My Salesforce Story: Zarina Varley Scott

Like so many people in this ecosystem, I found Salesforce by accident. Back in the day I studied Music Business and Public Relations - and I should also add that I don’t have a college degree. I moved from Sydney, Australia to Toronto, Canada in 2011 for one year on an adventure, but I met a boy and just celebrated the 6th anniversary of one one year voyage!

So when I first moved here, I took a contract job as an Administrative Assistant for a year, but as you all know, I’m still here in Canada. I’m also still at the same company, over the years progressing to Executive Assistant, and IT Coordinator.

And it is at this point, dear reader, that the story gets interesting. I had been the “System Administrator” for our former CRM system, and come 2017 found out we were going to be moving over to Salesforce. At the time it “made sense” that I could continue to be our System Admin, but boy did I not realise what I was getting myself in for!

We worked with an implementation partner, and I helped with the transition and import… but then I was given the keys to the castle, and I fell in love. I felt like a kid in a candy store - there was so much to sample! It was at this point that I started my learning journey on Trailhead, and managed to convince my employer to send me to TrailheaDX 2018 conference and bootcamp.

...and this was where everything changed. I not only learned the skills to get certified, but I met so many amazing people, including a life changing session on Women in Tech Community groups and getting involved with the Trailblazer Community. I came home with a new set of friends all over North America, and a new passion for the community. I bought a brand new notebook to fill with my Salesforce goals and learnings, and right near the top of the “long term” list was “Ontario Dreamin.”

I was told by new friend from TDX, Misty Jones, that the person I needed to meet in the Toronto Community was Geoff Flynn, Answers Board wizard and Practice Area Lead at Slalom, and as luck would have it, we were scheduled at the same Trailblazer Community shift at 2018 Toronto World Tour! We had a great chat about the local community, and about my dreams of Ontario Dreamin… and then a few weeks later I got an email from Sarah Deutsch Thornton. Geoff had mentioned she get in touch with me, as she was already working on Canada Dreamin!

Sarah and I became friends instantly and started the ball rolling with the rest of the team on what took form to be True North Dreamin! Since then we’ve spoken nearly every week and have become great friends in the process. I’ve also been using Salesforce more and more at work, and it has had such an impact that I was recently promoted to the title of Technology & Project Manager.

So fast forward to 2019 World Tour, and Sarah and I, as well as some of the other amazing TND team met for the first time in person! She, her husband Scott and Aleks all sat with me when I was awarded the Salesforce Gold Hoodie in front of thousands of people.

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I am so incredibly excited to be involved in bringing the first ever Salesforce Community event to the Canadian Salesforce Ohana. It’s connected me with so many wonderful people and given me the chance to help others learn and connect in a way that I have been so lucky to experience.

Looking forward to meeting you in Ottawa on July 11 and 12!

Zarina Varley Scott