Mauricio Oliviera is living proof that leading through change begins by focusing on the needs of others, rather than your own.  

As a Principal Solution Engineer, Mauricio has been a strong part of Salesforce’s Canadian team for about three years now. Beyond his own professional success, however, Mauricio is one of those people who has recognized an opportunity to confront some tough challenges — challenges which ultimately led him to channel his energies into something bigger than himself. 

“I’m really proud to be here. Canada is my new home country, but one huge problem for a lot of new Canadians is a lack of local experience,” he says. “Regardless of where you’re from, if you haven’t worked with a Canadian company you’re going to have a hard time finding your career path.”


This is how Mauricio became the Trailblazer behind Salesforce For All, a program that helps newcomers to Canada learn valuable skills to help them find meaningful work. 

Much like the product workshops Salesforce conducts for its customers, Salesforce for All offers new Canadians ADM-201 training over a two-week period. This is followed by an event where they can meet with Salesforce partners and customers in the hopes of landing an internship and a fulfilling career. 

Salesforce For All started in Toronto with 15 students, 10 of which found jobs within the first two months of completing the program. Since then, Salesforce For All has attracted dozens of volunteers, and earned Maurcio a Trailblazer of the Year award, a moment he describes as a “supernatural” experience he never expected.

How Salesforce For All works

Working in partnership with ACCES Employment, a non-profit that connects companies with qualified employees, Salesforce for All began with a call for applications which was followed by interviews with those who responded. Salesforce employees collaborated on choosing the 15 finalists who became the program’s first cohort.

Even before participants met in person, they were assigned 30 hours of pre-work. Based on Trailhead, Salesforce’s online learning community, the pre-work involved developing a basic understanding of concepts like cloud computing so they could hit the ground running once sessions commenced.

The first week of the program is less focused on technology, rather honing in on developing soft skills. This includes training on how to enhance your resume, how to present yourself in a job interview and other aspects of personal branding. To Mauricio, these skills are key to developing an onramp to career success. 

“If I only give them Salesforce knowledge and they don’t know how to sell themselves, it’s not going to work,” he says. “This is something extra that can really make a difference.”

Week two involves a deep dive into the kind of Salesforce training that normally requires a significant investment, given the value it brings companies of any size. The program gives participants an inside look at how customer relationship management (CRM), marketing automation, artificial intelligence and other technologies can transform customer experiences and help businesses achieve new levels of growth. 

“This training is designed for people to work in sales, or perhaps in pre-sales and business development,” Mauricio says. “There’s not a strict requirement in terms of technical knowledge. If you know how to go to YouTube or use the web, we’ll give you what it takes to begin establishing yourself.”

Mauricio and the team keep participants engaged and motivated through online quizzes, for which they might receive prizes like a backpack of a pair of headphones. Better yet, at the end of the week participants got a chance to make presentations based on what they learned which were evaluated by the Salesforce Canada team. This included Salesforce Canada Country Manager, Margaret Stuart, who presented the winner with a MacBook as a prize. 

Salesforce for All could have ended there, but Mauricio says it was critical to ensure those who took part could have an opportunity to connect directly with industry. 

“In Canada Salesforce is growing fast, but a lot of companies with a demand for the right skills can’t find the professionals they’re looking for,” he pointed out. “That’s perfect in this case, because we have people who need jobs.”

This led to a mini job fair that brought together close to a dozen Salesforce customers and partners on the last day of the program. Several participants have since found employment as a result, where companies have offered internships to work on specific projects and then hire them full-time.

Despite COVID-19, Salesforce For All continues online from September 14 to September 28. Mauricio is more convinced than ever that it’s the kind of program that will prove crucial to the Canadian economy. 

“Canada is an incredible place to live and work, and digital transformation is changing every aspect of business” he says. “We need to make sure everyone has the chance to be a part of it.”