Empowering Success: The Journey with PepUp Tech and Salesforce
Empowering Success: The Journey with PepUp Tech and Salesforce

Empowering Success: The Journey with PepUp Tech and Salesforce

11/01/2023 by Tiffany Stephan
By sharing these stories and advocating for programs like PepUp Tech, we hope to inspire others who may be facing similar challenges.

With amazing (and free!) tools like Trailhead and YouTube, you can learn everything you need to know about the Salesforce platform and become a System Administrator within a few badges, but is that enough to get you a job as a complete beginner? For some, maybe. For a lot of people though, that isn’t the case and it’s not for lack of trying either. 

As the tech industry grows and more people try to break into it, it has become increasingly harder to make a name for yourself in the Salesforce ecosystem, especially as an underrepresented individual. Not only do you need to have time to learn a platform as big and powerful as Salesforce, you also need a great support system in place to connect you with the right people and help you along your journey. Unfortunately, that can be really hard to find if you don’t know where to look.

That was the case for three Arkies…until they found PepUp Tech, a free program dedicated to providing training, support, and opportunities to empower individuals from diverse backgrounds. 

Two Arkies, Danny and Anne, at the Salesforce Tower in San Francisco with Golden Hoodies and Trailblazers

Here are their stories. 

Tiffany’s Journey

Two consecutive layoffs left me disheartened and uncertain about my professional future. Feeling the weight of the competitive job market, I stumbled upon PepUp Tech and they offered me a lifeline — a chance to not only gain valuable Salesforce skills but also find a supportive community of like-minded individuals who understood the unique challenges we faced. This program served as a catalyst for change, igniting a fire within me to reclaim control over my career trajectory.

PepUp Tech provided an immersive and comprehensive training experience, equipping me with the knowledge, skills, and confidence needed to excel in the Salesforce ecosystem. Through interactive lessons, mentorship programs, and hands-on projects, I delved into the intricacies of Salesforce administration.

The program's emphasis on practical application and real-world scenarios allowed me to gain hands-on experience, ensuring I was not only knowledgeable but also prepared to tackle the challenges of the job market head-on. The constant support and guidance from mentors and peers further boosted my confidence and propelled me forward.

One of the pivotal moments in my journey with PepUp Tech was successfully passing the Salesforce Administrator exam. It was a testament to the program's effectiveness and the dedication I had invested. This certification became a powerful validation of my skills, opening doors to new opportunities and propelling my career forward.

The Salesforce ecosystem, with its ever-growing demand for skilled professionals, provided me with a multitude of career options. Armed with my certification, I was able to demonstrate my expertise and differentiate myself in a competitive job market, ultimately securing a position at Arkus, Inc.

My experience with PepUp Tech has instilled in me a deep desire to pay it forward and help others like myself. The impact of this program extends beyond my personal success story; it represents a broader opportunity to uplift underrepresented individuals and bridge the diversity gap in the tech industry.

Connect with Tiffany Stephan on LinkedIn.

Anne’s Journey

Growing up in the Philippines, there was really only one option pushed on me as far as a career goes and that was Education. That’s what I had planned to specialize in ever since I began thinking about jobs as a teen. Nevermind the fact that I didn’t particularly like the field or that I was a huge nerd when it came to tech. It was stable and I knew I could do it if I worked hard. 

Fast-forward to January 2022, I had two bachelor's degrees in English and Communications and a job as a Student Experience Specialist doing everything that a teacher didn’t. I had worked very hard and got into the line of work I set out for, but I definitely did not feel stable.  Despite my credentials, I was stuck. The only way I could advance would be to go back to school and amass a large amount of debt and hope that would be enough, which likely it wouldn’t have been. 

I had no idea what to do and I constantly felt overwhelming dread when I thought about my situation. Something had to change, I just didn’t know what. A month later, Danny joins PepUp Tech (see his story below) and I heard tidbits of what Salesforce is, my interest immediately piqued. A world where you actually get what you put into it? That felt like a dream. So, I thought, “What’s the worst that could happen?” and applied for the program.

From day one, I was hooked. I was on Trailhead practically every single day, learning as much as I could about the platform. At the same time, I was lucky enough to build my Salesforce Ohana right inside the program, connecting with everyone I could inside PepUp Tech and eventually meeting my mentors Tony Nguyen and Evan Decker. Everyone around me made sure that I had everything I needed to succeed and I did just that.

