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Firebrand Training’s 2021 Tech Pro Role Models: The Career Changer

Continuing our Tech Pro Role Models campaign with Cindy Haast, a trainer at Firebrand. Check out the following to hear her story!

Having started her career in sales and marketing, Cindy realised that her real passion lay in implementing new CRM tools to help develop businesses. 

From that point on, Cindy quickly caught the Microsoft Dynamics bug and gained various qualifications in quick succession before becoming a fully certified Microsoft Certified Trainer. 
Joining the Firebrand team as a full-time Dynamics and Frameworks Trainer, Cindy is passionate that technology can drive fundamental changes to how companies do business.

We spoke with her to find out more...

So Cindy, tell us a little bit about yourself?

I was born in the Netherlands but moved to the UK to study international business and languages. 
As my English wasn’t great, I originally came for a 1-year term studying and working in Newcastle-upon-Tyne to improve my language skills. And yes, I do have a slight Geordie accent! 
I’ve moved around the UK, but I’ve settled back in Newcastle with my partner Dan. 
I love salsa dancing and even travel up and down the country for it. I also enjoy a good Zumba workout and training in the gym a few times a week.

How did you get into tech?

I got into tech by accident. After 20 years of working in mid-to-senior Marketing, Sales and Business Development positions, my heart just wasn’t in selling products anymore.
I started to realise that I did enjoy making a difference to the organisations where I worked by implementing new CRM tools and managing the sales process. 
My very first CRM tool was built over 20 years ago using a Microsoft Access database, but it wasn’t until I came across Microsoft Dynamics that I realised that I could be the one building a CRM tool for a client from the ground up.

While working as a Project Manager on a Microsoft Dynamics 365 Finance and Operations implementation, I quickly gained my Dynamics Functional Consultant Certification combined with Dynamics for Sales, and Dynamics for Marketing. 
Before I knew it, I became a Microsoft Certified Trainer. 
The more I learned myself, the more my interest in the Dynamics product and the Microsoft Power Platform grew. 
I spent a few years working as a Lead Functional Consultant, and I proudly gained my certification as a Solution Architect (supported by TOGAF and ITIL framework certifications as well).

What do you do in your current role?

I’m a Lead Functional Consultant which sees me predominantly implementing Dynamics 365 SalesMarketing and Customer Service solutions. I also manage integrations within the Microsoft Power Platform
I’ve been delivering training courses with Firebrand for some time now and I’m delighted to be joining full time as a Dynamics and Frameworks Trainer. 
I find it really rewarding helping companies achieve their Microsoft Gold Partner status while also enhancing individuals’ knowledge and career prospects. 
It’s a great feeling every single time another delegate passes their exam after coming on one of my courses!

Continuous learning is so important, especially with technology moving on so quickly. Thanks to Firebrand’s range of courses, I’ve been able to expand my knowledge across multiple areas as well.

What advice would you give to your younger self when you were starting out in tech?

The main piece of advice I would give is to follow your heart. Find out what interests you - I never intentionally moved into tech but at the end of the day, it drives how organisations do business and how you as a consumer interact with companies when you buy products or services. 
I’m proud to work in tech. You don’t have to be a coding wizard, or know how to build computers to be in tech. 
With the Microsoft Power Platform, we’re working with no and low code - it’s incredible what can be achieved with that technology.

Get Certified With a Microsoft Gold Partner for Learning 

As a Microsoft Gold Partner for Learning, training with Firebrand will mean you'll get access to Microsoft Official Curriculums (MOCs), official courseware, learn from Microsoft Certified Trainers (MCTs), all in a distraction-free environment.