By The Mentoring Circle
Clare Lim is an Associate on the Portfolio Success Management (PSM) team at Salesforce where she ensures customers derive the maximum value from Salesforce solutions. Clare is a graduate from the SMU School of Social Sciences where she majored in Psychology and Marketing. The Mentoring Circle speaks to Clare to see what it takes, and how it is like, to work in the tech industry:
On her SMU highlights
During my junior year, I stayed in China where I completed my International Exchange Programme as a General Scholar and took most of my classes in Mandarin. I also lived and worked on projects with an international student community on the Tsinghua University campus for over half a year. The cultural experience and variety of courses I took provided me with a first-hand understanding of China which I believe has helped me better analyse and manage clients.
In my final year, I took on a summer programme at Copenhagen Business School (CBS) that allowed me the opportunity to do an internship with a Danish-based startup, Vejrhøj. I feel fortunate to have had such a memorable and enjoyable time in SMU. Clearly, I did not spend that much time studying but instead spent a lot of time exploring beyond the books. I think the international exposure I gained made my SMU experience much more memorable and special.
On her internship path
Considering I found the module, “Computing as an Analysis Tool (CAT)” to be rather onerous, I never imagined I would ever work in tech. However, my interest in technology was sparked when I was living in China. Instead of digging into their wallets for their credit cards, they flicked open WeChat and paid using their mobile phones (even for purchases at roadside stalls!).
Evidently, my personal in-depth experience in China allowed me to see how technology served as an enabler, allowing less-developed regions to “leapfrog”. This first-hand experience exposed me to technology and led to my decision to pursue a career in it.
During my time in Vejrhøj, I was not only able to apply concepts I learnt in the classroom but also saw firsthand how Salesforce empowered Vejrhøj to work efficiently across its various target markets it. In particular, Vejrhøj had many opportunities and leads available which Salesforce managed to neatly consolidate and categorise into a single dashboard. This saved the interns (i.e. me) from spending many precious hours sifting through data.
In addition, my experiences in SMU played a crucial role in moulding me into the person I have become today. Without the myriad of opportunities that SMU provided me, I doubt that I would have been able to find my place in Salesforce.
2018 SG Success Graduates Lunch with the Success Management Team
On a typical work day
Being part of the PSM involves keeping track of various user metrics and proactively engaging clients who may not be as familiar with the platform by providing them with recommendations.
Apart from that, all staff are encouraged to volunteer for worthy causes, so a typical work day for me also involves helping children at Blessings in a Bag through donations and cleaning services.
On misconceptions about the tech industries
The most common misconception people have is that one needs a tech background to work in tech. This couldn’t be further from the truth and I’m a testament to that. Individuals from diverse backgrounds are always welcomed, so do not let stereotypes and stiff competition discourage your interest. There are also structured onboarding programmes filled with enablement sessions to allow individuals to transit smoothly into their roles.
As I reflect on my time in SMU, I think that I am very blessed to have met many inspiring and helpful individuals who motivate me to do my best. In particular, I would like to thank Professor Rick Smith. Apart from bringing unique insights about Strategic Management and Human Capital, I’m astounded by his commitment to student life at SMU and dedication to delivering a high-quality learning experience.
Similarly, I have also met many helpful and brilliant individuals at Salesforce. Raphael Fraga, my direct manager, has never hesitated to guide me through my learning journey. He enabled me to grow through challenging assignments in a fail-safe environment—something I personally feel is extremely important when looking for a mentor.
Co-hosting for Base Camp
On getting a job at Salesforce
Apply early – At Salesforce, we are dedicated to talent generation. Do check out openings on our website.
Think on your feet – Being from SMU, you should be more than familiar with making compelling presentations and analysing business cases. Nonetheless, you should brush up on your skills as these are key components of the Salesforce selection process (hint hint).
Thrive in Diversity – Salesforce is a very diverse and dynamic company. As part of our Ohana culture, be prepared to participate in a broad range of activities including self-development, knowledge-sharing sessions and volunteering.
[This interview has been edited and condensed for readability.]
This article was originally published on The Mentoring Circle.
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