7 Things You Should Know About Interning at Salesforce
By Amy Hall
I’ve been interning at Salesforce since May and while I’m not an expert on every aspect of the company, there are a few things I’ve learned about how to make your time here impactful. For example, always take advantage of VTO opportunities, lunch-and-learns, and fun social events. In addition, I’ve learned to never say no to grabbing that coffee with an employee to learn about their career path.
The last three months have presented numerous opportunities to learn, grow, and further define what I want to do once I graduate. So, for all of you that are considering applying for next year’s internship, or if you’re just curious, here are the top 7 things I’ve learned as a Futureforce intern.
1. You’ll never feel like just an intern
The moment I accepted my offer, I was welcomed into the #SalesforceOhana, or family, with open arms. I was immediately given a Salesforce sweatshirt accompanied by a handwritten card, congratulating me on the job. Each day since, I have felt that my opinions are considered, my work is trusted, and my creativity is encouraged.
The employees at Salesforce are invested in your career and are always looking to find ways to help you succeed.
2. Sometimes you learn more over coffee than you do at your desk
Being the newest addition to a more than 20,000-person company can be intimidating. Aside from lunch-and-learns with senior leadership, such as the Marketing Cloud CEO (seriously, how many of you have met the CEO of your company?), scheduling “coffee chats” with upper management is highly encouraged. Of course, it’s easier when you have a coffee shop in your lobby, but people at Salesforce are incredibly eager to share their career journeys and day-to-day roles with you.
There is something to learn from everyone. Despite being a marketing intern, I have spoken one-on-one with managers in the engineering department, sales, IT and many others. Every conversation gives me a little more insight into how the fastest-growing top ten software company in the world works.
3. The perks go way beyond free snacks
As an intern, you participate in VTO with your team and with other interns. VTO is volunteering time off of work that is paid as normal hours. VTO can span from packing food at a food bank to landscaping an elementary school, to teaching kids how to code.
In addition, there are many benefits granted to interns, such as health insurance, a $100 monthly wellness stipend, and endless discounts on activities around the city. There are also opportunities to join Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) which coordinate employee sports teams, host talent shows, attend Pride parades, promote diversity in the workplace, and more!
4. Each day brings with it new challenges
The thing about Salesforce is that every employee is motivated and talented. This means that you always have to bring your A-game because you have to work extra hard to emerge from the crowd. To be blunt: the work I did this summer was challenging. As a marketing major with no tech background, being asked to create thought leadership content for sales enablement and other industry professionals was intimidating. This, however, is exactly why I wanted to intern at Salesforce. The projects are dynamic and I was given full visibility into their purpose and impact throughout the company.
5. There is flexibility in your role
I spent my summer on the Customer Marketing team which is responsible for sharing customer stories through presentations, website content, blogs, references, customer videos, webinars and more. On my first day, my supervisor said to me: “This is your internship. It is your opportunity to learn the skills you want to learn to help you be successful.”
It is rare to find a company that is equally as invested in ensuring your success, as it is in ensuring its own.
Though I was assigned certain responsibilities and deliverables, I was allowed the freedom to pursue projects outside of my role. For example, with a connection I had made during a coffee chat, I was able to co-own a project that falls outside of my day-to-day tasks. The project involved creating a quarterly email, built entirely on our Marketing Cloud platform, giving me the chance to learn exactly how Salesforce runs on Salesforce.
6. Though the work keeps you busy, it is not “busy work”
Throughout the internship I worked on projects that added true value to the company. An example of this is the project mentioned above. Using our products, we built out a quarterly email that leveraged data from the Salesforce CRM to create content in Salesforce Marketing Cloud customized to each account executive that would be receiving it. The email will drive account executives to nominate their customers for co-marketing opportunities. This enables our team to learn the use cases, champion the customers’ successes and share their stories with prospects. This first-hand experience using the products helped me gain a deeper understanding of their functionality. This, in turn, enabled me to execute other projects more effectively, with a new perspective.
7. The fun never ends… ever
The entire program is packed full of fun events organized for your intern class. Not only does it give you an opportunity to get to know the other interns, but it also gives you the opportunity to explore the city where you have been placed. This summer’s events included Duckpin Bowling, a baseball game, a tour at the Dallara Car Factory, and even a party called FriendFest for you and your friends!
After 12 weeks, I have become accustomed to ping pong games sporadically throughout the day, lunch on the rooftop deck, and free cloud swag. Though I still can’t understand how the company hasn’t won an award for best snack variety, I can understand why Salesforce made Fortune’s list of the 100 Best Workplaces for Millennials. I think the rest of my intern class would agree, that if we could do the summer again, we would.
Learn more about Salesforce’s University Recruiting Program, Futureforce, and current internship and new grad opportunities on our careers page.
Originally published at www.salesforce.com.