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Finding Success in Sales: Launching A Career Abroad

Kaycee Oyama

March 23, 2023

When Kelsey Jackson, Senior Business Development Representative (BDR) and Team Lead at Salesforce, moved from the United States to the Netherlands as an Au Pair in 2020, she didn’t expect to end up in sales. Instead, she spent her first year exploring, learning, thinking about her next career move and becoming fluent in Dutch. When her Au Pair role ended, she started to pursue a career in sales — she hasn’t looked back since.


“Some would call me a ‘sales baby.’ My parents met by working in sales at the same company, in the same department — that’s when they fell in love.” She explains that growing up she heard her parents on calls, closing deals, and negotiating — four out of her family of five are in sales. “I guess you could say it's in my blood.”


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Continuous learning leads to success

As a BDR, Kelsey describes her role as the first foot in the door for the business. “Most people see this role as days full of cold calling, people hanging up on you, mass emails, etc. That is part of my day, but it’s so much more than that. I truly see it as the basis of any relationship between a customer and Salesforce.” She loves that she’s able to meet new people, make the first connection, and help businesses reimagine their daily work with Salesforce.


Kelsey started at Salesforce in December 2021 but already feels she’s grown immensely. Just seven months into her role, she was promoted to Senior BDR and Team Lead. “One of my favorite things about the Salesforce culture is the continuous learning. Not only is learning available, but it's also recognized as an important part of your daily role.” She believes that the company's view on learning is what makes Salesforce a great place to grow your career.


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More than a company

Kelsey and her team in the office

In addition to continuous learning, Kelsey has witnessed the impact of working as a team to achieve company goals, as well as Salesforce’s unique culture of giving back. “At its core, Salesforce is a cloud-based software company, but once you zoom out you see all the other things it is.”


She identifies with the 1-1-1 model, which has resulted in over $240 million in grants, and 3.5 million hours of community service for 39,000 nonprofits and educational institutions. “That’s something I am continuously proud to be associated with, and one of the reasons I joined Salesforce.”


Empowering women

Kelsey is part of the Salesforce Women’s Network (SWN), an employee resource group that amplifies women's progress in every step of their journey. During her time at university, she was part of a sorority whose philanthropic mission was to provide experiences and resources that build spiritual, mental, and social resiliency in girls. SWN was the perfect way for her to continue her passion for that mission and continue to drive change.

Through various events and volunteer opportunities, SWN advances women's professional and personal development, while serving the business as well. “It's initiatives like SWN that help to challenge gender inequality and bias, by supporting people and giving them the confidence to advocate for themselves and others. Values are at the heart of Salesforce, and SWN is helping the business work towards equality and diversity in and out of the company.” She loves being able to meet and learn from new people while helping women grow.


As Kelsey reflects on her path and past career aspirations she offers some sage advice for anyone, “No matter when, what, or why, pick something you like and chase after it.”


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