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Top takeaways from my
internship at Adobe

I consider myself the luckiest man alive. Not because of the opportunities that have been present at such a young age, not because of the adventures that I’ve lived through or the fantastic places life has taken me to; but because at the age of twenty-one I’ve been fortunate enough to have learned the most important lesson in life. 
 
See, I often question myself if whatever it is I am doing is worth my time and effort and I’ve always reached the same conclusion: life, as we know it, is not about the titles, the degrees, the awards, the money or anything that you can put your name on.

Life, as I came to understand, is about the people.

 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.
This was my main take-away at Adobe: that anyone can learn about campaign management, but very few manage to make significant relationships with the people around them.
 
I wouldn’t want to end this reflection without commenting on how this has been applicable at different stages in my life. This year I interviewed with a finance company that has operations all over the world. They have one advanced position in London, UK, and it is believed to be one of the most competitive jobs available to students. I decided to give it a shot even though I was aware of this, and that for this location in particular, they only hire students who have worked in their company before, have had some sort of finance background, or were going on their third and final co-op. I had none these. None. Zero. Nada. I even remember my advisor sending me an email the night before telling me it was a very competitive position and not to worry if it didn’t work out, that we would keep looking for other opportunities. So I went into the interview with all the odds against my favour, literally.
In fact, I went in there with the biggest smile on my face, with a tenacity to learn, a commitment to excel and a relatable and charming personality. I went in there knowing that life isn’t about titles or degrees or awards; its about the people.
The following day, at around ten in the morning I got a call from London and it was right there when I considered myself the luckiest man alive.
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