06 Feb John Garvens on Vetforce: “It changed my life.”
People join the military for a number of reasons.
For John Garvens, a senior consultant and technical trainer at Simplus, joining the military was a means to an end: a college degree.
In August 2003, Garvens began his studies in music education at Illinois State University. As a self-funded college student, Garvens realized early on how expensive college was going to be.
“I ran the numbers,” Garvens said. “College was expensive, and, if I didn’t find a way to pay for it, I was going to be in debt for the rest of my life.”
Garvens joined the Army Reserve in March 2004, starting his military career as a trombone player. He graduated from Illinois State University in May 2007 and attended a few semesters of graduate school before realizing a career as a musician was not for him.
Through a series of happy accidents and the discovery of Vetforce, Salesforce’s program for military veterans, Garvens stumbled upon a career in technology that changed the trajectory of his life.
“I would not be where I am today without Vetforce,” Garvens said. “It changed my life.”
What is Vetforce?
According to the Vetforce website, “Vetforce is the Salesforce job training and career accelerator program for military service members, veterans, and spouses. Through our online community, we connect our members to free training, classes, and career opportunities within the Salesforce ecosystem.”
Sponsored by Vetforce, Garvens took Salesforce’s ADM-201 and ADM-211 courses as well as the Administrator, Advanced Administrator, Platform App Builder, and CPQ Specialist exams. He passed all four exams on his first attempt.
“The support offered by Vetforce is incredible,” Garvens said.
The real impact of Vetforce
“Vetforce has had a massive impact on my Salesforce career,” said Garvens. And it shows.
Surprisingly, Garvens only began learning Salesforce in October 2014. In just three and a half years, Garvens has gone from Salesforce newbie to Salesforce expert, becoming a 7x Salesforce Certified Professional and 2x Salesforce Certified Instructor.
“I took to Salesforce like a fish to water,” he said.
As a senior consultant and technical trainer for Simplus, Garvens now specializes in Salesforce CPQ and teaches CPQ-201 and CPQ-211 classes on behalf of Salesforce, across the United States.
“My near-term goals are to become a Salesforce Certified Application Architect and Salesforce Certified System Architect,” said Garvens. “In the long run, I think it would be cool to become both a Salesforce Certified Technical Architect and Salesforce Certified Master Instructor.”
“While I am knowledgeable in constructing the Salesforce platform for clients, a career with Salesforce was the best thing I have ever built,” Garvens said. “As a trombone major in college, I didn’t have a business skill set to bring to the table in a hard sense. But they gave me all the opportunity in the world.”
In an effort to give back to the community that gave him so much, Garvens is now a Vetforce coach, helping veterans like him learn Salesforce, get certified, and find jobs.
“Serving others is incredibly fulfilling,” said Garvens. “Vetforce is a way I can give back in a high-impact, meaningful way.”