Meet Our Partners: Vanessa from Salesforce

Staff Note: What can I even say about Salesforce that could convey how much I love working with this company!

Over the past three years, it has been amazing to watch our partnership with this organization grow, doubling each year! What started out as a small, 15 person, job panel/tour has now turned into bringing over 100 youth each year to work with Salesforce volunteers in a number of capacities.

We have had recruiters hold “interview boot camps; we have had over 200 youth interview with Salesforce volunteers for their final Assessment before graduating from our programs, and most recently we have added another day with Women’s Network volunteers coming to our offices to review resume’s and cover letters and perform the first round of interviews for the students. 

On top of all of that, we have had the pleasure of partnering with the leaders of SWN to speak at Dreamforce and been featured on the Salesforce Foundation blog to educate employees about what we do. The opportunities afforded to us by this company have been endless.

Salesforce is a company that talks a LOT about giving back to the community but unlike others that do a lot of talking, this company actually BELIEVES it and LIVES it! We are so honored to have Salesforce as part of our Enterprise community and look forward to many more years building upon this special relationship.  THANK YOU!

[Iliana Martinez | Manager, Business and Strategic Partners]

Enterprise youth at a job shadow at Salesforce in 2016.

Name: Vanessa Cordero

Company: Salesforce

Role: Partner Programs & Leader on the Salesforce Women’s Network

Years working with Enterprise: We’re going on our third year of partnership! 

Which Enterprise programs are your company involved with? Pathways Program helping to connect students at Enterprise with Salesforce volunteers in an interview setting.

How many Enterprise students have you worked with over the years? Close to 100 students and growing!

Favorite memory working with Enterprise? We co-presented with Enterprise during Dreamforce 2015, which is Salesforce’s annual software conference. In the “Foundation” zone, we spoke to a crowd of nonprofits of what it takes to be successful in partnering with a Company by “knowing your ask.” It was great to collaborate with Enterprise, and have a shared success story. 

What is the most rewarding part about working with Enterprise? A quote from one of the students: “…all it takes to change the world is one person.” I’m living my dream at Salesforce by being able to connect these students with our employees who are part of the Salesforce Women’s Network. This highlights the work we do to inspire students and give them role models to look up to. Some students that have come through Enterprise, have interned or worked at Salesforce, and it creates a truly valuable partnership. 

What would you tell possible partners about your experience and why they should work with our youth? For any nonprofit that wants to build partnerships with a company, the best advice I received is to “know your ask.” Be specific in what you’re looking for in a partnership so you can set expectations. As an example, when planning events with Enterprise, we know the types of events we can participate in, the dates are set but flexible, and we know how many students and employees we’ll need. Enterprise is well organized and comes with all the materials to train our employees to make the event successful.

First job? My aunt and uncle had a flower shop, and I helped with flower arrangements and as a cashier.  I always remember to “stop and smell the roses”  because of this job.

Favorite high school subject? Math, specifically calculus. I loved the challenge of being able to solve a difficult problem through applied logic.

Your personal career path? I’ve had a lot of different roles and mentors over time that shaped where I am today. I interned in the media relations department for a professional sports team, I helped with global analysis at the Federal Reserve in Washington D.C., I campaigned for a state treasurer, I had a number of years working in professional services and audit advisory services. What drew me to Salesforce was the culture of giving back. When I started at Salesforce I was on our Internal Audit team, and now I run the program for product partners on the AppExchange. I’m not sure where the next path in my career may take me, but I know that I will continue to follow my passions, solve difficult problems, evangelize what makes a program, product, or company successful, and give back to the community.  

How did you choose to partner with Enterprise? When I joined the Salesforce Women’s Network, they already had Enterprise as a partner. Becoming one of the leaders for Salesforce Women’s Network this year with a focus on philanthropy and community outreach, I want to expand our relationship – do more events that allow our employees to give back and help more students prepare for success.

One piece of advice to give a student starting their first job? Keep an open mind! Not everyone is on the same path, and it’s the people that we meet and the experiences that we have along the way that will shape you as a person and your career.

Final thoughts or comments? The theme for Women’s History Month (March 2017) is #BeBoldforChange. I encourage everyone to be just that – always be curious, continue lifelong learning, and be kind to others.

Meet Our Partners: Vanessa from Salesforce