By Nicole Bonilla, graduate of the very first Oracle Sales Academy:
"Figuring out what to do after graduation can be a pretty intimidating task for most college students. As a second-semester senior with student loan payments on the horizon and scarcely a month left until commencement, it was downright terrifying.
I first slipped into Oracle’s campus-recruiting information session at Cornell University this past April. With little to no knowledge about what Oracle actually did or how my psychology degree could possibly be considered relevant to a technology company, I decided to see what they had to say, though I didn’t expect much.
Four months later, I am so glad that I made that decision.
After a streamlined hiring process that took all of one week to complete, I became a member of the Oracle Direct Class of 2013 Sales Academy – a program spearheaded by President Mark Hurd with the intention of breathing new life into the company and allowing Oracle to train its new sales force from scratch. One of 450 college new hires, I was now on the front lines of a revolution to change the way sales is done at one of the most powerful companies in the world.
Even now, it’s hard to believe my luck.
The Sales Academy training program kicked off in sunny Santa Clara, California on July 8th – my birthday, coincidentally. Following a day of introductions and general housekeeping, all new hires were invited to a special welcome reception, where we were wooed with lobster tails, wine, and a live mariachi band. In addition to being
serenaded by a group of wonderful Mexican musicians, I also had the opportunity to meet some of my new colleagues and introduce myself to a few of the program’s chief organizers.
That day set the tone for the rest of the summer.
Without my realizing it, the next 8 weeks flew by. I learned all about the red stack, Sandler methodology, and how to navigate the complex web that is Oracle’s self-service intranet. I saw my first San Francisco Giants game with 6 busloads of my colleagues on an Academy-funded excursion. I listened to seasoned experts give lectures on topics ranging from leveraging Social Media to what Oracle’s Cloud strategy is. I spent a whole day volunteering with the Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula, participating in fun activities and building a bike for a wonderful, deserving kid.
I even had the amazing, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to ask Larry Ellison himself for his insight on reaching entrepreneurial success. His words of advice: “Find the error in conventional wisdom. And never give up.” This, in addition to the inspiring stories shared by some of our other key speakers: Joanne Olsen, Sonny Singh, Mark Hurd, and Safra Katz.
This program has done an incredible job of preparing me for my new role as a Core Tech sales representative within Oracle Direct.
I was sad to bid farewell to the amazing people that I met in Santa Clara over the past 8 weeks, yet also incredibly excited to see the great work that we’re all going to accomplish in our respective hubs. I am settling into Austin, Texas to begin putting everything I’ve learned to good use. I’m ready to work hard, learn fast, and crush my quota.
After all, those student loans aren’t going to pay themselves.