Merivis Blog http://merivisblog.com Expert Technology Insight Mon, 22 Oct 2018 17:08:05 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 http://merivisblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/06/cropped-merivisbloglogovblack-32x32.png Merivis Blog http://merivisblog.com 32 32 69721781 The Only Impossible Journey – Five Things Vets and Their Families Should Know about the Merivis Foundation (and Salesforce!) http://merivisblog.com/the-only-impossible-journey-five-things-vets-and-their-families-should-know-about-the-merivis-foundation-and-salesforce/ Mon, 22 Oct 2018 14:52:33 +0000 http://merivisblog.com/?p=2380   “The only impossible journey is the one you never begin.” Tony Robbins I just finished the in-class week of Salesforce Administrator training with the Merivis Foundation. Buoyed by this experience, I started imagining how I would present this opportunity to my brothers in law at the upcoming Army/Navy game; all three USMA grads, and Learn More »

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“The only impossible journey is the one you never begin.” Tony Robbins

I just finished the in-class week of Salesforce Administrator training with the Merivis Foundation.

Buoyed by this experience, I started imagining how I would present this opportunity to my brothers in law at the upcoming Army/Navy game; all three USMA grads, and all three probably know several veterans still looking to get their civilian footing, or soldiers who are ready to start their civilian careers.

As I played these conversations out in my head, it sounded a little sketchy. Maybe too good to be true. A strange and secret society; Free training, Trailheads, Vetforce, Networking, Branding, The Cloud, Ohana. Oooohaaaaannnaaaa…

But Merivis is the real deal. For vets who have been out for a while and are looking to start over, military members getting ready to transition to civilian life, or their spouses, here are five things to know about Merivis, and the Salesforce platform training it offers:

  1. Salesforce is a legit company. Founded in 1999, it has around 30,000 employees. $10.5 billion dollars in sales. Market cap of $97 billion dollars. 150,000 customers, and over 3 million users.
  2. Merivis Foundation was founded by vets. There are veterans on the board. Merivis trains veterans and their spouses (we had at least two in our cohort), providing the tools they need to begin (or continue) their Salesforce journey. Merivis is supported by the official Salesforce veteran community, Vetforce. In fact, Merivis was selected by Vetforce as the “Non-profit of 2018.” And even within the Vetforce community, Merivis was recognized as a “family within a family.” They have walked in your shoes, chukkas or boots.
  3. The Salesforce vision of family is Ohana. “Part of Hawaiian culture, ʻohana means family (in an extended sense of the term, including blood-related, adoptive or intentional). The concept emphasizes that families are bound together and members must cooperate and remember one another.” I know, I know. Unicorns and rainbows. But what is this if not camaraderie and unit cohesion? Unlike other certification programs I’ve gone through, the Merivis Foundation ensures we know they are there to support us in our journey. And, perhaps more importantly, they highly encourage cohort members stay in contact with each other, support each other, and participate in local Salesforce meet-ups. This encouragement is also an unforced but subtle form of accountability; we’re accountable to each other, to the foundation, and to ourselves.
  4. The program is not just learning Salesforce. Merivis matches vets with coaches who help with the online training, offer career perspective, and assist with the project assignment that can be completed after the in class training. During the in class training, Merivis brings in experts to talk about using social media to build your online presence, building your personal brand, networking and engaging the Salesforce community. For those looking to transition into the Salesforce ecosystem, there are opportunities for mock interviews and resume reviews. Those already in the ecosystem are encouraged to show up and participate in Salesforce Saturdays.
  5. The diversity you experienced in the military will be reflected in your cohort. I appreciated our cohort members’ varied backgrounds, reflecting Salesforce’s commitment to equality: “Equality starts with us. At Salesforce, we value and respect people of all backgrounds. We believe a diverse and inclusive workplace fosters innovation and creativity, and are committed to building a culture where everyone feels included. While we’ve made progress on some fronts, we know that there is still real work ahead — but together, we can drive meaningful change and create a more equal workplace and world for all.”

If you don’t believe me, watch this video featuring Navy vet Sheldon Simmons, which clearly illustrates the value of what Merivis offers.

If you’re a veteran, or spouse of a veteran, contact Merivis to begin your journey.

We’re waiting for you.

John Lyon

 

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DF18 Recap: “Merivis is ‘a family within a family'” http://merivisblog.com/df18-recap-merivis-is-a-family-within-a-family/ Sat, 13 Oct 2018 20:30:29 +0000 http://merivisblog.com/?p=2372 By: Roger Miranda with contributions from Nick Charles, Johanna Ciezczak, Misty Fierro, Clayton Mitchem, and Daniel Weyant     This year, over 170,000 people came to Dreamforce ’18 in San Francisco, CA. Can you even imagine that many people? That’s enough to fill AT&T Stadium twice! Within the endless sea of Salesforce Ohana, 50 of Learn More »

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By: Roger Miranda with contributions from Nick Charles, Johanna Ciezczak, Misty Fierro, Clayton Mitchem, and Daniel Weyant

 

 

This year, over 170,000 people came to Dreamforce ’18 in San Francisco, CA. Can you even imagine that many people? That’s enough to fill AT&T Stadium twice! Within the endless sea of Salesforce Ohana, 50 of us were members of the Vetforce Dream Team. An even smaller cohort of Merivis (aka #Merivets) ohana were a strong and vibrant group within the Dream Team. Kate Perez, Executive Director of the Merivis Foundation, told me that someone referred to the Merivis team as a “family within a family.”

