Susannah St-Germain was recently named a Salesforce MVP along with 32 other dynamic and impressive Salesforce experts. Salesforce MVP selections recognize community leaders who go above and beyond to be there for others in the Trailblazer Community.
Susannah’s Story: From Musician to Salesforce MVP
Susannah takes inspiration from her background and training, which was unconventional for a technical architect. “I went to college for music. I play the viola and thought that I’d be a musician when I grew up,” she said. She found, however, that her life’s journey would take a different path. After college, she started working at nonprofits doing fundraising work and says she was introduced to Salesforce “by chance” but ended up “absolutely hooked.”
She cites her musical roots for her knack for learning new things quickly. While working as the director of development operations, Susannah was in charge of customizing the nonprofit’s platform to track donations and donors. Within a year she was a certified Salesforce admin. “I started shifting more and more toward a technical IT role,” she said, “until one day I was hired as a technical lead at Boston Scientific.”
Her career continues to move forward on a rapid trajectory. “I now have 19 certifications and I recently joined Odaseva as a technical architect. I jumped at the opportunity to work at Odaseva, an ISV founded by Salesforce Certified Technical Architect Sovan Bin. After working at a large corporation, having the opportunity to work in a smaller shop with some of the brightest people in the ecosystem was an opportunity I couldn’t turn down.”
Taking time to learn new things is one of Susannah’s top priorities, and she shares her knowledge of Salesforce well beyond her regular workday. “I’m the co-lead of the Boston Admin Community Group, co-lead of Ladies Be Architects (LBA), and a RAD Women Code graduate and coach. Whether it’s meeting with my #Ohana in Boston, coaching women virtually as part of RAD Women, or leading sessions at Community Conferences with LBA, I love giving back to the community.”
Finding like-minded people to engage with has really made a difference, Susannah said. Although being in the Salesforce ecosystem for more than seven years, she has become very active only in the last two years. ”It took me a while to ‘find my tribe,’” she said. “I’m really shy and don’t always like to mingle at events. But through the Trailblazer Community, I have met the most inspirational people—in particular, my co-leads of LBA, founder Gemma Emmet and Charly Prinsloo. We lift each other up as we pursue CTA certification and have built an amazing community of more than 1,000 women who are pursuing various Salesforce architect certs. Together, our community members have earned 36,000+ Trailhead badges and 750+ certifications.”
Salesforce MVP, What’s Next?
In addition to these accomplishments, Susannah continues to set even bigger goals for herself. “In 2020 I finally feel like I’m ready to put in the time necessary to prepare myself for the CTA at the end of the year.” She admitted that she might not reach that goal, but is determined to put in her best effort. She is also committed to sharing her preparation experience with her community. “If there are things that I find helpful I’ll share them, and I’ll also share the things that aren’t working, so other people can learn from my experience,” she said. Because working in a community demands two-way communication, she has asked readers to feel free to contribute advice. “Please correct me when I’m wrong, or cheer me on from the sidelines. I’m sharing to keep myself accountable but also to document the journey,” she said.
Connect with Susannah
You can find more information about Susannah on her featured Trailblazers page or on her Trailblazer.me profile. Susannah is also active on Twitter and blogs regularly about her architect journey at www.accidentaladmintoawesomearch.com.