Meet Michele FitzGerald, Dynamics CRM Consultant
Experience: 4 years of Microsoft Dynamics CRM experience
Projects sought: Ideally part-time remote projects but open to various opportunities. Prefers long-term relationships with a client but happy to accommodate short-term as well.
Markets: USA focused but happy to work remotely for another time-zone
Other interests: Enjoys spending time with her family, good food, going to the beach; likes outside activities, and a bit of travelling.
- Sandra from 365 Freelance: Michele, thanks for taking the time to talk to us. What is your ideal role?
Michele: My ideal role would be project managing for companies who are trying to implement Dynamics CRM. I’m comfortable and experienced in doing both business analysis and project management so can drive both areas. I like to work with people who are really focussed on getting the most out of CRM – in the past, I’ve worked a lot with senior execs, CFOs for example, who push the products hard. Key for me is listening to what the client is trying to achieve, helping them frame this within a CRM context, and then doing it.
With regard to markets, I have experience in professional services, construction and real estate, but I’m interested in any kind of business, really.
- Sandra: What would you say are the key benefits of being a freelancer – specifically in the US market?
Michele: Being a freelancer, you can focus all your time and energy into performing well on individual projects as you’re not tied to the day-to-day distractions of being employed – and thus diluted. Also, the variety of working with different firms is really stimulating for me. I really like doing it.
Usually, for each new client, I get a burst of initial intense work, and once the main project is done, that’s followed-up with a series of smaller requests – for instance, some small additions, maybe a little customisation of workflows, top-up training and so on. And then, sometimes, they get a new project which they ask me to work on. Ideally, I’d like to have a total of 4 clients. I currently have two customers I’m working with on a long-term relationship, so I’m looking for two more!
3. Sandra: Please tell me a little about the qualifications you’ve taken and how they help you?
Michele: In terms of my certifications, I have the following:
- CRM 2011 customization and configuration
- QuickBooks ProAdvisor
- Project Management Professional (PMP).
Right now I am not pursuing a new certification, I am very focussed on applying MS CRM 2013 and ClickDimensions. My newest customer is implementing both ClickDimensions and 2013 and I’m doing customizations for them as well as trying to get the most out of the core packages. If somebody says ‘I want to do this and CRM can’t do it,’ I’ll take up the challenge and do my best to make it happen. We usually find a way!
Client needs and the software resources are always changing so I do a lot of reading and research on various technologies and techniques.
4. Sandra: The freelancer market in the US is quite developed; do you find projects easily? And are these projects mainly with partners or with end-users?
Michele: I’ve had more projects with end-users, but I can do either.
Good projects are often difficult to find. Mine have come from various sources: colleagues, LinkedIn, and from my relationship with ClickDimensions – which has been a great partner. I am also a member of CRMUG. I have used Craigslist, but I haven’t found it very effective.
From the other point of view, it’s also not easy for hiring end-user firms to find good talent either, so the way 365 Freelance puts contractors and hirers in touch directly is really great.
As a freelancer, I pretty much work by myself, but I have associates that I can share workload with if there is work needing extra resource or different skill sets.
- Sandra: What do you like about the 365 Freelance service?
Michele: I think it’s a really great concept: working with partners can be expensive for end-users in certain situations. If hiring end-user firms have a more direct way to get help with their projects, it’s often a lot more cost-effective for them – it certainly is when they’ve hired me!
Sandra: Thank you, Michele! It is great pleasure talking to someone as experienced as you!
About us: 365 Freelance is the first online platform that gives Dynamics partners and end-users instant access to hundreds of contractors. With a network spanning 76 countries, it allows companies to search for freelancers based on their skills, rates and available dates, enabling them to find the best person for their projects without incurring the hefty fees typical of recruitment agencies. Register here – www.365freelance.com