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Going Virtual at Salesforce This Summer: Culture, Innovation and 'Ohana

Aryan Mehra

June 18, 2020

Amidst the lockdown and boredom of staying at home, my Futureforce internship has been one awesome experience, leading to an unforgettable past five weeks. I joined Salesforce➚ as an intern on 18 May, 2020 and I am almost halfway through my internship period. These five weeks have shown to me what the power of will and an urge to learn and grow can do for you.

Salesforce is one of the most employee friendly, and employee well-being oriented companies out there. In this gloomy atmosphere of the pandemic, not once was I or any of my fellow interns made to feel uncertain about the experience that lay ahead of us. I had gotten a glimpse of this in the very beginning of the recruitment process itself. Salesforce was probably the only company in the entire recruitment process that took immediate personal feedback about the interviewers, questions, and the process itself.

From then on, they stayed in constant touch with all the recruits, making everyone feel a part of the experience months in advance. We received regular updates from the organization on the way the company was responding to COVID-19 and the updates on our internship program. If you think that this nature comes from years of being the numero uno in customer relationship management, you are not entirely wrong, but may be incomplete in interpretation. This is where the culture of the company➚ comes into picture. Salesforce regards its employees as family or ‘Ohana’. You can clearly see the friendly, congenial atmosphere that surrounds you the moment you enter a meeting or a virtual conference. Over the past five weeks itself, I have interacted with my AIOps team that spans two continents, and believe me, the feeling of inclusion is everywhere. This makes you understand what it is like to wake up everyday and be excited about what you are going to do.

More than the motivation, this makes you feel that whatever you do, whatever everyone else is doing, is for the ‘Ohana’ and nothing else. This is the environment that makes the employee feel valuable from day one (yes, even interns!) and that's what drives the company to the top. Talking more in detail about my virtual experience, my days have been filled with virtual conferences, collaborations and ideation sessions.

The internship going virtual did not at all hamper the experience of onboarding. Even welcome games and icebreakers were held online! Going virtual turned into a big upside in cases when HR and recruiter meetings were followed by sessions of Pictionary and some virtual bonding among the interns. Within my team of AIOps, SCRUM meets were held every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. We would discuss what every member has achieved in the past few days, and what is next plan of action. On several occasions, I got to present my work to the senior management, who along with appreciation gave a broader meaning and outlook to the project. Many leadership sessions were organized with senior management like Sriram Dinavahi (Senior Vice President, Engineering)➚, which gave us insights into the company's vision, values and guidance on our career paths. Recently, I even gave a live demo of my work to Sriram Dinavahi, which was a wonderful experience.

Several skill-up sessions were organized to increase the collaboration amongst the interns, to make them ready for the corporate world. Many sessions on the technical side along with trails on the trailhead forum helped me get a hang of the vast and deep architecture of Salesforce services. It helped me get insight into what kind of data I can leverage to my benefit in the project of automating the detection of the root cause of anomalies.

Having said that, the one take away that I would like to share with everyone is that it is important to love what you do, at a place where you are made to feel welcome and valuable. Strive to find your “happy place” and take good care of it, as loyalty is always a two-way street!

You can learn more about opportunities available to interns and new grads at Salesforce on our Futureforce website.

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