Two distinct experiences have shaped my view on this and I’d like to share this with you; especially for those who are about to take on, or have already started their summer internships. Three years ago I graduated high school in El Salvador and decided that I wanted an experience abroad to learn more about the world. I enrolled in Northeastern University in Boston, MA, and discovered it was everything I was looking for since it offered a very diverse student body and a fantastic blend of academia and professional experiences.
At the age of nineteen I found myself taking a semester off and starting a six-month employment contract at Adobe Systems in San Francisco, CA. It was life changing. I joined the Digital Marketing team and was fortunate to learn about online advertising optimization whereby I would run campaigns on Google, Yahoo, Bing, Facebook and Twitter. Six months flew by and I soon found myself back on campus ready to share what an amazing experience I had in Silicon Valley. But the question always struck me: what was your main take-away at Adobe? How are you different now than you were a semester ago?
I honestly didn’t know where to start; do I mention the technical skills? my long commute? my adventures while touring around the Golden State?
It took me one year to find the answer I was looking for. For spring break this year, along with other Northeastern students who were also doing co-ops in California at the same time I was, we decided to go back and visit for a week. Once we got there, I thought it would great if to devote a day to visit my team at Adobe. It happened that when I got to our
offices, I had already been signed-in by my previous manager and in a matter of seconds it seemed like no time had go by since I left a year ago. Not only did I remembered each and every one of my team’s names, but that of their partners and their children — if they had any. I remembered that one had wedding plans, that someone else’s boy had just started kindergarden and asked my boss how his first year of his masters education was going. I remembered them as meaningful people to my professional development. I found out that one had left and was now working in Palo Alto; so after my visit, I took a trip up to Palo Alto to have an afternoon coffee with her. A Philz mint-mojito, medium ice, medium cream, low sugar — her favourite.