My Internship Experience: Adobe

Hi, I am Aarsh, a fourth-year undergraduate in Electrical Engineering. I got interested in pursuing research from second year onwards. I really liked the introductory course on Machine Learning and wanted to pursue this field. I had already done an academic intern through SURGE in my second year and thus had a fair idea about how things work in academia. Although, I had heard some negative views about strict corporate cultures still I wanted to explore and experience it myself. Thus I decided to go for an industry based internship rather than an academic one (at an exotic location). Finally, I found myself lucky to land at Adobe, which claimed to provide the blend of both research and industry.

Selection Criteria

I am not the best person to describe the overall selection process as I was given a direct invite. Adobe comes to campus for two profiles: Research and Product. Basically, if you have an impressive resume with a high CPI, you are selected for the internship directly without any test/interview. Few of the candidates were selected like that. Rest of the applicants had to go through a coding test and an interview.

Internship

Almost everyone selected for Research profile was assigned at Adobe’s BigData Experience Lab (BEL), Bangalore. Travel and other arrangements were done by Adobe. The stay was provided for two weeks at one of those expensive hotels. On the first day of the internship, there was an orientation to make us familiar with Adobe’s ecosystem.

We were supposed to work in a team of 2 or 3 on problem space provided to us. In order to make it fair, they ensured that no two interns from same college land in the same team. Also, the assignment of the problem space was completely random. Most of the problem spaces were very broad and related to the field of Big Data and Machine learning. Some of the problem spaces were Augmented Reality, Data Security & Privacy, Data visualization, and Analytics etc.

One thing I would like to clarify here is that Adobe is a big player in Digital Marketing and it has a wide variety of products (not just limited to the Photoshop and PDF Reader :P). The products ranged from “PrimeTime” in video streaming to the domain of Analytics. Each team was assigned two mentors from the lab who were well versed with the assigned problem space.

Broadly speaking, the internship was divided into two phases. In the first phase, we had to brainstorm and explore the problem space and come up with fewer problem statements which were “worth solving”, which essentially meant that the chosen problem must be interesting, hard, innovative and in the domain of Adobe. We had to do a lot of reading to understand the problem. This was the most crucial and exciting phase of the internship where you realise the importance of critically choosing the right problem statement.  The second phase was spent exploring the solutions, writing codes, and testing hypotheses. Overall the internship was well structured to give you insights about industrial research.

Additionally, if you put in some genuine effort then there is a very good chance for you to secure a patent or get a publication in some of the most prestigious journals.

The best thing about Adobe is its people and open work culture. There are no boundaries. One can talk and discuss any idea even with people very high up in the hierarchy. Mentors are very caring and polite. Nothing is forced, there is no concept of time-in or time-out or a dress code. The overall working environment is quite productive. Apart from that, there are quite a bit of recreational activities one can do here, the office houses an active sports area with foosball, pool, TT, gymnasium and even a  basketball court! There is a 24X7 open pantry, with free lunch, dinner and midnight snacks (Yes, you can stay late here). On Sundays, you get to order free-food from any restaurant in the city (Of course you’ll have to come to the office for it to be free ;P ). A lot of treats and team outings were organized for the interns.

Future Plans

Edited by Smarth Gupta