Getting back together: After three virtual summers, interns return to the Adobe offices

October 10, 2023

Tags: Internships

Last summer, Adobe Research intern Xuanda Yang worked with his mentors virtually. This summer, as he began his second internship, Yang stepped into an Adobe office for the very first time. He was one of more than 300 Adobe Research interns filling the company’s halls, offices, and labs after three virtual summers, soaking in all the benefits of face-to-face teamwork, networking, and unique learning opportunities at Adobe.

“Last year’s virtual internship was a great experience,” Yang explains. “But when I came to the San Francisco office, it didn’t take long for me to realize that this internship was going to surpass my expectations.”

Yang has been working with Adobe Research mentors Andrew Adams and Derek Gerstmann on a project to help automatically find bugs in the Halide programming language. “Being in-person definitely improved my relationship with my mentors and other interns. Before this internship, I only knew them through research collaborations or reading their papers. Being in-person allowed me to have lunch chats with them, to find out we recently watched the same show, or to go to a comedy together. I realized that meeting people, chatting with them, and working with them in person every day is simply the best part of an internship experience,” he says.

Mikayla Francisco, who just completed her second Adobe internship, spent the summer working closely with her primary mentor Meredith Kunz in the San Jose office, along with co-mentors Claire Li and Marisa Lenhardt. She was planning, filming, and editing a marketing reel that highlights the work of Adobe Researchers.

“Compared to my virtual internship experience last summer, this summer was definitely more exciting,” says Francisco. “Last year, I edited videos using content that was already available. Since I was in-person this summer, I was able to take on a project that involved filming people at the Adobe office. Creating my own content was wonderful!”

It wasn’t just interns who benefitted from in-person collaborations — their mentors were energized as well.

For Senior Audio Research Engineer Oriol Nieto, it was the first summer working with interns in the building. “It has been such a fantastic experience! The office felt different,” says Nieto. “It was full of energy, impromptu conversations, and lunch sessions. And it was great to be able to use our physical whiteboards while brainstorming ideas with our interns.”

Research Engineer Ohi Dibua also had his first opportunity to work with Adobe Research interns in-person this summer. One big difference from collaborating with interns in-person vs. virtually has been “the ease of their ability to spontaneously ask questions, and to have informal check-ins based on their progress and how they are feeling,” Dibua says. He also was glad to see that interns’ presence “made the office feel incredibly lively.”

Taking full advantage of the opportunities at Adobe

In addition to working on projects with their mentors — and having those serendipitous meetings that can only happen when you’re in the same space — this summer’s Adobe interns attended events and sessions designed to deepen their professional skills and build their networks.

The summer kicked off with the annual Intern Summit, a chance to meet each other, hear from Adobe leaders, and build professional skills. To wrap things up, interns shared their work through the Virtual Intern Project Expo in August.

In between, Adobe Research interns had the opportunity to join the annual Communication Workshop Series, a collection of sessions led by Adobe employees and designed to help interns build their professional and academic skills. Popular workshops covered public speaking, user research methods, paper writing, and how to create effective figures and visualizations.

“I made so many close friends through my experiences this summer,” adds Francisco. “And I always felt that there were opportunities to network and get to know about other orgs in Adobe. Everyone was open to talking to me about their work and offering career advice, which made me feel very supported.”

Interested in an Adobe Research internship? You can learn more and find out how to apply here.

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