May 08, 2019
A community in the Cloud
By: Gigi Fateh-Iravani

Starting out
After studying Chemistry at university and working for a tech start-up for half a year, I ended up joining a small boutique consulting firm. I realised that I liked the consulting side of things but wanted to get more involved in Technology - so I applied to Accenture 4 years ago and have been here ever since.

I joined as an Analyst not really knowing what Salesforce was to be honest but was aligned to the Salesforce Business Group and started my first role on a project where we implemented Salesforce. The reason I’ve stayed in the Salesforce space is that there’s always new things to learn, but even more so it’s the people I work with and the community that I’m part of – that’s kept me here.

Building on experience
Why is Salesforce exciting? Salesforce was one of the big Cloud technologies that came onto the scene over 15 years ago, and ever since then it seems to have constantly evolved to keep up with the way businesses are changing.

I have worked across the suite: Service and Sales Cloud right at the beginning of my career with some Marketing Cloud too and more recently have worked with Community Cloud and Lightning. Personally, I enjoy working on projects where we design solutions that focus on user and customer experience, so working with Community Cloud and thinking about how to engage with customers has been great.

Learning in the New
When I first joined Accenture, I remember a Managing Director saying that ‘each day at work you should have the feeling of butterflies in your stomach’ – and I think that’s true to an extent. I always want to be challenged and learn new things, and I think being pushed out of your comfort zone is sometimes the best way to do so.

When it comes to improving your knowledge on Salesforce as well as new methodologies for Project Delivery, there are a myriad of opportunities and people who will support you in achieving goals. There is a suite of training resources, online and in person as well as support for getting Salesforce Certified. As a community we hold regular lunchtime ‘Brown Bag’ sessions where you can learn from your peers about an interest or exciting project they are working on, and alongside that we have our Salesforce Business Group Methodology Academy to teach everyone within our community best ways of working and how our Projects are delivered.

My community
What I love about working within this practice area of Accenture is that to me it feels almost like a little bubble in what is quite a large company. There are around 150 people in our UK practice and we have our own office too but can be working with colleagues and clients from all over the world. That means we get the best of both – having not only a tight community feel but also a huge global network of specialists that we can reach out to and learn from.

At Accenture there’s a big focus on diversity in the workplace and personal growth as well as some great clubs to get involved with depending on your interests. One that I’ve been a member of since day one is the Accenture Hockey Club, and within our Salesforce practice I help organise our community events.

There’s also plenty of opportunities to get involved with charity projects – alongside the three charity days a year that is offered at Accenture, we also have our ADP Partnership, which is a way to use your skills in a different setting. I worked on an ADP project last summer for a local charity in London that supported youth clubs. We helped them identify ways to improve their Salesforce capabilities and did a four-month stint of making enhancements to the service. Although it presented its own unique challenges, it was a great and rewarding experience.

If you would like grow your own career within our Salesforce community, you can find out more about our opportunities here.

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