A week before the end of my cohort, I passed my Salesforce Administrator exam. That was only the beginning for me though as a week after that, I earned my first job in the ecosystem as a Business Analyst/Salesforce Consultant because I demonstrated the ability to create a trickey flow. With the newfound confidence PepUp Tech and my Ohana instilled in me, I decided to keep going on my certification journey and ended up getting one certification a month, every month, for 12 months, each time passing on the first try! This was by far my proudest accomplishment and I definitely wouldn’t have been able to go through with it without PepUp Tech and Arkus, Inc. behind me. 

Arkies from PepUp Tech group photo at Dreamforce 23

To say my life has turned completely upside down (in a good way) would be an understatement. It has genuinely altered my future for the better, giving me opportunities I never would have had otherwise. In a little over a year, I was able to travel to San Francisco for Dreamforce, present a solution on Automate This, had my session picked for Dreamforce 2023, and earned my position at my top-choice consultancy, Arkus, as a Technical Consultant. None of this would have been possible without PepUp Tech and everything it gave me beyond just training.

Connect with Anne Powell on LinkedIn.

Danny’s Journey

In a dead end job with very little prospects, I was very uncertain and even scared of what my future would look like. The initial plan was to pursue a degree. Of what? I didn’t know and, honestly, I didn’t think it mattered. Why? Because that’s what I was told to do if I wanted to become successful, even more so if I wanted to move up in the world. The idea of school and putting myself into debt certainly wasn’t appealing to me, but I thought I had no choice. 

All of that changed when I ran into an old friend I hadn't seen in a while and I asked them, “What have you been up to?” 

They told me about a tech job they’d just landed, as well as a certain program that helped them get it. PepUp Tech. To be honest, I was skeptical of it at first. It seemed a bit too good to be true and I felt, if not thrilled, then at least somewhat comfortable in my job at the time, plus I was admittedly scared. What if it didn’t work? But then I decided to take the biggest leap of faith I’ve ever made and applied for the cohort…because what if it did work? I was accepted and three weeks later, I was in my first class. From that point on, what was possible for someone like me, a Hispanic first-generation high-school graduate, opened up far beyond anything I could imagine. I was doing things I never thought I could ever do and, in the process, broke a cycle within my family by pursuing a career in tech. 

This did not come easy though and definitely required a lot of sacrifice. There were days I’d work for ten hours only to get home and put in another four or five hours of studying on Trailhead or Focus on Force to make sure I was completely prepared to take my certification exam. It all paid off in the end when a company approached me to interview for a junior Salesforce administrator position which eventually landed my first role in the ecosystem! I will forever be grateful to PepUp Tech for this since they were the reason the company even knew about me. Without PepUp Tech’s partner-hosted workshops, which is how the company found me, I may have spent months trying to network with the right people all by myself and still might not have had the same luck. 

That’s not the only way PepUp Tech’s network has benefited me. Aside from introductions to companies, they also connect you with actual people working in the industry who graciously volunteer their time to the program, highlighting their roles and talking about their journeys. That’s how I met my mentors, Tony and Evan who are both Golden Hoodies! (Yes, they did mentor both Anne and me!) Throughout the course, they were always ready to assist with any topics we were confused about, shared their experiences, and guided us down the right path. Without them and their help, I don’t know where I’d be right now.

Long story super short, PepUp Tech changed my life. Their goal is to allow underrepresented people the opportunity to join the tech community and, even better, the Salesforce Ohana. The friendships, lessons, and experiences they’ve provided me accomplishes just that and are more valuable that I can put into words. I never would have thought that a simple question like “what have you been up to?” could undeniably alter the course of my life for the better, but it did and I couldn’t be happier. 

Connect with Danny Lopez on LinkedIn. 

Why Share This?

By sharing these stories and advocating for programs like PepUp Tech, we hope to inspire others who may be facing similar challenges. We firmly believe that with the right support, training, and determination, individuals from all walks of life can thrive in the Salesforce ecosystem just like our Arkies have. 

On the surface, these programs may seem like just another curriculum to follow, but it’s so much more than that. They are transformative experiences that will not only accelerate your career, but also provide you with a renewed sense of purpose and community. They empower you to overcome setbacks, embrace new challenges, and unlock your potential all while breaking barriers and creating a more inclusive tech industry where everyone’s contributions are celebrated. 

Would you like to learn more about making this journey? Connect with Arkus on LinkedIn. If you're curious about working with the Arkus team, reach out to us using our contact form.