 

For some of us this was our first Dreamforce experience, for others, it was our third, fourth, fifth, or even more. Regardless of your individual experience level, the Dreamforce experience is awe-inspiring both in it’s sheer size and the magnificence of the speakers, sessions and after hour events. Salesforce CEO, Marc Benioff, joked that there were 2,700 events and her expected us to see them all!

 

It was great to hear Tyler Prince kick off the Admin keynote by recognizing the members of the Vetforce Dream Team. Katherine Clark, the Vetforce #AwesomeAdmin, was recognized in the Admin keynote for the fantastic work she has done for Vetforce. Katherine is continually working to add increased functionality to the Vetforce org, such as creating a job seeker component to help Vetforce members find careers in the Salesforce ecosystem that they are qualified for.

 

 

Perhaps the greatest Dreamforce highlight for many of our family was the Dreamtalk presented by Medal of Honor recipient Captain Florent Groberg. “Flo” shared with us the story of how he earned the Medal of Honor, but more importantly, he shared with us what he learned on his journey starting as a young French immigrant to becoming a U.S. Army combat leader in Afghanistan. He told us of how as a newly minted lieutenant, he put rank, pride, and ego aside and asked his most senior enlisted advisor to teach, guide, and mentor him. “It’s about utilizing all the assets around you. About being a teammate before being a boss or a leader. It’s about brotherhood and sisterhood. It’s about caring for each other. It’s about sacrifice.”

 

 

Some of our Merivis graduates shared how the Merivis program helped to prepare for Dreamforce ’18.

  • “Merivis has exposed me to so many amazing people. If it wasn’t for Merivis, I would not have received my admin certificate and been nominated to represent Merivis at Dreamforce. I would not have had the opportunity to learn from the best and show how awesome military veterans are! Merivis is my ohana! “
  • “The NEED to develop a family atmosphere of support and encouragement was highlighted as our family stood out among other groups. It made me swell with pride!”
  • “Merivis has taught me I have to sell myself and Kate has guided me down a path on how to do it. I used the skills taught to network and tell my story at Dreamforce.”
  • “It has allowed me to understand the importance of networking, understanding career paths, and allowed me to find my place in this Ohana.“
  • “Merivis helped me prepare for a crazy week that has so much information thrown at me regarding Salesforce.”

 

Dreamforce ’18 was a phenomenal event and we encourage every #Merivet to attend at least one to experience the Salesforce Ohana coming together to celebrate each other. There were lots of favorite memories: hanging out with Parker Harris before the Admin Keynote, watching Trailblazing friends earn their Golden Hoodies, spending some down time in the hotel getting to know each other, even watching Merivis Founder Hector Perez sing Back Street Boys at the PepUpTech karaoke fundraiser! Of course, none of what I have written could have been possible without the tireless efforts of the Vetforce team. They truly created and curated a world-class experience for the #DF18 Vetforce Dream Team.

 

Some of our Merivis family wanted to share some advice for those Veterans and military spouses who are considering applying for a Merivis cohort:

  • “If you want your entire career trajectory to turn for the better, with a skill set that will be here for a while, get involved ASAP.”
  • “Absolutely do it. Vetforce is great, but the tools Merivis provide are really what make you stand out in the workforce.”
  • “JUST DO IT! It is an amazing program. The people, experience, and opportunities you will be exposed to are like nothing else. “
  • “A fantastic program that will give any individual a foundation needed to start a career in the Salesforce Ecosystem.”
  • “You can do this! You are not alone! We have your back!!”

 

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The Next Mission – Salesforce Platform App Builder Class http://merivisblog.com/the-next-mission-salesforce-platform-app-builder-class/ Fri, 10 Aug 2018 15:59:31 +0000 http://merivisblog.com/?p=2367 Over the past 3 years Merivis has helped veterans and spouses transition from military life to corporate america as a veteran service provider (VSP) in the Salesforce Vetforce program. Merivis helps our students by delivering virtual and in-person Salesforce training, by providing individual coaches to help provide real-world context to the training content, by creating Learn More »

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Over the past 3 years Merivis has helped veterans and spouses transition from military life to corporate america as a veteran service provider (VSP) in the Salesforce Vetforce program. Merivis helps our students by delivering virtual and in-person Salesforce training, by providing individual coaches to help provide real-world context to the training content, by creating networking opportunities with local members of the Salesforce community, by teaching our students how to translate military skills and experiences into civilian terminology, and by supporting our students during their job search.

Our students’ first mission is to achieve the Salesforce Certified Administrator certification.  This designation assures employers that Administrators understand how to expand object models, to manage system users, to personalize user experiences, to migrate data to and from the system, and to optimize reports that help drive operational efficiency.  

The next mission for our students begins where the first mission left off.  The objective is the Salesforce Certified App Builder certification. This accomplishment demonstrates a understanding of complex object relationships and how to create processes to support detailed business logic. This is a valuable certification to prepare our students to change from an operations role into a project development role within an organization.

