This coming summer, hundreds of interns and new grads will launch their careers with our #SalesforceOhana as part of the Futureforce University Recruiting Program. Here's a look at a few of the new faces joining us! 
 
Dario Molina will be joining our #SalesforceOhana this summer as a 2017 Futureforce Software Engineer Intern. A first-generation college student who spent his childhood working the fields, Molina was one of 36 students awarded a Matsui Foundation scholarship to the new computer science program at Hartnell College and Cal State Monterey Bay.
  • What are a few hurdles or obstacles that made your "Path to Salesforce" an incredible one?
    As a first generation college student, my biggest obstacle was the opportunity to pursue higher education. Unfortunately, I had no support from my family after having graduated from high school. I've gone from living on my own to living with friends while having multiple jobs at once so I can make a living and pay for college. It was very difficult, and many times it seemed like I wouldn’t be able to stay in school. But with hard work, dedication, and the help of God, I was able to join a computer science program that provides a scholarship where I no longer have to work, but simply dedicate all of my time and attention to my studies. And I think this is what made my path to Salesforce incredible, what once seemed like a dream, will soon become a reality.
 
  • When did you know you wanted to work in Engineering?
    I knew I wanted to be a software engineer in the spring semester of my freshman year when I took my very first programming class. At the time, I was pursuing a degree in applied mathematics; I really enjoy critical thinking and I thought what better field than math. Since one of my requirements was that I take a programming class, I took intro to programming and it changed my life. I was so impressed how a few lines of code could have a powerful impact it felt like a super power! At the end of the semester I switched my major to computer science and truth be told, it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.

  • Describe your emotions upon finding out you’d been offered an internship at Salesforce. Why are you excited to join us?
    I remember when I received the call from my recruiter, the call was cutting off but since I had a doctor’s appointment that day, I thought it was the receptionist calling to confirm my appointment. Once she said Salesforce, in my head I thought, “What? This clinic is a customer of Salesforce?” Then I remember Julie, my recruiter said, “I’d like to invite you to visit our headquarters up in San Francisco.” To which I answered, “Great, so when is my onsite interview?” And then Julie replied, “No, no, I’d like to invite you to visit our headquarters for the summer as an intern.” My heart skipped a few beats and I probably said the word 'thank you' like a thousand times. After our call, I dropped to my knees and I thanked God for this blessing. I’m really excited to join Salesforce because I think the services they provide are exceptional, and I really admire the company’s 1-1-1 model.

  • What do you think you bring to Salesforce that makes you unique in terms of your background, your experiences or your talents?
    I think that what makes me unique, and some good qualities that I can bring to Salesforce, is that I am a hardworking person, a creative thinker who is constantly looking for ways to learn and grow to become a more beneficial human being. I constantly set goals for myself, and I persistently try to achieve them. I’m not afraid to admit when I’m wrong, and every mistake or difficult circumstance I see as an opportunity to grow. I think the obstacles that I’ve faced, have strengthened me to become the person that I am today.

  • Of all the Salesforce values, which would you say you identify with the most and why?
    I think that from all of the Salesforce values, I can identify myself most with giving back to others. I am an active member in my community and I volunteer during my school breaks to organize coding events. I think that if one has the opportunity to help out others, one should do it! Not because you should expect something in return, but simply because it’s the right thing to do. Salesforce has set an example in the industry and has made meaningful impacts with their 1-1-1 model. And I hope to have the same impact in my community, introducing people of all ages to computer science and showing them how they can make a difference.
 
Twin sisters Kelly and Caitlin Kennedy will be joining our #SalesforceOhana this summer for the second straight year as a 2017 Futureforce Project Manager Intern & 2017 Futureforce Software Engineer Intern. This summer however, the sisters will be split apart, with Kelly interning in our Salesforce Indianapolis office and Caitlin at HQ in San Francisco. 
  • What are a few hurdles or obstacles that made your "Path to Salesforce" an incredible one?
    Kelly: For me the biggest hurdle on my “Path to Salesforce” was just figuring out what I wanted to do. When I came to college I knew that I wanted to be in tech, but I had no idea what type of role would fit me best. After about a year I figured out that I enjoyed working with developers, but not actually writing code, so project management is a great fit for me.
    Caitlin: The biggest hurdle I encountered on my path to Salesforce was that I didn’t have any programming experience prior to college. I worked very hard in my first few years to become skilled enough to get an awesome internship!
  • When did you know you wanted to work in Project Management and Engineering?
    Kelly: My first exposure to tech culture was during my freshman year of college, and from that moment on I decided that whatever I ended up doing it was going to be in tech (Salesforce was, of course, my favorite company and a large part of this decision). It wasn’t until last year that I figured out I wanted to work in project management or something similar, but once I knew I loved solving problems and focusing on the big picture, it made perfect sense.
    Caitlin: I always knew that I wanted to solve problems in my career, so software engineering is a perfect fit for me! I love getting the chance to dig into new tasks and figure out how the code works together. Every sprint is exciting because I constantly get to learn new things. 

