Inspiring the Next Generation At Indiana University: A Crash Course On Salesforce

Inspiring the Next Generation At Indiana University A Crash Course On Salesforce

When Atrium first began ideating on what its college-hire recruitment strategy could look like, it became clear that there existed  a strong need for a university outreach initiative. Our Atrium team wanted to get involved in local campus communities, and provide value to students outside of the traditional recruiting space. As a result, Atrium established its Brand Ambassador program.

Headed by former Luminates, our Brand Ambassador program aims to connect Atrium’s talent and resources with relevant student organizations and professors. To source its partnerships, the Brand Ambassador program relies heavily on former Luminates and other existing connections that Atrians have with their alma maters.

As Atrium began planning its 2022 university partnerships, our very own Kristin Mangan strongly recommended that our BA program reach out to the Center of Excellence for Women and Technology (CEW&T) at Indiana University. As a CEW&T member during her time at IU, Kristin believed that its mission and goals aligned with Atriums’, and wanted to give back to an organization that had a sincere impact on her when she was still on campus.

What Is the CEW&T, and What Does It Do?

The Center of Excellence for Women and Technology focuses on empowering women to use technology to benefit their careers and their communities as well as eliminating barriers for women entering technology fields. CEW&T has established an extensive network of faculty, staff, students, and alumni to continue building upon academic and professional growth. The organization also has an amazing reputation for promoting and demonstrating equality, equity, and inclusion for everyone.

CEW&T holds events frequently on topics ranging from Ethical AI and Machine Learning to personal branding and resume workshops. The Center also facilitates technical Crash Courses for students. Usually these sessions are led by industry experts, and provide students a high-level overview of a modern business technology. CEW&T presented Atrium with the opportunity to host a Crash Course and the Brand Ambassador team agreed that a session on Salesforce would be most beneficial for attendees.

Atrium’s Salesforce Crash Course started with general objects and fields to get the students introduced to the concepts and how Salesforce is set up. We then went on to the sales Console and Service Console before ending the crash course with a session on Reports and Dashboards (with sneak peeks into CRMA). Within each session we integrated our own scenarios to give the students real life examples to help them better grasp the content. We also included hands-on examples that they could complete on their own laptops in a Salesforce Development org that we set up for the students ahead of time. We filled the time between sessions with Kahoot, breaks, as well as lunch in the middle to make the day seem not as long and the information more bite size instead of all at once. We ended our session with a roundtable Q&A.

After the event, we asked each of our Atrium presenters to reflect on their Crash Course experience.

With that in the books, we asked our presenters to share their experiences.

What was your favorite part about being back on campus and working with and teaching students?

Kristin Mangan (Strategy Consultant): My favorite part of going back to IU was that I got to do something I had never done before. I participated in several events hosted by CEW&T in the past, but never as the teacher. I always took on the role of the “learner.” In my time as a learner, the Center helped give me the confidence and the skills to be where I am today and to help guide me throughout the rest of my career. I can’t speak highly enough about this organization and the invaluable impact it has had on me. To be a teacher for the first time and to know that I’m helping CEW&T inspire this feeling in others was absolutely incredible.

Maddie Fuchs (Data Science Consultant): My favorite part about being back on a college campus was the ability to pass on knowledge I have learned while still being at an early enough point in my career to relate back to the students. The idea that only a year ago I was sitting in their seats with no knowledge of Salesforce compared to now where I am able to present on Salesforce. It was a really eye opening experience. The course was a nice confidence boost as well. A reminder that yes there is so much more for me to learn, but at the same time I have made progress over the past 10 months I’ve been at Atrium and in the professional world.

Matt McGorrey (Sales Development Representative): My favorite part about being back in Bloomington was simply being able to give back to the campus community that made such a strong and impressionable impact on myself during my time at IU. As someone who attended numerous talks, seminars, and workshops as a student, I always dreamed about how I could pay that forward when I was on the other side of the table. I am grateful that Atrium has afforded me an opportunity to do exactly that!

What surprised you the most about this experience?

Kristin: Overall, I was extremely impressed by all of the students in attendance. Going in, I knew that any college student willing to give up one of their last Saturdays of the school year for a 5-hour long optional class would be very bright. But, I was totally blown away by how attentive and involved they were for the entire session. Despite studying Salesforce for almost a year now, I did have some reservations on presenting. With something as complex and intricate as Salesforce, I was definitely worried about forgetting any important details or slipping over my words. I thought back to all of the helpful deep dives and one-on-one’s I’ve had with others at Atrium, and I was able to answer questions and talk through scenarios with the students, which felt really good!

Maddie: I was mostly surprised by the amount of questions the students asked and how engaged they were. Considering the course was 5 hours long on Saturday I worried there wouldn’t be much participation, but students really were engaged and trying to understand the material. On the flip side of that I surprised myself by the knowledge I knew on Salesforce. I feel sometimes you get so wrapped up in what else you can learn or do within Salesforce and/or your career that you forget how much you actually know. Therefore, it was nice to get questions and actually know the answers to them and be excited to answer them.

Matt: Honestly what surprised me the most was how engaged the students were in trying to truly understand Salesforce’s CRM platform. Not only did they pose interesting and thought provoking technical questions, but the students also really put themselves in the shoes of a salesperson using Salesforce, which led to a very lively discussion about how corporations utilize their CRM.

How was this experience different as a young professional? What was it like flipping the script and being on the other side of a workshop for once?

Kristin: It was really interesting being on this side of the classroom for the first time. I thought about all of the students participating and how a lot of them were probably getting ready to graduate in just a few weeks. It’s strange to think about how I was in that same position just a year ago. I’ve had so much professional growth since then and am so excited for those students to be able to look back a year from now too!

Maddie: For me flipping the script and being on the other side was something that I’ve always wanted to try out, and being able to with CEW&T and teaching about Salesforce was amazing. I always enjoyed school and learning, so being able to pass on the knowledge I’ve learned over the past 10 months was something I really enjoyed and I am grateful for the opportunity to do. At first when I was asked to do this I was nervous because I wasn’t sure if I would be able to, but once I got up there I realized it came easier than I thought.

Matt: One noteworthy difference from being on the other side of the table was how different my frame of reference was from when I was a student. As a student, I always viewed these sessions as a potential menu of career possibilities. However, as an alumnus who has been in the CRM space for a year and a half, I now view these sessions as a lot more targeted. My new goal is to truly try to convey what it’s like to work at Atrium and in the Salesforce ecosystem which hopefully helps students realize career possibilities they never knew existed.

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