Alumni Network Spotlight - Nicole Smith


May 28, 2021

Theresa Ludvigson
& T.J. Vilardi


“Salesforce Continues to Raise the Bar”

Meet current #SaleforceAlumni, Nicole Smith. Nicole has been a part of the Salesforce Alumni Network for the past year. Read how Salesforce helped shape her career into what it has become today in our next Salesforce Alumni Spotlight.

Her Salesforce Journey

As Nicole puts it, her Salesforce journey is a “wild one.” And after listening to her speak about it, we can all definitely agree. Nicole might be the only person in Salesforce history to be hired via social media. As she told us, “In 2017, I won ChooseATL’s Ultimate Job Interview Contest, and it turns out that my future Salesforce VP, Nate Skinner, had been following the contest on Twitter. After I won, he sent me a Twitter direct message about coming to work for Salesforce.” She continued, “I was fresh out of graduate school and had no idea what Salesforce was or what CRM stood for, but I decided to go for it.” Nicole would soon become fully immersed into the Salesforce products and culture.
Nicole accepting her check for $10,000 after winning the ChooseATL contest
Her first role with Salesforce had her taking the reins of the Pardot social media channels. She told us, “Social media was a natural fit for a millennial who was recruited via Twitter.” However, Nicole and those around her would quickly realize her passion for Salesforce’s customers and she later moved into an events focused role. “Once I moved to the events side of the business, I was constantly on the road getting to meet customers. In my first full year in the role I managed our presence across 75 events, a lot of which required travel,” said Nicole. She continued, “It really solidified what I now know about myself — I love being customer-facing and building those relationships.” Then, before she knew it, Nicole was being tapped on the shoulder to own the Pardot experience at Dreamforce. “Normally owning a product’s presence across Dreamforce is done at a Director level and I was a Senior Product Marketing Representative at the time. I felt very empowered by my leadership team to be given that opportunity,” said Nicole. She had been to two Dreamforce’s prior and knew what a big responsibility it was. She told us, “I was well-aware of what challenges were ahead and what a beast of an event Dreamforce was. When you walk onto that campus it really feels like you are on a different planet. Every year the event gets bigger and better, and so do the expectations.”
Nicole managing the Pawdot Puppies at Dreamforce in 2018
While reflecting on her time at Salesforce, Nicole credits a couple individuals for her growth and success at the company. She credited Nate Skinner for giving her the opportunity to come to Salesforce. She told us, “Nate is the reason I gained career-changing experience at an incredible company so early in my career. He saw something in me and I am very grateful for the door he opened.” She also gave a ton of kudos to Maureen Maggioni. “I wanted to be a manager just like Maureen. She is one of the most dynamic and well-rounded marketers I’ve ever met. The love and time she gave to her team while helping us grow by passing her knowledge on to us is something I will always cherish,” said Nicole. Lastly, Nicole couldn’t pass up the opportunity to talk about Emily Fultz. She told us, “Emily was a teammate I looked up to and came to for advice. She turned into one of my best friends outside of the office. I still learn from her to this day. One of my fondest Salesforce memories is co-presenting with her at a B2B marketing conference.”
Nicole, Maureen and Emily at Dreamforce

Post-Salesforce Life

After 3+ years at Salesforce, Nicole decided it was time for a new challenge and new opportunity. Today, Nicole is currently a Team Lead of Customer Lifecycle Marketing at MURAL. At MURAL, Nicole oversees the entire customer lifecycle from onboarding and adoption, to retention, expansion, advocacy, and ultimately community. Nicole told us, “At Salesforce I got a masterclass in cross-functional alignment, executive communications, ruthless prioritization, and big bold ideation. I took the lessons and best practices I learned from creating world-class customer experiences with an incredibly large, global team over to MURAL to help me lay the groundwork of my function. Now that I’m at a scale-up experiencing massive growth, I know the expertise I gained better positions me to navigate rapid change and big goals.”

Wellbeing in a Virtual World

“Not enough,” was Nicole’s answer when we asked her what she does in her free time to take care of her own well-being. “I need to start practicing what I preach. I have a direct report now and I find myself considering her well-being but I don’t always do it for myself,” said Nicole. She continued, “I am getting better at blocking off my calendar so I can go to the gym at the end of the day and just have that time to be detached from all technology. And I've started setting up a makeshift work space on my patio to make sure I get to see some sunshine.” Changing the way you work can be impactful too, she explained. “As you can imagine, at MURAL we use the MURAL platform daily to run more effective and collaborative meetings that save time and get more done. I love to work asynchronously in MURAL when possible. It’s helping me spend less time on back to back virtual meetings so I can have some space in the day to take a walk or just pet my dogs.”

Giving Back

Giving back is a big part of the Salesforce culture. We asked Nicole how she has been able to give back post-Salesforce. She told us, “Salesforce does a great job at continuing to raise the bar for what is acceptable in regards to giving back, diversity and inclusion. These are things that not every company bakes into their DNA like Salesforce does. At MURAL I’m a part of the diversity, inclusion and belonging task force and serve as the Go To Market teams’ representative. Our goal is to discover opportunities to build foundations, identify challenges to address, and help shine a light on ways we can build a more diverse and inclusive culture. This is important, necessary work that I’m passionate about being a part of.”
Nicole at the Pride Parade in San Francisco

The Alumni Network

Nicole has been in the Salesforce Alumni Network for the past year and is very much enjoying the interactions she has with fellow alumni. “I just love that if I say I’m a proud Salesforce Alumni, there are 5 people right behind me that can say the same thing and share stories we can all relate to.” She explained, “The Salesforce experience is a unique one. A lot of former employees acknowledge the fact that they may want to return to Salesforce in the future as a Boomerang and are very open about it. You don’t see that everyday and it speaks volumes to the culture behind the cloud.”

Want to learn more about Nicole’s career journey? Connect with her on LinkedIn! Or, if her story has piqued your interest in careers at Salesforce, go ahead and explore open roles today.


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