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My Ada x Salesforce Industry Project Experience

Monica Zacharia

I joined Ada the National College for Digital Skills in September 2019. I am currently studying a BTEC Diploma in Computer Science and will soon begin my A level in Graphic Design. I love being involved in college life, so I enjoy taking part in the open evenings and have joined the self defence and yearbook club. As a student I believe we all have a voice. Working my way up from student representative, I am now the current Student Voice Vice President and have helped the college host many charity events.

All Ada students are able to partake in many unique activities, whether that is taking part in industry projects, or attending the networking events that the college hosts. Being quite tech-savvy, I am never one to turn down a tech-challenge! I've now faced a number of challenging projects in college which have allowed me to step out of my comfort zone, teaching me resilience and determination. 

Towards the end of December 2019, the college hosted its first industry project of the year. Working alongside Salesforce, the three-day project required us to minimise the workload of admissions staff for recruiting students to the college using Salesforce's software.

Our individual groups consisted of a Project Manager, Business Lead, User Discovery Lead, Technical 1 and Technical 2. During the three days, we attended workshops for each role whilst spending time with the volunteers and got an insight into the work life at Salesforce.  

Meeting old Ada students who now do apprenticeships with Salesforce is very inspiring; knowing that if I continue to work hard, one day that potentially could be me.

My role for this challenge was Project Manager, however on the first day of the challenge two of my team members fell ill and were unable to continue working on the project. As a team of three compared to other groups who had five/six members (some that had previous experience in industry projects) I was definitely nervous, with a million thoughts running through my head about the amount of pressure our group would be under and how we were going to complete this challenge in the short amount of time we were given. However, I did not see this as a setback. I saw it as a fantastic opportunity to showcase how amazing our team worked under pressure, and the unique individual skills that each of us brought to the team. As Project Manager, I took it upon myself to find what we missed in the business and technical workshop (as we had no one from our team that attended them). I had to teach myself how to use the Salesforce software whilst managing all the other work I was doing. Luckily, we had an amazing volunteer from Salesforce that led us in the right direction and we managed to complete the challenge. 

Our team then got selected in the top 5 to present in front of the whole college, everyone from Salesforce, and the judging panel. This then became a mental challenge and I knew I had to take charge. Not only did I have to motivate myself but encourage the rest of our team and give them a pep talk. I’m so glad to say that our team won the project out of 25 teams. It is definitely a feeling I will never forget.

This project truly meant a lot to me. It taught me the importance of communication, working in a team, and how to keep a professional manner. The amount of support the college gave us and having over 30 Salesforce volunteers is what made this project so great. Meeting old Ada students who now do apprenticeships with Salesforce is very inspiring; knowing that if I continue to work hard, one day that potentially could be me.


Find out more about our Ada x Salesforce Industry project:


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