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Since its founding over 15 years ago, Salesforce has become an integral tool for many businesses across the globe as a customer relationship management software. For the past year, the Salesforce club at UMass Lowell has been offering students on campus an opportunity to utilize the organization’s resources.
Like most of UMass Lowell’s clubs, Salesforce had to suspend in-person meetings when the campus shut down in March. In place of this, the club will have their first virtual session of the semester on Wednesday, Sept. 16 at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will cover trailhead memberships and logistics for the upcoming semester. The group is advised by The Associate Professor of Marketing Entrepreneurship and Innovation, Dr. Tao Gao, who is Salesforce certified himself.
Students can join the club and be added to the emailing list at any point during the semester by reaching out to Eliza Bulger or Yuvraj Aurora, who are co-presidents of the club. They can also follow the club on Instagram, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
According to the Salesforce Leaders Group Plan document, “The Salesforce Leaders Group introduces all students of any background at UMass Lowell to the different ways that Salesforce, as both a CRM software and as a company, can add value to your future. Discussing opportunities within the Salesforce ecosystem, showing ways the software can be utilized, and helping students gain Trailhead badges are just some of the things our group does!“
Salesforce is a customer relationship management software, and the group is focused on making the training available to students. Senior finance major Eliza Bulger, one of the founders of the UMass Lowell Salesforce organization and the current co-president, wants to expand its membership base to outside of the Manning School of Business. Since it is such a widely used software, non-business majors would also benefit from earning certifications in Salesforce.
“If you have it on your resume, it will guarantee you at least an interview,” said Bulger, who also works as the student affiliate with the Salesforce company. Bulger’s Salesforce certification and skills were a major point of interest for many companies that she interviewed with in the past.
To aid in the certification process, which can take about 100 hours for most certificates, the club utilizes Trailhead, an online training platform which members get for free through UMass Lowell. “Trailhead is important for skills development,” said Bulger, which is why the club focuses on Trailhead challenges. Members can earn badges in different skills, and for monthly challenges, the member who earns the most badges wins a prize.
In the past, prizes were a shirt or sweatshirt with the Salesforce logo. However, as the club shifts to a virtual setting, the group is considering giving the winners shout outs on their Instagram page.
Along with Trailhead challenges, the group hosts a variety of guest speakers to create networking opportunities. These guest speakers typically talk about the software and other company opportunities. Previously restricted to guest speakers who live close to UMass Lowell, the club can now host speakers from around the world because of their switch to a virtual environment. The group is excited to host David Giller, who has written books on Salesforce and is very influential in the Salesforce community and customer relationship management industry.
According to Bulger, a big part of Salesforce’s business model is their accessibility to people of all walks of life, which is evident in the graphics that illustrate Trailhead with a cartoonish style meant to indicate an ease of use.
“Salesforce is really really big on ohana,” said Bulger, who will be joining the Salesforce ohana when she graduates in December, with ohana meaning family. A big part of the company and the focus of the club is family. Salesforce has a deep-seated support system, one that encourages students and its members. Members have a sense of responsibility for all whom Salesforce plays a part in their lives, either as an employee, a customer or a member of their club.