MEET AMBER BAUMANN
Hometown: Highlands Ranch, CO
Apprenticeship: Dentsu International
MY BACK STORY
Growing up, I was all over the place thinking what I wanted to do. At one point I thought I wanted to be a lawyer. At another point, in high school, I thought I wanted to be in the medical field as a physician assistant. So I did an internship and realized I did not want to do that.
MY EDUCATION (Part 1)
I went to college at Western State, in Gunnison, which is in the mountains. It’s about four hours away from home. And I started out with a biology and exercise sports science double major. Then, halfway through that, I switched over to psychology. When I graduated with a degree in psychology, I was considering going back to school and getting my doctorate in the research realm. But then, once I was out of school and kind of did some more digging and learning, I realized I didn’t really want to be in academia.
MY EDUCATION (Part 2)
That realization launched me into wanting to travel to Europe, at least for a little while. Just to explore and kind of figure things out. So, right out of college I moved to Prague to teach English. I had never traveled to Europe or anything like that, but I just decided to do that all myself. I didn’t really want to teach English, I just wanted to explore. But I thought teaching was a good way to immerse myself in a different culture, and it gave me a way to make money while doing that.
I went to 10 different countries, mostly Eastern Europe, some Western Europe. My mom is from Norway, so I went to Norway and got to meet some family members while I was there. It was pretty amazing.
MY WORK LIFE (Part 1)
After four months of being in Prague, I decided to move back to Colorado. I wanted to be back in the mountains again. So when I moved back, I moved to Crested Butte, which a lot of Western graduates do. And I just started working on the mountain. I also worked in restaurants, and I ended up getting my yoga teacher’s certification and started teaching yoga. I got really immersed in that kind of space. I tell people I started it because I had debilitating lower back pain, and it healed me physically. And then I realized it also worked in other ways as well. I still teach twice a week.
Then the guy I was dating—who’s now my fiancé—decided that he wanted to move to Northwest Arkansas for mountain biking opportunities. And just jobs and whatnot. I’d never been to Arkansas, but I was kind of wanting to leave Colorado since I’d been there my whole life. Also, living in Crested Butte, I had three jobs consistently, but sometimes it would fluctuate up to like six jobs at a time, just to pay for things. I was really tired of that lifestyle.
MY WORK LIFE (Part 2)
We moved to Northwest Arkansas in May of 2019. I was hired as a wellness coordinator at Bentonville’s Blake Street House, which is like a social wellness club through Runway Group, one of the Waltons’ businesses. And it was actually a really cool opportunity because it was a startup concept. The first day that I showed up, there was no manager. So for the next few months my co-worker and I took on the task of building the wellness department from the ground up.
So that’s who I worked for from June 2019 to March of 2020. During part of that same period, I was guiding trips for 37 North Expeditions, based in Springdale. We would do wellness-based retreats and hikes, combining yoga and hiking. Some of them were day trips, and some were weekend trips.
MY TURNAROUND MOMENT
I had realized I didn’t want to be in the wellness industry anymore, but I hadn’t figured out what I did want to do. So I was having coffee with an acquaintance and she mentioned that she was doing this program through LaunchCode. She told me all about it, and, honestly, I initially just kind of blew it to the side. Then the algorithms worked and I saw an ad on Instagram for the program my friend had been talking about.
I looked into it, and even though I had no experience in tech whatsoever, I was interested. And it was free, so I was, like, I’ll just try it out and see if I like it. I studied full stack web development programming at LaunchCode from October of 2020 to June of 2021, and it turns out that I loved it.
MY WORK LIFE (Part 3)
LaunchCode and ACDS were partners, so throughout the boot camp, Lonnie Emard and a couple other people from ACDS would pop in and just talk with us. Or they would bring in an employer to tell us what they do and what their needs are, and how they’ve worked with apprentices in the past. So my relationship with ACDS was fostered initially within the boot camp. Then after completing LaunchCode, I worked with ACDS to help me find my next role, which turned out to be a three-month internship in graphic design and UX design with a company called IIC. It was part of ACDS’s work-based-learning program.
After the internship ended, I worked closely with Ashley and Kristen at ACDS on finding a job. And that’s how I got this apprenticeship with Dentsu, the global marketing and advertising company. I started in January, and my title is Salesforce Associate. This is the first program of its kind that Dentsu is doing, so we’re kind of the guinea pigs for figuring it out as we go.
Salesforce is a CRM system that’s Cloud-based. And it’s huge—businesses all over the world use it for a variety of reasons. I actually used it when I was working at Crested Butte Mountain Resort. We used it as our point-of-sale system for selling the tickets, but there are so many different things that it can be used for. A lot of companies use it to help their sales team in tracking opportunities and leads. It can be used for marketing, and also customer service support. Something I’m really interested in that they came out with recently is their Sustainability Cloud. They’re helping businesses analyze and measure and meet their net zero goals.
Currently we apprentices are focusing on getting Salesforce certifications. A few weeks ago, they put us through training for the Salesforce System Administrator certification. I took that exam last week and passed, so now the next certification will be for the Salesforce Service Cloud.
With this apprenticeship, we’re getting these base certifications so we can learn and understand Salesforce better. Then from that point, they’ll be able to direct us to different teams of what we’re interested in. In a couple years, I would like to be a Salesforce Developer—that’s my end goal.