforce professional?

MP: I find this ecosystem so rewarding and supportive. I enjoy seeing how my skills as a certified Salesforce professional can change someone’s work life so dramatically for good. The joy and surprise when a new process is rolled out for them is the best feeling.

SG: Time for gratitude!! Finally, is there anyone (individual or company) that you would like to take this opportunity to thank for their role in helping you along your journey? If Yes, what was their role in your success?

MP: I want to thank Trailhead and Salesforce for holding the Bootcamp in the Gold Coast. Without this opportunity, I would not be where I am today. The chance to have an intensive week of learning, support, and a certificate exam was undoubtedly life-changing for me.

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