Alex Bautista is a Salesforce Certified Administrator experienced in the Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC). Connect with him on LinkedIn.

While transitioning from being a Climb Hire student to Climb Hire alumni and after attending my first Dreamforce, I want to take a moment to reflect and express my never-ending gratitude to Climb Hire.

My background

My name is Alex Bautista. I was born and raised in beautiful San Francisco. I have three pets. I love Muay Thai. I love anything that has to do with food. I’m an ex-wannabe Starcraft 2 professional gamer and a deeply family-oriented person. I also know what it feels like to overcome adversity, the struggles of life. That voice in your head telling you, “I won’t ever make it,” and, “I can’t do it.” Losing my mother to breast cancer in high school led me through a long spurt of panic-disorder and depression. I ended up taking pills every day, struggling with weight problems, seeing a psychiatrist a few times a month with no real direction towards my future. My grades suffered in junior college due to a lack of motivation spiraling into thoughts of self-doubt.

After a few years of downward motion, I had an important talk with myself and mustered up that little ounce of faith I still had deep down inside. I decided to flip the script on everything. I started exercising, eating healthy, weaned off my medication and switched majors. I was determined, motivated, and that voice in my head started saying things like, “You started college and now you’re going to finish it.” No one forced me to finish school. I just wanted to make my family proud.

Climbers had the opportunity to attend Dreamforce, Salesforce’s annual customer event that draws thousands of people from all over the world to San Francisco.

The path that brought me to Climb Hire

While it was exhilarating to finally finish and graduate, it was also a strange time. I had worked incredibly hard to achieve my goal and I expected jobs to come knocking at my door, but my phone never rang and no one responded to any of my job applications. Many dead ends. Thoughts started rushing back, “I’m still not good enough,” and, “What’s wrong with me?” I tried my best to keep grounded, telling myself that I’ve been in this position before and I was able to turn it around. Except this time, I didn’t have an obvious answer — I did what I was told and it didn’t bring the results I was looking for. Then I saw an advertisement for a new program called Climb Hire. It trained people up on the Salesforce Administrator role with 200 hours of soft and technical skills. I thought to myself, what do I have to lose? It was only a couple of weeks into Climb Hire, when I noticed things started to change for the better and this program was special.

Taking a break with the Climb Hire team

Climb Hire helped us discover the value we have within ourselves and the value each of us could bring to one another. They continuously emphasized that relationships matter and created a culture that revolved around our values –, joy, doing the hard work, building connections to one another, and overcoming adversity. Within no time, we became a community. During a session where we honed in on our strengths, I learned that I naturally feel empathy for people who feel alone or left out. Now I know I can use that as a driving factor to help anytime I see someone feeling excluded or left behind. Growing with Climb Hire helped me gain enough confidence and ability to not only help myself but others as well.

Having a technical background, I enjoyed learning Salesforce. Customizing an object or dashboard comes naturally to me. Process builder is fun!

Alex with the Climb Hire team at Dreamforce

What was more surprising was learning how rewarding it was to help fellow Climbers if they were struggling with the material. I know what it feels like to be confused and hopeless and Climb Hire gave me an opportunity to pay it forward. I especially enjoyed when someone asked me a theoretical question like, “When should I use record types?” or, “Why should this be an object and not a field?” Instead of teaching something step-by-step, or getting too technical, we had a casual conversation on how we understood a particular subject.

What comes next

Obviously, I feel ready to take on the Admin role full force after completing over 150 hours of technical training. Yet, it’s the relationships I built at Climb Hire that will always be the most valuable thing I got out of the program. We helped each other learn when we got stuck and through that experience, we became important to one another. We also experienced how good it felt to prop each other up when we were having a hard time. I’ll always remember the smiles on everyone’s face when a fellow Climber achieved success. Watching everyone’s faith in themselves start to grow proved to be very touching moments for me. As someone who’s been chasing their dreams for a long time, they inspire me to keep chasing. The people at Climb Hire showed me the true value of community and that we should hold on to it as much as we can. As we secure jobs in the coming months, I can’t wait to come back as a near peer and help the next cohort get an experience like this one too. And even better, I can’t wait to refer my fellow Climbers into job opportunities as they arise. We will serve as each other’s network and support system for years to come.

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