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The 8 683-Mile Dream Perspective
A Farm, a Tennis Player, and Information Technology ~ my story
How fun was it to be little? Almost everything seems to be Easy peasy lemon squeezy. I colorfully remember cows and chickens and big green tractors.
We lived in a magical place, a kind of wonderland for my brothers and I to play in – to us, it was no ordinary farm. Every weekend, we pretended to be farm managers, checking on our harvest, as we bicycled through mud puddles around the corn fields. During the week, my mom diligently taxied us back and forth to school and various sporting activities (proudly a ballerina and karate blue belt). The dusty roads leading into town did a fine job of turning my mom’s car into a rattlebox. I think it was right around the time when that old, white Passat station wagon was on its last legs, that we moved to town.
My home town, Lichtenburg, is a charming little place, in the North-West Province of South Africa. There is one decent grocery store, 2 pharmacies, lots of churches, and streets that are generously decorated with large potholes, and beautiful trees. I was about 15 years old, and our new house was equipped with a swimming pool, Jacuzzi, and a tennis court. It was a different kind of magic land; one that was a lot more suitable for a teenager to settle into. I soon learned that I can make a tennis ball fly, better than anybody else in town, and it wasn’t long before my dreams of playing in a big grand slam, like Wimbledon, was born.
Fast forward 2 years, and several tennis tournaments later… I found myself playing tennis for a University in Georgia. I was 17 years old, sufficiently overwhelmed with new challenges, but wholly in awe of the peach state. I guess you can say that I fell in love with the red, white, and blue. I was compelled to discover more, explore, and attend a bigger university - I transferred to the University of New Orleans.
WOW …. My first Mardi Gras, and a million miles removed from the smell of fresh cut fields in my small-town world.
As part of the University’s tennis team, we practiced for about 5 hours every day, and I could tell that it won’t be long before I am a tennis super star. You have to dream big, right? It wasn’t until we played against the University of Texas, that my dreams of becoming the next Steffi Graff, started fading gently into the Louisiana sunset. It was a sad feeling, as I congratulated their number 6 player on defeating me, 6-0, 6-1. I can probably expand on this story, but it deserves its own post.
In my senior year, the discovery of cool gadgets led me to gradually start immersing myself into a somewhat more ‘geeky’ side of life. It didn’t take very long at all to uncover my aptitude to design and configure computer software. After graduation, I returned to South Africa. While putting my marketing degree to good use in my first full-time job, I went on to obtain several IT related certifications. Armed with my bachelor degree, real sales and marketing experience, and lots of IT skills, the world of CRM (Customer Relationship Management) Software, was a perfect fit. Over the next 7 years, I worked for 2 large consulting firms in South Africa, designing and implementing CRM Software for companies in various industries.
When 2012 rolled around, I decided to move to United States. I am now a very proud member of Slalom Chicago’s Customer Engagement practice, where I work as a Salesforce.com consultant. Even more good fortune followed, and I ended up meeting my husband in the windy city.
.....Okie dokie – that’s enough of an introduction. Thanks for stopping by and exploring my site. I will be writing about salesforce.com, South Africa, our travels around the US, super foods, recipes, and much more. Come back to visit again, soon.