It’s not many people who can say that at the age of 24, they were leading a bi-coastal team of 14 for an international technology company. But not everyone’s Corliss. Now an Application Sales Manager, she began her journey with Oracle in 2015 when she joined our Class Of program. In reality, the sequence of events that led to her career with Oracle began much farther back than that. Coming from what she describes as an “entrepreneurial family,” she’s always had a flair for enterprise.
In high school, Corliss co-founded an e-commerce boutique with her 16-year-old sister. As you can imagine, the experience taught Corliss quite a bit. At the tender age of 18, she was learning how to deal with international vendors, run an online business, and market it to the world. Arguably, the most important thing it taught her was that she had a head for business—and she liked it. But there’s more to the story than that. Why did she choose a career in sales? Corliss says the biggest deciding factor was an exchange she had with none other than world-renowned entrepreneur, Mark Cuban.
“The reason why I was interested in sales in the first place was actually down to an experience I had in business school,” Corliss remembers. “I was in USC, studying a course on entrepreneurship. They had Mark Cuban come in and talk to us about his journey to success. I’m a big fan of his career, and one of the things he said really stood out to me,” she recalls. “He said that he wouldn’t dream of hiring someone who didn’t have any sales experience, and that learning to change somebody’s perspective and really sell the value of something is one of the most important skills you’ll ever have.”
These words of wisdom really struck home for Corliss. So much so, that when she heard about Oracle’s Class Of program at a career fair, she was convinced it was the perfect next step. “I was hooked when I heard about the stellar sales training that Oracle is known for. They were one of the companies that really promoted internal training and internal mobility, and that was very attractive to me.”
Being the business-minded woman that she is, Corliss made sure she was fully informed before committing to her next career move. “Before I accepted my job offer with Oracle, I reached out to a couple of folks who had worked here for 10 years or more. What they told me had a very big influence on my decision to accept my place,” she reveals. “I knew I wanted a job that I could grow into, and they assured me that’s what Oracle is all about.”
Of course, Corliss can now vouch for this herself. “I didn’t realise just how much investment Oracle puts into their employees until I went through the program myself,” she admits. “Being able to start off in a company with people the same age as you, who are going through the same experience, was a very cool way to kick off my career. We had professionals come in to help us work on our LinkedIn profiles and amazing guest speakers teach us about the industry.”
Corliss still remembers feeling awed when she met Oracle’s leadership team. “I was very inspired. For them to invest their time and show their respect to the incoming Class Of groups is something that always helps me describe the unique culture at Oracle.”
“Leveraging such young talent and having us get involved in the business so early on could be seen as a risk,” Corliss continues, “but I’ve seen my peers build on those skills, excel, and become incredibly successful at what they do. That’s very unique to Oracle,” she explains. “We even had The Wall Street Journal come in and interview us. The program’s gained a lot of positive exposure.”
The ability of the Class Of program to propel young people’s careers’ is well documented—just look at Corliss. “I started off as an Applications Sales Rep for our Human Capital Management (HCM) products. Even back then I was allowed travel to customers and get real exposure. I don’t think I would have gotten that in many other companies at my age,” she remarks.
Two years later, Corliss was offered a managerial position. She says the promotion felt like her career was coming full circle. “As a people manager, you learn how to interview people, hire them, and help them grow their careers. To experience all those things first-hand makes selling HR software all the more meaningful for me, because I understand how impactful it can be in those career moments that really matter.”
Corliss has since returned to field sales and now uses her experience as a source of advantage in strategic HCM deals. “It’s been very cool to work directly with businesses and field executives and be able to say, ‘hey, this is what Oracle’s product looks like and this is how we can actually impact a large organization likes yours,” Corliss shares. “I love seeing a customer’s excitement when they realise the difference we can make for their organization.”
Interested in kick-starting your career like Corliss? Learn more about our Class Of program.