  • Describe your emotions upon finding out you’d been offered an internship at Salesforce. Why are you excited to join us?
    Kelly: During the fall of my freshman year I decided that my goal was to intern at Salesforce, so last year when I got my offer I was so ecstatic, I think I smiled for a week straight! After a fantastic internship, I am even more excited to be back again this summer.
    Caitlin: I was extremely excited to join Salesforce and work as a UI developer last summer because it was something I didn’t have much experience with. Throughout the summer I learned all the ins and outs of UI development, and working with my team on real sprint tasks was an amazing experience. I’m even more excited to be returning to the same great company culture while also getting the chance to explore a new city.

  • What do you think you bring to Salesforce that makes you unique in terms of your background, your experiences or your talents?
    Kelly: I think that the most unique thing I bring to Salesforce is my unending desire for more work. Unlike most people, the more projects I have to work on the calmer and more motivated I am. Not having enough to do stresses me out far more than having too much!
    Caitlin: I have a curiosity that drives me to understand more than just my portion of a project. I enjoy getting to see what my team is doing and how their work interacts with mine.

  • Of all the Salesforce values, which would you say you identify with the most and why?
    Kelly: Of the Salesforce values, I identify most with innovation because I think it is very important to keep trying to find better and easier solutions to problems. Without innovation lots of time and resources would be wasted, so innovation allows us to tackle more problems.
    Caitlin: I love the Giving Back aspect of Salesforce. Last summer, I was able to use my volunteer time to mentor, teach kids how to code, and participate in the Coding4Kindness Hackathon. I can’t wait to see what volunteer opportunities Salesforce will connect me to in San Francisco.
 
James Laskey joins our #SalesforceOhana this summer as a 2017 Futureforce Software Engineer Intern. His path to Salesforce began in San Bernardino, where he was motivated to pursue a career in Computer Science as a first generation college student in his family. He hopes his journey here can be an example that other students with similar backgrounds can look to. 
  • What are a few hurdles or obstacles that made your "Path to Salesforce" an incredible one?
    Growing up in San Bernardino, not once did I ever believe that I would land an "internship in Silicon Valley.” One reason being that in poverty-stricken areas where one’s thoughts are stuck in the “now,” incessant worrying of what will one eat the next day or will one get through the next day thus the future is nearly impossible to think of when tomorrow is so uncertain. I have persevered through these insurmountable odds and I feel as if I am the embodiment of a myriad of shared struggles of impoverished, abused, underprivileged, first generation, Black, single-parent, unprepared, disadvantaged, and resilient students all around the US; so me getting this internship is incredible, a blessing, and a miracle all in one for my family, my loved loves, and myself.
 
  • When did you know you wanted to work in Engineering?
    I knew I wanted to work in software engineering when I took my first computer science class. I learned a lot about my cognitive processes, my work ethic, and assessed my own level of intelligence. This major has challenged me and I learned that I love to be challenged. I love rising above anything in my path and this major does just that.

  • Describe your emotions upon finding out you’d been offered an internship at Salesforce. Why are you excited to join us?
    It was honestly an amazing feeling to find out that the plan I envisioned, orchestrated, and adjusted to when life said otherwise actually came into fruition. I thought of my childhood and my family and how things all could be so different. I felt a weight lift off my soul and I noticed a difference in myself. I'm excited to join Salesforce because I already feel as if I am a part of the Salesforce Ohana. My recruiters, interviewer, and manager were and are all very supportive and I really respect a company that can make me feel as if I can serve a purpose amongst tens of thousands of employees and hundreds of interns. It's an amazing feeling.

  • What do you think you bring to Salesforce that makes you unique in terms of your background, your experiences or your talents?
    I think I have a lot to bring. This is a highly technical role and I feel prepared to perform at Salesforce thanks to UC Berkeley's computer science program. Not having any coding experience prior to college and only a year of coding until now, I have the same diligence to perfect this craft in order to solidify a career in this competitive career choice. Besides technical capabilities I'm a very sociable and charismatic individual, which I believe a lot of engineers lack but my background is different than most engineers. I believe that my background and the lack of representation of others like me in my field is a motivator for me to stay around and just try to bring a few familiar faces around. BOLDforce seems like just my cup of tea if I have the chance to get involved!

  • Of all the Salesforce values, which would you say you identify with the most and why?
    "Equality for all" is definitely my most admired Salesforce value. That is one of my goals in life actually, just make things a little bit more equal. Many believe that you can't make social change or help the community writing code but there are many other ways to give back. One day I want to be able to show people just this but for now I have to keep a tunnel vision because it's so easy to lose hope in this path that I have chosen. I had no one of the same background and career as me that I could look to for guidance and so many other students have a plethora to choose from. I want to change that, for students like me that want to be engineers I want to be able to help them so they aren't going down this path alone.
 
