Salesforce’s untapped talent programs launched 13 years ago with three interns in San Francisco. Today we are celebrating 1,000 interns and apprentices that have been placed in Salesforce’s U.S., U.K., and Ireland offices, working across almost every business unit in the company.
At Salesforce, untapped talent is defined as young people from underserved and underrepresented communities who may be unaware of or lack access to the career possibilities that exist for them. These individuals are full of potential, intelligence, and drive — a key reason businesses must be deliberate about opening doors for them.
Participants in our untapped talent programs have made valuable contributions to the company and gone on to pursue successful careers at Salesforce and beyond. Below, four current and former participants share their stories and words of wisdom for those who may follow in their footsteps.
Technical Consultant, Salesforce
Former Salesforce Intern (in partnership with Year Up), New York
Fredlyne Pierre-Paul was a kinesiology major in college, but due to unforeseen circumstances, she had to leave in her junior year. Without a college degree or work experience, Pierre-Paul was at a crossroads. After a year volunteering with AmeriCorps, a friend told her about Year Up one of Salesforce’s untapped talent program partners.
Pierre-Paul immediately applied and was accepted to Year Up’s year-long technology training program, which included a six-month internship at Salesforce, during which she worked with her team to enhance and automate the Services onboarding journey for new hires. “As an intern I approached things with a beginner’s mindset, eagerness, and patience to learn,” said Pierre-Paul.
Pierre-Paul thrived in her internship and after the program was hired into the Success Architect Program in Salesforce’s Customer Success Group Services department. She is now working towards obtaining Salesforce certifications to become a certified Technical Consultant.
What advice do you have for other young people?
“Take things one day at a time, one week at a time, and learn something new each time.”
Global Sales Programs Associate, Salesforce
Former Salesforce Intern (in partnership with Year Up), Bay Area
Moises Gonzales grew up knowing his path to success would look a little different than others, but he was prepared from an early age for the rough ride ahead.
After two years at St. Mary’s College of California, Gonzales decided to go to community college to save money and plot his next move. At community college he earned two Associates degrees in Business and Social & Behavioral Science. Ready to start his career, Gonzales ran into an old friend who told him about Year Up, so he researched the program and applied. “I was sold instantly by the vision of Year Up and the promise of a six-month internship at the end,” said Gonzalez.”
After the first six months of the Year Up program, Gonzales landed an internship with Salesforce as a business analyst for the Treasury department. When it ended, Gonzales became a Salesforce Administrator and a Double Ranger, and received five Super Badges. He then landed a job on the Global Sales Programs team as a Field Support Analyst, where he has been a trusted advisor for the last six months.
What advice do you have for other young people?
“Don’t ever sell yourself short or be your own biggest enemy. You have the power to write your own story, and it’s never too late or too early to begin taking charge of the rest of your life.”
Campaign Marketing Coordinator, SalesforceFormer Salesforce Apprentice (in partnership with Multiverse), London
Kevin Smith heard a lack of experience was a top reason for not getting a job. So instead of going to university, he decided to pursue a Salesforce apprenticeship so that he could gain on-the-job training and start building his career. After 18 months of learning and experience in the apprenticeship, Smith was offered a full-time role on the Marketing Campaigns team.
“My apprenticeship with Salesforce gave me the experience, knowledge, and most important of all, the network, to progress in my professional career,” said Smith. “Even more valuable than the knowledge I gained were the practical and soft skills.”
According to Smith, he now has a future of opportunities and continues to progress in his career, building his network and doing everything he can to learn and grow within the marketing team. He hopes to pay it forward by managing and mentoring an apprentice one day.
What did you learn from your apprenticeship?
“Nothing beats practical, on-the-job experience. There are many ways to learn how to do a particular job, and learning the knowledge for the role in a classroom environment is beneficial, but not if you don’t get to put what you learned into practice.”
Current Salesforce Apprentice (in partnership with FIT), Business Technology, Dublin
Lauren Cudden was working at a retail tech desk, helping customers with a variety of issues like broken phones and virus-infected computers. With a desire to do more, she submitted an application to FIT for an apprenticeship and was accepted to a role at Salesforce on the Private Cloud team in Business Technology.
There was an exploratory phase at the beginning of the apprenticeship where Cudden learned about the team and the technologies being used. It was through this exploration that Cudden found the path she wanted to pursue: virtualisation. She has now achieved certification in that field and works on projects that improve automation and ease of access to work requests for both the Salesforce team and its customers.
“I am looking to build the foundation for a long and successful career through this apprenticeship,” said Cudden. “Getting direct experience and improving both my hard and soft skills is an amazing opportunity that will benefit me in the years to come.”
What have you learned during your apprenticeship?
“Through Salesforce I heard of a wildlife sanctuary in Nava, Wildlife Rehabilitation Ireland, where I spend every weekend volunteering. Working with the sanctuary has taught me that where you have a skill or something to give, you should use it for the benefit of those who need it.”