Hi, I’m Vanna.  I live in Los Angeles, just 15 minutes away from LAX, and I love to powerlift in my spare time. 

I came to Calbright because I’d been working for Starbucks for 15 years, and I didn’t just need a new job, I needed a whole new industry.  I’d been in the food service industry for so long, and I was getting so frustrated. The pandemic really took a toll on me mentally and physically, because that job had me on my feet all day. Trying to do all that and do my weightlifting, it got very hard on my body.

So I left Starbucks in the middle of the pandemic and was looking for a whole different kind of career. A friend suggested that I try learning to use Salesforce: I already have the people skills and experience working with customers. Using this technology could take that to the next level and open new opportunities. I looked into it and thought: that’s something I can do. I’ll give it a try.

But all the classes in Salesforce that I found cost around $4,000. It was ridiculous. I already had student loans, I certainly couldn’t pay that. I didn’t want to pay anything if I could help it. So I did more research, and then I found Calbright. It was free, and teaching exactly what I wanted. 

Enrolling was easy. Everyone was very welcoming and supportive, and they had so many ways of connecting people and working together. That’s something I really like about Calbright, but I also like to study on my own, and the whole program is designed to let me do that when I want. 

I’ve passed my Salesforce Associates exam, but haven’t yet passed the full certification. I work now as a customer service rep for a company I really like, it’s a much better job. They don’t use Salesforce but they do use their own Customer Relations Management software that they built themselves. 

I understand that Calbright will be adding more programs soon, and I’m very excited about some of them – I’ll definitely be enrolling again! If someone’s wondering whether they should go to Calbright, I say: do it! It’s free, you can study at your own pace, at your own time. And you can do it on top of a full time job, just like me. 

I’d also tell people to take advantage of the flexibility. When I started, I was so set on having really strict deadlines for everything, and any time I didn’t meet them I’d get super demoralized. But you don’t have to rush. Take your time, understand the material. Take advantage of the help and the community here. It’s a really welcoming environment, and people really can help you find a job.