Jukka-Pekka Ovaska joins our #SalesforceOhana this September as a Success Graduate—a newly launched 12-month graduate program in our EMEA region. So it's only fitting that Jukka-Pekka also found a new way to catch our recruiters eyes - rather than submitting a standard resume, he created a blog post to highlight his interest in Salesforce!
  • What are a few hurdles or obstacles that made your "Path to Salesforce" an incredible one?
    One of the biggest hurdles I’ve faced on my path to Salesforce is growing up in a depression economy. After the 2008-2009 housing market crash, Finland’s exports plummeted, which has led to a serious job crunch and austerity politics. We’ve also witnessed the downfall of Nokia, the biggest single source of GDP growth in Finland. Luckily, I’ve been studying full time through most of it, but finding any work alongside studies and during the summer has been a challenge. However, I was able to leverage my volunteer experience and extra-curricular activities to land the first few jobs, and especially after I began my studies in Aalto University, I’ve been able to get excellent experience from working in companies like Demos Helsinki, IBM, and Tieto.
  • When did you know you wanted to work in Engineering?
    I first began thinking about working in the IT industry when I started my studies in Aalto University in 2015. Back then I learned about a concept called the T-shaped person. A T-shaped person has one deep area of expertise (the vertical stroke of the T) that allows him or her to contribute to creative work, but also has the capability to collaborate across other disciplines (the horizontal stroke of the T). I have learned a lot about business and design at Aalto University, and I got a sense of what it is to work in IT projects when I was working at IBM and Tieto. To me, working at Salesforce is a natural next step on my path towards becoming a T-shaped professional!

  • Describe your emotions upon finding out you’d been offered an internship at Salesforce. Why are you excited to join us?
    When I got the call from Tim, I was working at home and was able to share the news immediately with my girlfriend. Obviously, we were both extremely excited, as it meant that we would be able to fulfill our dream of working abroad some day! Working for Salesforce is also a dream come true for me because I’ve been looking to work in an innovative company with a great and diverse culture and products that really create value. Especially after meeting my future colleges in Amsterdam, I became convinced that Salesforce is a community I want to work for.

  • What do you think you bring to Salesforce that makes you unique in terms of your background, your experiences or your talents?
    What makes my background unique is the combination of business, design, and technology skills and knowledge that I’ve consistently developed throughout my studies and work experiences. On one hand, my background allows me to study and understand the needs and of the end users, and to find out how to create customer value. On the other hand, I also understand the larger business and technological systems involved in creating that value. I think bridging these two perspectives is key to enabling what Salesforce calls customer success.

  • Of all the Salesforce values, which would you say you identify with the most and why?
    I think Salesforce has overall great values, but the one that resonates with me the most is customer success. I believe Peter Drucker really got it right when he said “the purpose of business is to create and keep a customer.” I also think customer success meets the qualities of a great value: it prompts action in the now, it creates value for others, and it’s grounded in reality (customers will vote with their feet if you fail to deliver value). Furthermore, customer success begets the other Salesforce values, because to create exceptional customer value, you need to be innovative, you need to be trustworthy and transparent, and you need to take care of your employees. 
 
Siyi (Michelle) Zhan joined our #SalesforceOhana this past year as part of our Futureforce New Grad program in Japan. She enjoyed her Futureforce experience SO much that she decided to join our University Recruiting Team, sharing her love for Salesforce with students across Japan as a Marketing Assistant.
  • What are a few hurdles or obstacles that made your "Path to Salesforce" an incredible one?
    My dad’s bankruptcy, due to the financial crisis in 2008, turned out to be the turning point for me in my path to Salesforce. I worked hard to earn scholarships; to cover my finances, I had multiple part-time jobs while I was also engaged in many extracurricular activities. Overall, I learned how to trust, respect, and collaborate with people. I am thankful for all the events in my past which caused me to cherish the great work environment at Salesforce today.
  • When did you know you wanted to work in Recruitment Marketing?
    I wasn't initially targeting recruitment as a career at all. In fact, I spent most of my job-hunting looking for a position in investment banking. After joining Salesforce as a new grad, we went through a 6-month intensive training program. That’s when I realized that informing others about our great company and products through presentations, along with attracting talented people to our ohana, are my true career passion points!

  • Describe your emotions upon finding out you’d been offered an internship at Salesforce. Why are you excited to join us?
    I got to know about Salesforce through a friend’s friend. Salesforce blew my mind, with such an innovative business model, amazing products, a 25%+ growth rate, and such a warm and inviting working culture which we call Ohana. There was no other company I could ever imagine working at!

  • What do you think you bring to Salesforce that makes you unique in terms of your background, your experiences or your talents?
    Earlier in my life I was privileged to go outside of my home country a couple of times and experience both cultural and linguistic diversities in the world. This enabled me to think and act more internationally. At Salesforce, where diversity and equality are highly valued, I feel free to be myself while actively participating in meetings and discussions or delivering presentations to large groups.

  • Of all the Salesforce values, which would you say you identify with the most and why?
    This is a tough question, but I would have to say “Mahalo Spirit.” At every Dreamforce session, the most frequently used phrase is “THANK YOU.” Salesforce not only inspires me with innovative solution offerings for businesses, but also by how we treat our stakeholders--our employees, our customers and all the communities surrounding us. I have never heard of a for-profit organization that conducts business like we do at Salesforce. I believe this "Mahalo Spirit" is our key to bettering the world.