Merivis will be offering our first App Builder class this fall concurrently with our Administrator class.  Vets and spouses, should you choose to accept this mission, the task before you will be challenging, but the reward of achieving the next level of Salesforce expertise is well worth the effort.   – Joe Castro

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Lauren Zolp: “My top tips for passing your first Salesforce Certification” http://merivisblog.com/lauren-zolp-guide-passing-first-salesforce-certification/ Mon, 30 Apr 2018 19:07:13 +0000 http://merivisblog.wpengine.com/?p=2356 My hands trembled and I stared at the cursor, watching it make a circle as I waited for one of two words to come up: pass or fail. My heart skipped a beat when I saw: PASS. I hadn’t felt quite ready to take the exam, as you hear so many people talk about failing Learn More »

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My hands trembled and I stared at the cursor, watching it make a circle as I waited for one of two words to come up: pass or fail. My heart skipped a beat when I saw: PASS.

I hadn’t felt quite ready to take the exam, as you hear so many people talk about failing their first time. Failure is never comfortable, but it took me becoming comfortable with the idea of failing to gain the courage to actually sit for the exam. I think we, as veterans and military spouses, have a unique trait: and that is continuing despite failure and disappointment. There is not one of us that has had the perfect military career, or if you are a spouse: the perfect time planning and concurring with your spouse’s orders. We are unique in the ability that when failure would discourage others, it does not discourage us. But this is irrelevant, because I know all of you will pass your first time!

The purpose of this post is to arm you with the arsenal that you need to pass the test on the first try, like I did. I am not some whiz, or some exception to the rule, I simply did a lot of research and knew what to expect.

A little about my story is that I was employed within 28 days of taking my first trail (Admin Beginner) and certified within 2 months. The opportunities within this platform are boundless, but having the administrator certification is the first step.

  1. To start, before I ever tried to take my exam, I studied Trailhead religiously. The three trails: Admin Beginner, Intermediate and Advanced helped me tremendously. You must understand the platform before attempting this test, and if you don’t – you will fail. Understanding the platform is paramount. The test makers at Salesforce do a really good job of testing to see if you actually understand the platform, rather than if you can rote memorize answers (they are tricky – watch out!).
  2. After doing those trails, and many others, I purchased the Salesforce administrator course on Udemy by Mike Wheeler. Essentially this course is a 10 hour breakdown of the sections on the admin exam. Some of the things which I recall Mike saying in the course were actually on my exam, so taking this course may benefit you. He also goes over testing strategies, some of which I will go over later.
  3. After finishing the Mike Wheeler course, I went straight to Quizlet to start studying some of the study sets on there. You want to be really wary when going over flash cards on Quizlet, as a lot of the answers are often wrong, but these two sets that I am going to share with you are primarily (if not totally) correct. A lot of questions on the actual exam are similarly worded, or have similar situations. Know both of these sets, and WHY the answers on here are what they are, and you will be fine! This set This set was very helpful as was this additional set of cards.
  4. Now for test taking strategies: The test is 60 questions, and you have 90 minutes to complete it.
    • The passing score is 67% meaning that you have to get 40/60 questions right. If you do not know the answer to a question, you will have a chance to select that question to return to later. Do not get stressed, and just move on if you do not know the answer to something.
    • Sometimes the test questions will have something in them that helps you figure out other questions.
    • My advice is to go through the whole test and select the questions that you aren’t absolutely sure of and go back through them again.
    • When at the end of the test after you have gone through it again, count how many you are sure of, and if that number is over 40, go ahead and submit the test!
    • Don’t second guess yourself, and always go with your gut. The worst thing that can happen is that you fail, and know what to study more on.
    • Take the practice exams that are on the Salesforce Ben, and David Liu also has one on his site. Practice and study as much as you can, and soon you will join the community of certified salesforce administrators!

Don’t underestimate this opportunity, nor yourself. This opportunity can turn your life around, but more specifically as veterans and mil spouses, you have the skills that a company not only wants – but needs. You handle stress well, you do what needs to be done no matter what – and mostly – you are leaders. Don’t forget this when it comes time to interview. When you land that *dream job* don’t forget to turn back around and help the next person in line, because none of us would be here without the help of others.

One last note: if you do not pass on your first try, remember this: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal, and it is the courage to continue that counts” -Winston Churchill. Always try one more time.

Lauren Zolp – A VetForce alum, Air Force veteran and Salesforce product manager at Figo Pet Insurance

 

 

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Merivis at TrailheaDX ’18 http://merivisblog.com/merivis-trailheadx-18/ Sun, 22 Apr 2018 13:55:31 +0000 http://merivisblog.wpengine.com/?p=2342 As Merivis continues to grow its alumni over the years, VetForce has been kind to invite each of the last two years a few of our alumni to Salesforce’s TrailheaDX conference in San Francisco. TrailheaDX is Salesforce’s developer conference and a great way for attendees to take a few trails, get a certification or two Learn More »

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As Merivis continues to grow its alumni over the years, VetForce has been kind to invite each of the last two years a few of our alumni to Salesforce’s TrailheaDX conference in San Francisco. TrailheaDX is Salesforce’s developer conference and a great way for attendees to take a few trails, get a certification or two and get to know where the products of Salesforce are going. Below are a few stories from three of our Merivis alumni who attended for the first time this year.

