Alumni Stories: Juliette Coulanges-Pierre

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Military Spouse

Salesforce Administrator  Absolut Software

Tell me about the path you took to become a military spouse? 

My husband was in the Army. We have been married for ten years and have an eight year-old daughter. We moved from Arizona to Austin.

What are the benefits / challenges of being married to someone that is currently / or was previously serving?

Being married to a soldier made it very hard for me to find opportunities. A lot of companies won’t hire military spouses because of the possibility of moving, and when our husbands deploy they think we might not be committed to the job.

I was going to school while my husband deployed to Korea, with a full-time job working on a military base at Aafes as a supervisor at Popeyes, making $10.25 hourly, with an eight month-old baby. I didn’t have any family in Arizona who could help or babysit for me. It was really hard. It took me three years to finish a two-year associate degree.

What are some of the challenges you have faced in your career as a result of your role in a military family?

The hardest part was that I could not focus on a career. Where we used to live, it was a very small town with not too many opportunities available.  Personally, I did not know what I was going to do after my degree, maybe continue my education, but unsure I would find a good job with a good pay to support my family.

When my husband told me he wanted to leave the Army, we were both worried because that’s all we had and all we know.

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

My family was very strict. Education was very important to them. Moving from France to New York to continue my education was a huge step, and they were very proud. Now that I found a career within the Salesforce ecosystem, my mother is so proud and happy for me. 

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

I found Merivis though another alumni, Yann Germain-Tardieu. I saw him posting something about Salesforce training though Merivis on his Facebook page. I asked him about it and I did some research as well on Salesforce. My first thought was that I didn’t have any IT background, I couldn’t do this. Instead it has been a great and smooth transition.

What is your #MerivisMoment?

My favorite moment is every time we have a mixer. I like when we all get together, we can share all our experiences and learn a lot from them, too.

What are your career goals now that you are Salesforce certified?

My career goal is to have a few more certifications, maybe five more. Now that I am a sales operations manager and Salesforce admin, I would like to go toward the goal of being Senior Sales Ops to Director and later VP of Sales Operations. 

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?

I would say to keep pushing forward, It is not easy, this journey will be challenging, but don’t give up. Have persistence and patience. And always practice your Trailhead. It is a great way to build your experience.

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

Before I found Merivis, I was working for $19.50 an hour. My goal was to make $22.00 hourly. Merivis has given me the support, the training I need, and a whole community of great friends.

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

Strength, honesty, passion, happiness and a lot of encouragement. 

A lot of people talk about community when we talk to them about Merivis. What do you like about the Merivis community? 

What I like about the Merivis community, when all of us meet, we are like family. We talk about everything. And I know the board, coaches, and members of Merivis are there for me when I need advice.

How would you describe the people you’ve connected to through Merivis?

Family and awesome friends. I know I can call or text anytime I need advice or help. The board, members and alumni are always there to support.

If you could add something to Merivis, what would it be?

Merivis has helped me find the right career, and because of that I can set a goal. I am sure of where I want to go and where I want to be professionally. I want to thank all the board members, coaches, and instructors for always helping, guiding, supporting, and most importantly always pushing and encouraging me.

Connect with Merivis Graduate, Juliette Coulanges-Pierre on Linkedin

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