Alumni Stories: Desmond Roman

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US Navy 2006 to 2011

Partner Program Operations Specialist Salesforce

Why did you join the military?

I lacked direction after attending a few years of college and was not in my career of choice. So I joined the military in hopes that it would provide me the structure I was seeking and an opportunity to travel the globe.

What were your role and your responsibilities while you were serving?

I was an Information Systems Technician Petty Officer 2nd Class and was responsible for operating and coordinating automated networks, data links and circuits. I also applied diagnostic, corrective, and recovery techniques to information systems within my shop.

What are you most proud of?

The award I received from my command OIC for being an exceptional sailor and shipmate. It was rewarding being recognized by leadership for my ability to be adaptable and lead others within my shop as a junior sailor.

What is the one thing you miss about your time in the military?

I miss the camaraderie that I had in my shop. The Navy provided that sense of community and belonging that is hard to match in the civilian sector.

Where did you grow up, what kind of family did you come from?

I grew up moving all across southern California with my single mother. My mother is an inspiration and the reason that I am here today. She has always been an unwavering presence and supported me through many trials and tribulations. My mother instilled in me a strong work ethic, character, honor, and integrity. Us Romans pride ourselves on our ability to persevere and adapt!

How did you find Merivis? What about the program made you join?

 I am beyond blessed to say that Merivis found me! I remember meeting up with Hector at Kick Butt Coffee in Austin, TX, way back in the fall of 2015 and discussing what the Merivis program was and how I could participate and change my career trajectory. Hector’s passion was palpable and I knew that this was something that I wanted to be a part of.

What is your #MerivisMoment?

My #MerivisMoment is when I reached back out to Hector in January of 2019 and asked if I could participate in the program yet again. I was beyond nervous about the outcome of the conversation and wondering if after four years that there would be resentment or disdain. However, it was the complete opposite. I got off of that phone call with Hector and was ecstatic to be welcomed back like family. I knew at that moment that my life would change and I had begun my Merivis journey.

What is one skill or value military and/or military spouses have that would benefit a hiring organization?

Veterans and military spouses possess the ability to adapt to a rapidly changing environment without blinking an eye. It is ingrained into the makeup of a veteran and milspouse not to be deterred by a task or challenge, rather to rise to the challenge and utilize the resources and support around them to deliver results.

Sum up your Merivis experience in just one word.


If you could give one piece of advice to new students going through the Merivis program what would that be?

To see the process all the way through to the end. If you stick with the program and utilize the resources that Merivis provides you, there is no end in sight to the opportunities that will await you. I myself was a part of the very first cohort that Merivis put together in 2015. However, my life took me a different direction and I was unable to see the process through. It sat in the back of my mind for the four years that I worked at my previous employer until I finally made the decision to change my life. The only thing you have to do is not quit.

How has your life and/or career changed as a result of the Merivis program, resources, and community?

I was able to gain not only employment as a result of the Merivis program, but an entire family and community of folks who are passionate about the ecosystem and supporting our veterans. I am now a Partner Program Operations specialist with none other than the mothership, Salesforce. I can say without an iota of doubt I would not have had this opportunity had it not been for Merivis.

What’s something that you get out of Merivis that you don’t find anywhere else?

Merivis has a network of alumni and Salesforce professionals that will genuinely do anything to help you succeed on your journey. It provides you with a level of executive buy-in that would be hard to find otherwise.

Connect with Merivis Graduate, Desmond Roman on Linkedin

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