 

When one of my friend suggested me to join Merivis Foundation about 6 months ago, I was not sure what I was getting into. I had never heard of Salesforce, Vetforce or Merivis Foundation. I researched them online, I only found good things about them. I became a Cohort IV member and met new friends, fellow Veterans, mentors, all the members from the foundation itself. The care and passion they showed towards us (they still do) was phenomenal. I felt like the part of a big family. Even after the class had ended, I kept receiving emails from the Foundation about my well-being and job search process, possible job leads, mixer opportunities, tips on successful interviews etc. And the biggest excitement came when Hector asked me if I wanted to be part of TrailheaDX 2018. I had read about the experience by Sheldon on the blog on Merivis’s website. So I immediately said ‘Yes’. I had imagined fun but when I actually got to experience it, I am beyond happy. I made a lot of friends, met many people who genuinely care about Veterans and want to help them be a part of Salesforce Ohana. And I was amazed at how approachable people were. I got to personally meet Tony Prophet at the Salesforce Tower.  Jared Morris hung out with us at the Equality Award. The two day event was full of fun, learning opportunities and swags. I came back with a bunch of memories that will last a long time. Thank you Merivis Foundation. I hope to pay this forward to my fellow veterans in the future.” – Deepak Chaulagain – Cohort 4

Jared Morris, Garrett Garcia, Deepak and Jesse Grothaus at TrailheaDX

 

As a a professional, Veteran and Salesforce evangelist this past weekend at TrailheaDX was probably one if not the highlight of the year for me personally. Knowing that there are other Veterans that have been awaken to Salesforce and leverage that to make paths into their own careers is fantastic. Merivis and Vetforce are not only talking about putting veterans at the forefront they are actually producing results! The TrailheaDX was a roller coast of an event, with anxiety, fear, happiness, exhaustion, laughter, and relatable experience that I wouldn’t change for the world. Thanks to Merivis and Vetforce for the ticket to the ride!” –  Manuel Gallardo – Cohort 2

 

Since coming back from the TrailheadDX conference I have re-engaged with the success community and attended my local non-profit users group’s April meeting as well as Salesforce Saturday where I am struck by the supportive, helpful problem-solvers who take an interest in helping each other skill-up for personal growth and to empower the organizations they serve. TrailheadDX 18 was an exceptional opportunity to meet other people involved in the Salesforce Community and to see first hand how supportive Salesforce is to Veterans through the Vetforce program and partners such as the Merivis Foundation. Meeting with the people behind Vetforce gave me a new appreciation for how energetically engaged they are in helping Veterans gain Salesforce skills and certifications and find rewarding positions that are a great match for the skills developed in the pursuit of their prior military experiences. There are broad horizons for what the powerful and adaptable platform known as Salesforce can do and Veterans bring a unique set of attributes suited to helping businesses and non-profits alike get the most out of what Salesforce offers. Vetforce is a great example of something that brings the ideal people to a great toolset and empowers them to do great things to the mutual benefit of everyone involved.” – Daniel Carpenter (Cohort 3) 

Deepak, Hector Dan, Dannielle and Charlie at the VetForce Happy Hour at TrailheaDX

 

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Merivis and VetForce take on SXSW 2018! http://merivisblog.com/merivis-vetforce-take-sxsw-2018/ Mon, 26 Mar 2018 15:00:32 +0000 http://merivisblog.wpengine.com/?p=2299 Authored by Stephanie Herrera, Nolan Melson and Hector Perez Merivis was at South by Southwest in full force this year. For the first year, both Merivis and Vetforce presented on a panel discussion (Transitioning Vets: From Battlefield to Tech Career) and we hosted a Merivis community mixer with all our friends and supporters in Austin.  Learn More »

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© David Brendan Hall

Authored by Stephanie Herrera, Nolan Melson and Hector Perez

Merivis was at South by Southwest in full force this year. For the first year, both Merivis and Vetforce presented on a panel discussion (Transitioning Vets: From Battlefield to Tech Career) and we hosted a Merivis community mixer with all our friends and supporters in Austin.  With another successful SXSW in the books, we wanted to share some of the highlights from Merivis and look back and take stock at this incredible opportunity to share our message with the tech, veteran and Austin community.

 

The Panel Discussion

© David Brendan Hall

 

Merivis had the honor of presenting at an official South by Southwest panel this year along with VetForce and a big thank you to Nolan Melson (Merivis Board of Directors) for spearheading the submission to get into SXSW. The panel was one of the first of the days of SXSW and held at the Austin’s brand new Fairmount Hotel between the convention center and Austin’s famed Rainey Street district.  The scope of our panel discussed best tactics and strategies for transitioning service members to implement when they are looking to break into the tech industry, along with best practices which companies can use in order to make cohesive and collaborative veteran communities within their own companies.

The panel discussion was moderated by Merivis’ own Kate Perez and she was joined on stage by Hector Perez (Merivis/Fidelity), Ann Weeby (Salesforce/VetForce) and Nolan Melson (Merivis/Cap Gemini). Each panelist discussed many topics related to some of the to transition and for the full session on our YouYube channel, check it out the session below.

 

Below are a few panel topics covered in the discussion and quotes from our panel.

