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June 6, 2022Print | PDF
The first impression many applicants make with a hiring manager is through their resume. The collection of work experience, co-op placements, volunteer work, and skills all tell a story that hopefully lands the applicant an interview. As work changes, so do the skills necessary to succeed in job searches and the workplace.
Today, being proficient in Microsoft Word and Excel is a table-stakes requirement. Whether you're looking for a role on Bay Street or in the Valley, knowing how to use modern software solutions is an absolute must—including the sales, marketing, and business communication platform Salesforce.
Earlier this year, Wilfrid Laurier Univeristy’s Prism Resources, and technology advisory firm Spaulding Ridge held a Salesforce workshop for Lazaridis School students. The event was attended by over 40 students looking to grow their Salesforce knowledge for co-op placements and jobs after graduation.
Louay Chauki is Prism Resources' vice-president of training and a fourth-year Economics and Finance student. The event's goal was to help students understand how Salesforce solutions are commonly used within different industries.
Prism Resources has helped students master new technologies and software since its establishment in 1991. The student-run program at the Lazaridis School provides services and support to their members with equipment rentals, training, and study spaces.
Spaulding Ridge is a global consultancy firm that helps organizations with digital transformation projects. The firm has offices in eight countries, including the United Kingdom, the United States, and Sweden—with Canadian offices in Calgary, Alberta, and Toronto, Ontario.
Hayden Carver, BBA ‘21, a consultant with Spaulding Ridge who helped organize and run the event, said that he was excited to help drive awareness of the Prism Resources' Salesforce courses. While studying at Laurier, in addition to being LazSoc co-president, Carver worked at Prism Resources as a Salesforce instructor for two semesters. He said he first started to understand the importance of knowing Salesforce during a co-op placement at Waterloo-based Axonify.
"When I worked at Axonify, I was on their business operations team and most of my job was using Salesforce. Prior to that, I had no experience with Salesforce at all and I hadn't taken the Prism course—which would have been really helpful," Carver said.
Today, Carver uses his Salesforce expertise to help large enterprises utilize digital technologies to create new, or modify existing, business processes, culture, and customer experiences to meet changing business and market requirements. He said that in addition to helping students develop their Salesforce knowledge, the event was an opportunity to show students different career options, including consulting work.
Carver said he also used Salesforce during a co-op placement at a private equity firm. That experience reinforced the value of understanding today's business software solutions.
"Even though that placement was more focused on financial analysis, I still used Salesforce every day there because that's how we maintained our outreach to prospective companies and our portfolio companies,” Carver said. “The platform itself goes far beyond the surface level that people might think of, and there's a good chance that many students will need to use Salesforce at some point in their careers. Having at least the basic knowledge that comes from the Prism course is helpful.”
While Spaulding Ridge has run similar events before, Carver said the event with Prism Resources was an opportunity to get involved with a student-run organization that directly helps students. Students left the event with a detailed overview of the Salesforce platform and information on Salesforce's Trailhead, an online learning system that offers users the opportunity to explore in-demand skills, earn credentials, and connect with other users on the platform.
"We also wanted to drive interest in the Prism course and use the event as an opportunity to talk about the co-op and full-time roles available for Lazaridis students at Spaulding Ridge," Carver said.
For Chauki, the event was a chance to help set up future Lazaridis grads for success in their careers. As he hands the reins over to the next generation of Prism Resources student leaders, he said the organization plans to expand its offerings as industry needs evolve.
"We recently looked into expanding into training on the Salesforce API as well because we see that as a huge opportunity. Prism is always looking to expand the offerings to our students," Chauki said.
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