Students gain professional skills through the “CCSF Salesforce Club”


By Da Lee


In collaboration with Salesforce, the “CCSF Salesforce Club” leads students a step closer to their professional career pathways through 14 guest speakers, workshops, and networking events every Thursday at Batemall Hall in room 301A.


Salesforce, an American cloud-based software company headquartered in San Francisco may be familiar to Bay Area locals but CCSF Salesforce Club, officially recognized as a student club by the Inter Club Council (ICC), is something new for City College students.     


“Our mission is for members to learn technical and business skills on Trailhead, while also developing professionally via professional speakers, workshops, and networking events,” Club Founder and President Moises Cervantes said.


New to City College


Unlike other student clubs, CCSF Salesforce Club is the first student club that is sponsored by a company providing off-campus materials related to finance and human resources.


Initially, the ICC was not comfortable accepting clubs that are corporate-sponsored per se because of concerns with having an unbalanced influence from an outside organization into the student population at City College, ICC Vice President Drew Win said.


ICC accepted the Salesforce Club because all funds are handled through the club’s bank account and student activity office. Salesforce financially supports the club through reimbursements of food and supply costs, along with providing free Trailhead services for all members.

Salesforce Heroku Software Engineer Eric Chen demonstrates how to use cloud platform Heroku to design applications on Feb. 7. Photo by Da Lee/ The Guardsman

According to Cervantes, the club can request reimbursements once a month. Reimbursements depend on the number of participants at each event: $350 for 1-25 people, $500 for 25-50 people, and $750 for 50-100 people. Any event with 150 people or more may receive a reimbursement budget of over $1,000.      


“Their mission is oriented around using the tools and resources of the corporation instead of trying to exert influence here in campus […] this is the first time that we had a club that has any ties with a large corporation like that, so we asked the same questions to make sure that they knew what the boundaries were,” Win said.  


CCSF Salesforce Club emerges


Establishing a student club came to light when Cervantes came across representatives at a Salesforce Trailhead workshop and presented interest in providing a space at City College for students to actively engage more with the Trailhead platform.


“Most people view City College as a community college, and everyone comes and leaves. But Cervantes wanted to make a club in a way that we [students] can develop ourselves as professionals,” club Vice President Pauline Maninang said.

Chibuenyi Griffith, left, shares his work experience at Salesforce with Areeya Chananndech, Grace Mar, and Alexa Bautista on Feb. 14. Photo by Da Lee/ The Guardsman

In late fall semester of 2018, Cervantes founded the Salesforce Club with 15 club members and six officers: Vice President Maninang, Marketing Director Maria Dacanay, Onboarding Director Yuci Yu, Logistics Director Nadine Peralta, Social Media Director David Butler, Social Media Associate Evanna Wong.


By their fourth workshop, 70 students signed up, with about 25 active members participating in all scheduled workshops throughout spring semester. While a few club members come various City College campuses, most its members are based on Ocean Campus.


Workshops and Networking


At the start of spring semester, CCSF Salesforce Club held three workshops: Guest Speaker Eric Chen, Resume & LinkedIn Workshop, and Speed Networking.


Eric Chen, an associate member of technical staff at Salesforce Heroku, explained how to use Heroku — a cloud platform as a service (PaaS) that enables developers to build, deliver, manage and scale applications — at the club’s first workshop on Jan. 31.


Chen believes Heroku is a good place to start whether someone works at Salesforce Heroku or not because they’ll learn how to develop and deploy web applications .


“Familiarizing yourself with Heroku won’t hurt because there’s a huge job market for that,” Chen said.


After learning more about Heroku, computer science student Nicole Chui plans to begin using it because the platform’s web pages are clean and helpful for beginners.


The club held a how-to “Resume & LinkedIn” workshop on Feb.7 in collaboration with Hireforce, a recruitment firm that specializes in helping companies hire Salesforce talents.


Hireforce CEO Rachel Saks and her team advised students on resume do’s and don’ts and assisted students with polishing their individual LinkedIn profiles.


“This workshop is the first one [working] with the college. Because we speak to candidates and companies every day and we’ve seen so much, we’d like to share that knowledge,” Saks said.

The club’s Speed Networking event on Valentine’s Day provided opportunities for members to engage with professionals from various fields at City Café.


“I’m excited to be here and share my experience of where I have been and how I got to where I am today,” project manager and City College alumnus Jose Mora said.


For Dacanay, each workshop is beneficial and presents a variety of careers to members, along with guidance and information as to how to enter such professions.


“The whole point of our club is to grow as professionals, so I hope that after each event everyone can gain a couple skills that they can use in their professional careers later on in life,” Cervantes said.


Students interested in learning how Deputy Director Nelly Sapinski and Kevin Ortiz use the nonprofit cloud at Jamestown Community Center can join the CCSF Salesforce Club at their next workshop on Thursday, Mar. 7 in MUB 357 from 2:30 p.m. – 4 p.m.


The Guardsman