  • What are some of the challenges you face with veterans moving into a tech career?  You need to be comfortable moving jobs and companies over a 20-30-year period vs the military” – Ann Weeby
  • What is a company gaining by hiring a veteran?  “…….when you are hiring a veteran you are getting a self motivated person, who will figure out what they need to know when they get into their new company” – Nolan Melson
  • Why did you start Merivis? “To help fill a huge gap we saw in the market place in which there was a high demand for Salesforce talent and this incredible talent pool of military veterans coming off the battlefield looking to enter the tech market career wise” – Hector Perez
  • Nolan best summarized anyone interested in getting started or involved in the technology career path perhaps in Salesforce or elsewhere “its important to be a self-starter and active in your endeavor and not just wait

 

The Merivis Community Mixer

Group pic at the Merivis Community Mixer!   © David Brendan Hall

 

Merivis Community Mixer © David Brendan Hall

When the panel discussion concluded at The Fairmount, many members of VetForce, Salesforce Saturday and the Austin Salesforce community joined forces for the Merivis Community mixer at beautiful Spanning offices in downtown Austin. A big thank you to Spanning for donating their space for our mixer, it is a great space and we appreciate it.  Representatives from Capgemini’s Veterans Employee Resource Group and North America Communications Team were in attendance to share how they work with veterans. The mixer was a celebration of trailblazers in the Salesforce community and the Merivis alumni to sit back, listen to some tunes and mingle. As some Merivis alumni were interviewed by our videographer, others enjoyed Torchy’s tacos and mimosas.  Hector spoke mid way through the mixer and thanked the Austin community and everyone involved in not only Merivis, but the supporting organizations such as VetForce, Cloud Co-op, Salesforce Saturday, Spanning, Cap Gemini, National Instruments and Accenture to name a few.

© David Brendan Hall

Chrissy from cohort 3 spoke about her experience in the Merivis cohort and the impact learning Salesforce has made on her life. Coincidently, Saturday March 10th also marked 20 years for Chrissy in the Army National Guard and her last day of Service. A big thank you and congratulations to Chrissy!

A final big thank you to Capgemini, Cloud Coop, Spanning and VetForce for making this event possible.

 

Inside Sound Ventures Party hosted by Salesforce

Nolan, Marc, Stephanie and Hector

We decided to let Hector, Stephanie and Nolan give their own take of this unique SXSW party which was the talk of SXSW the next day.

The Salesforce events team outdid themselves with the Sound Ventures event and we, the Austin Community could not be more grateful!! Marc Benioff, the real star for our community was so warm and welcoming to everyone that approached him, he gave us a memory none of us will ever forget! Salesforce walks the walk when they say, they put their customers first!”Stephanie Herrera

 

Guy Oseary and Ashton Kutcher
Saint Vincent

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Later that same evening at the Hotel Van Zandt many of us were invited to what became THE exclusive SXSW party of the weekend. This party was sponsored by Salesforce and Ashton Kutcher’s own Sound Venture. We were very thankful to have attended and even to meet Marc Benioff and talk a little about AI and Vetforce as the Austin skyline gleamed in the distance.  As acclaimed Texas artist Saint Vincent played, the room filled up with tech royalty and the energy in the room elevated to that of insanity when Elon Musk walked in.  Here we were, with tech billionaires, entrepreneurs, all you would need is Spike Lee…..oh yeah, he showed up as well! The crowd was intimate and it allowed for great conversations as Snoop Dogg took the stage and sent the room into a frenzy. As the party came to a close, we know for Merivis and VetForce, this was a great day. Not only were we able to get the message out about what veterans CAN do in technology careers, but even got to hob nob with a few celebs even if just for an evening.” – Hector Perez

You know that you’re in the right party when as soon as you walk in you see Marc Benioff, Ashton Kutcher, and “Steve” from Stranger Things just casually hanging out with other guests.  The night was going off without a hitch as Snoop Dogg sang some of the 90’s classics, bringing intense feelings of nostalgia from my childhood.  It was also great that Stephanie and I had the opportunity to speak with Ashton about Merivis Foundation, and his thoughts on investing in veteran founded tech startups in Ashton and my home state of Iowa.   We were also truly grateful to have a conversation with Marc Benioff highlighting the passion that we have to empower veterans through Salesforce at Merivis Foundation.  Just when we couldn’t think the night could get any better, the game changed when Elon Musk came in to hangout at Marc and Asthon’s table to take in the vibes.  Looking back, the Sound Ventures Party was the best SXSW party that I have ever been to and one of the best of my entire life.  Thank you to the Salesforce / Vetforce team who made our attendance possible.”  Nolan Melson

 

Salesforce Trailblazer Party

Later that week during SXSW, Salesforce had a local Trailbalzer party in east Austin.  Marc Benioff and his salesforce events team threw another great event for the Austin Salesforce Community with the Trailblazer Community Happy Hour at Volcom Garden! Erica Kuhl, the VP of Community for Salesforce even made a special trip to Austin for the event!

The Trailhead party was a great relaxed event to engage with people in the Salesforce community in Austin, and also network with folks outside of the community who were just there to experience the Ohana first hand.

 

 

 

 

 

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Merivis and Vetforce at SXSW 2018! http://merivisblog.com/merivis-vetforce-sxsw-2018/ Sun, 25 Feb 2018 16:09:08 +0000 http://merivisblog.wpengine.com/?p=2279 It’s that time of year again!  We all love the free BBQ events, tech startup happy hours, and corporate sponsored concerts with Grammy award winning artists performing at your local Austin dive bar, however, more importantly SXSW Interactive brings some of the world’s biggest thought leaders across multiple industries and sectors. The Merivis Foundation is so excited Learn More »

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It’s that time of year again!  We all love the free BBQ events, tech startup happy hours, and corporate sponsored concerts with Grammy award winning artists performing at your local Austin dive bar, however, more importantly SXSW Interactive brings some of the world’s biggest thought leaders across multiple industries and sectors.

The Merivis Foundation is so excited to share our message in our SXSW panel on Saturday, March 10th 9:30AM-10:30AM, Transitioning Vets: From Battlefield to Tech Career.  Our panel features a mixture of veteran experiences featuring:

  • Hector Perez – Merivis founder and Board President, VP of CRM and Engineering at Fidelity Investments, Air Force veteran
  • Ann Weeby – Director of Salesforce’s “Vetforce” military initiative, Army veteran
  • Nolan Melson – Merivis Board Member, IT consultant and Veterans ERG North America Co-Lead at Capgemini, Army veteran
  • Kate Perez – Merivis co-founder and Advisory Council member, marketing professional, non-profit leader and veteran spouse

Over the past few years, our experiences through Merivis Foundation and Vetforce in training veterans and military spouses in Salesforce, and helping them find careers in IT, has allowed for us to have a “boots on the ground” perspective in this mission.  We take pride in having helped our Merivis alumni veterans transition from $9 an hour manual labor jobs, to $92,000 a year Salesforce Consultant careers.  Furthermore, we look forward to sharing our best practices and lessons learned and we hope to gain valuable insights from the audience as well.

Together, our diverse panel brings a mixture of perspectives and ideas in discussing veteran transition and careers in the cloud based IT ecosystem.  We will also discuss the challenges that veterans face, resources available and job opportunities for veterans transitioning to cloud careers.

Visit our Registration link for SXSW 2018 Badge Holders to sign up for our panel, and stay turned for a Salesforce Community Mixer hosted by Merivis Foundation and Vetforce. See you there!

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Alumni Spotlight: Sheldon Simmons http://merivisblog.com/alumni-spotlight-sheldon-simmons/ Thu, 25 Jan 2018 12:10:07 +0000 http://merivisblog.wpengine.com/?p=2254 Sheldon was in the Merivis Foundation’s inaugural cohort 1 back in the Fall of 2015. Since then Sheldon has stayed the course, become Salesforce certified and has been an example of whats possible when you connect the dots of Salesforce, the community and drive. We are proud of you Sheldon and thanks for sharing your Learn More »

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Sheldon was in the Merivis Foundation’s inaugural cohort 1 back in the Fall of 2015. Since then Sheldon has stayed the course, become Salesforce certified and has been an example of whats possible when you connect the dots of Salesforce, the community and drive. We are proud of you Sheldon and thanks for sharing your story belowHector Perez

 

Sheldon meeting Salesforce cofounder Parker Harris with fellow Merivis alumni Yann and Ken

My name is Sheldon Simmons. I served eight years in the Navy as an Aviation Boatswain Mate. Before the Merivis Foundation, I didn’t have much experience dealing with computers or anything IT related. While in the Navy, when I wasn’t working on the flight deck, I would read magazines about jobs in the civilian sector. I would always read that IT was one of the fastest growing jobs and also one of the best paying. I was convinced that I needed to pursue a career in IT once my military enlistment was complete. Upon separation from the Navy, I end up working low skill jobs that didn’t pay much. At that time I didn’t have the skills I needed to acquire a higher paying job I desired. My rank didn’t matter in the civilian world and I had to start from the bottom. Long hours and low pay, was the norm for a few years. However, during this time I never lost sight of what I wanted and needed to accomplish. I decided to use this difficult time in my life as inspiration. The struggle I was enduring ended up being a blessing in disguise.

I had become fully aware of the career and life I didn’t want for myself and I needed a change I was working long hours but managed to take a Java coding class in the evening. This class would end up being the hardest class I’ve ever taken in my life. For at least four weeks I was completely lost. The class was full of student who had prior coding knowledge or worked at a job where they wrote code daily. Once again I was starting at the bottom but I was determined to learn and complete the course. About 25 students started the course, however when it finished a year later, myself and another student were the only ones left and presented our project. Once I finished my presentation, a counselor pulled me aside and ask if I had ever heard of Salesforce. I told her that I had never heard of Salesforce, and I didn’t want to sell anything to anybody and I needed a job working in tech.  She told me I would be perfect for the Merivis Foundation, which partners with VetForce.

Paying it forward. Sheldon speaking about his experience to fellow vets in Merivis cohort 4

Next the counselor put me in contact with Hector Perez and at the time I was skeptical about any opportunities that seemed too good to be true. I had spent the last few years working jobs that would promise things, only to end up being laid off later. I met Hector for coffee one afternoon and he told me about the Merivis and how their goal was to help veterans pursue careers within the Salesforce job market. He asked me if I would like to be a part of their next cohort. I was ecstatic! I knew this was the opportunity I had been looking for and it had finally arrived. The cohort classes were four weeks long with three weeks online and one week on site in Austin. I had started a new job the third week of class working nights. The onsite class started at eight in the morning. I left work at seven, leaving me with less than hour to sleep before class and was in a dilemma, but powered through. Once again hardships hand had to push me forward. I knew that if I could make it through the cohort, I would never have to work a low paying job again. I knew the cohort would teach me the skills I needed to compete in the workforce and it was all or nothing. So, for that last week of class I slept in my car for about 45 minutes, went to class and then went to work. I was extremely tired and wanted to give up. But knowing that I had a chance to secure my future financially, I felt sleep could wait. The training was great and I finished the cohort. I obtained my certification and I currently work as a Salesforce Consultant. We were fortunate to have Mandy Kelly be our instructor during the in classroom training, she did a great job helping us veterans just learning Salesforce.

There is a lot of short hours and high pay now. Don’t judge me, I deserve it! I owe all my success to the Merivis Foundation and everyone involved. I can honestly say that Merivis has changed my life by helping me secure the job I wanted. I will never forget everything Merivis has done for me and other Veterans like myself.

Thank You, Thank you, Thank you!

Sheldon Simmons

 

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Merivis at Dreamforce 2017! http://merivisblog.com/merivis-dreamforce-2017/ Mon, 20 Nov 2017 19:48:03 +0000 http://merivisblog.wpengine.com/?p=2204 Earlier this month over 170,000 people descended onto San Francisco for the annual pilgrimage called Dreamforce.  Over time, this Dreamforce has taken a life of its own and is always is a great opportunity to reconnect with friends, colleagues and be inspired by the Salesforce non-profit community. The Merivis Foundation was fortunate to be a Learn More »

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Earlier this month over 170,000 people descended onto San Francisco for the annual pilgrimage called Dreamforce.  Over time, this Dreamforce has taken a life of its own and is always is a great opportunity to reconnect with friends, colleagues and be inspired by the Salesforce non-profit community. The Merivis Foundation was fortunate to be a big part of the VetForce crew which were invited to attend the event. We had nine of our veterans from cohorts 1-3 from Merivis attend and and take it all it (cohort 4 was still on class).  The blog below captures a few of the highlights from Dreamforce for Merivis.

Dreamforce Eve

Dreamforce started for the veterans with orientation Sunday evening. There veterans were briefed on what to expect and procured some really cool swag for the week. In addition, veterans were asked to complete this trail entitled “Military Veteran Recruitment Strategy”, which we all did.

 

Monday

The first full day of Dreamforce started with a flurry.  On this day, veterans had the opportunity to attend hands on Salesforce training for key areas of the platform to sharpen their skills. Many veterans had the opportunity to attend an employer networking event at Camp Innovation on the Dreamforce campus. This allowed many to sharpen their networking skills, while learning what employers are looking for in regards to Salesforce talent.  The highlight for veterans this day was watching Donald Bohrisch on stage at the Partner Keynote and get a standing ovation from the crowd. Donald went through the VetForce program and Salesforce training back in 2014 and has not looked back. Currently he is employed at Deloitte Digital and shared his journey of going through the VetForce program.  That same day Merivis cohort 3 grad Juliet was interviewed at the Admins Panel stage and she was joined by fellow board member Stephanie Herrera also talking about PepUp Tech. Later that day, Merivis’ board member and Salesforce MVP Stephanie Herrera had the spotlight during the main keynote with Marc Benioff! We are so proud to have Stephanie on the board and you should definitely check out her inspiring story.

Tuesday

As daylight broke and day 2 began the veterans had another full day packed of events. Some veterans went to see Michelle Obama speak, while others had the opportunity to explore the Dreamforce campground.  In addition, each veteran had the opportunity to talk to a career coach and sharpen their skills. As the day winded down, the festivities of Dreamfest took over. Many veterans took the opportunity to hike over to AT&T park and check out Lenny Kravitz and Alicia Keys.  It was surreal to be in a baseball stadium and enjoy a great show with ALL the food and drinks for free.  Many of us we astonished and thankful to be a part of this experience.

 

Wednesday 

The morning approached with weary eyes from the night before, but attending Lisa Jaster’s morning session entitled “Dreamtalk: Never Quit” was just what everyone needed.  All VetForce members had the privilege to hear Lisa talk about her journey as one of the first two female Army Rangers to have completed the training.  Lisa talked about her journey and that its not really about gender equality but people equality and the potential of that person.

 

The veterans wrapped up Wednesday with a VetForce Rally and happy hour at one of Salesforce offices in San Francisco and it was awesome!  We heard many inspiring stories about what veterans are doing with their Salesforce training including Sheldon Simmons from Merivis cohort 1.

 

Conclusion

Salesforce leadership was out and in big support of VetForce and Merivis.

Parker Harris with Merivis Cohort 1 grads Yann, Ken and Sheldon
Tony Prophet and Hector Perez
Hector Perez, Keith Block and Aniz (cohort 3)

 

As Dreamforce came to an end Thursday, the veterans wrapped up with a few last sessions and really looked forward to catching up on much needed rest.  We leave you with some quotes from \Merivis alumni who attended Dreamforce ’17:

This was an incredible opportunity for me, as a transitioning Army Officer, to engage with the leaders of the future and learn how I can be involved in transforming the world for the better.” – Dennis Kelly

Dreamforce 2017 was an incredible conference…so many great elements and things to do at this BIG EVENT…I’m still recovering! We had a fun and amazing group of military, veterans and spouses with our Merivis team along with all the other great folks from Vetforce. Many thanks to Hector, Ann Weeby, Jason Noma along with all the support team from both Merivis and Vetforce for making this a memorable and worthwhile experience!” – Glenn Goodwin

Dreamforce 2017 was an awesome experience, i have learnt so much in this big event, meta lot of great people and I had a lot of fun with all the Verforce members and Merivis team. I will never forget this experience. It was a great opportunity to be part of this excellent conference. I want to Thank all the Merivis Board member for all their support and Special thanks to Hector, you are amazing. All the Vetforce members for supporting the Veterans and spouses, Ann, Cory and Jason thank you so much guys for this great Opportunity “ – Juliet Coulanges-Pierre

This is my first dreamforce. I could not do this if I did not find Merivis Foundation and get in to the Salesforce Ecosystem. Thanks to Hector Perez for supporting the veterans at Texas with the training and getting them ready for job market. Thank you Vetforce for giving us the necessary platform for the training and certifications, and last but not the least, for helping us getting into Dreamforce 2017 and arranging the events geared towards the veterans. This is a life changing opportunity to me as all this kind endeavors led me to land a job as a Salesforce Business Analyst. Moving forward, I know Vetforce and Merivis is working hard to getting more veterans employed in the Salesforce Platform. Please let us know if we can contribute anyway to keep the torch up and finish the circle.” – Anis Khan

An amazing experience… Dreamforce is your ultimate rock show circus playground. Discover and learn new skills, reunite with friends, meet many inspiring Heroes and Trailblazers, and enjoy one of the most exciting weeks of your life.” –  Cory Hinrichs

Dreamforce 2017 was filled with great moments, both personally and professionally. I was able to connect with many others who are Veterans and pursuing a career in the Salesforce ecosystem, while learning about current functionality, possible future functionalities, and what it means to give back to our community. The amount of learning that I’ve had the opportunity soak in was second only to the amount of motivation I felt on my way back home (and still have now).” – Yann Germain-Tardieu

 

 

 

 

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Merivis Foundation Cohort 4 Presented by Accenture http://merivisblog.com/merivis-foundation-cohort-4-presented-accenture/ Sat, 21 Oct 2017 23:43:11 +0000 http://merivisblog.wpengine.com/?p=2197   Accenture first partnered with Merivis in 2016 and is now the proud sponsor of our fourth Cohort for Fall 2017.  Amy Flamenbaum, our guest Blogger, is a Merivis Foundation board member and Senior Manager at Accenture. Accenture prides itself on leadership, discipline, management, and partnership. It’s no coincidence that our organization, right up to Learn More »

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Accenture first partnered with Merivis in 2016 and is now the proud sponsor of our fourth Cohort for Fall 2017.  Amy Flamenbaum, our guest Blogger, is a Merivis Foundation board member and Senior Manager at Accenture.

Accenture prides itself on leadership, discipline, management, and partnership. It’s no coincidence that our organization, right up to our CEO, is personally committed to bringing women, men, and spouses transitioning from the military on to the Accenture team. Experience tells us that our organizations (Accenture and the US Military) have a lot in common – as we seek to deliver and excel by these same values.

Selecting Merivis as an Accenture Grant Recipient was a natural fit. To begin, we are a company with a strong post-military community. Every day we learn and benefit from the vision, skills, work ethic, and whatever-it-takes spirit of our veteran employees. We recognize how well these character foundations paired with technology expertise are exactly what our clients need. Merivis has a similar mission – to pair in-demand cloud technology skills with these same characteristics.  

Accenture is a company committed to hiring 5,000 veterans and military spouses by 2020. We also see growing demand for our Cloud First Salesforce services. We believe Salesforce trained veterans give us the best of all worlds and Merivis is producing candidates who fit that bill.

In 2016, Accenture sponsored the first McEvoy Kennedy Walk as a fundraiser for Merivis. Volunteers from the Capital Area Young Marines teamed up with Accenture employees, family, and friends and walked for more than 385 collective miles. The walk generated more than $2,500 in donations to Merivis.

That initial fundraiser helped us run Cohort 3, our Spring 2017 5-week class. We had so much fun exceeding our goal the first time, Accenture is planning our second annual event – a 5-mile walk/run the afternoon of Veterans day, November 11, 2017. The walk will be in Zilker park – email amy.flamenbaum@accenture.com for more details.

For our 4th cohort, Accenture’s Community Outreach grant will enable us to bring in a live, and certified Salesforce instructor to offer a week long classroom training course to our participants. Many of our previous participants cite this as the most valuable week of the course. Bringing folks together around this training opportunity allows our cohort to build their network, we offer headshots, personal branding sessions, discussions with alumni, and access to seasoned Salesforce professionals. Our instructor also runs an Admin 201 exam prep session to help our participants achieve that Certification badge of honor.   

Bottom line, Accenture and Merivis recognize the potential in cloud technologies as well as our veteran community. Pairing our countries finest with one of the most innovative technologies in the world is truly a perfect fit.

About Accenture: Accenture is a leading global professional services company, providing a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations. Combining unmatched experience and specialized skills across more than 40 industries and all business functions – underpinned by the world’s largest delivery network – Accenture works at the intersection of business and technology to help clients improve their performance and create sustainable value for their stakeholders. With approximately 425,000 people serving clients in more than 120 countries, Accenture drives innovation to improve the way the world works and lives. Visit us at www.accenture.com

 

 

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