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Summer 2017

Summer Diaries: Adobe

July 1, 2017
- Aashaka Shah

Making it there


My selection to the internship was based on my grades. The top 5 department rank holders from CSE and top n ( n <= 5 ) from EE, ECE and MnC get this VIP-level direct entry to the Big Data Experience Lab, Adobe Research, India. The other procedure of selection involves a coding test followed by telephonic interview. They also have a few other off-campus internship opportunities for women via the competitive coding contest - Codhers and Adobe India Women in Technology Scholarship.

The Work and Culture


The research internship takes place at the Big Data Experience Lab of Adobe Research in Bangalore. Interns are given a vast problem space from which they have to read literature and generate ideas. Most of the projects fall in the domains in which Adobe is working on or is interested in expanding its hold on. It might come as a surprise to many, but apart from the ubiquitous PDF, Photoshop and Illustrator, the infamous flash player and the coveted Behance invites, a lot of Adobe’s revenue and customers come from its Marketing Cloud. It is in this domain that the Adobe India Lab works on. The projects may span multiple different areas like video, systems, text, email, etc but almost always have a touch of machine learning attached to them.

Each team consists of 2-3 interns and two mentors. The mentors are friendly, there are team outings and meetings are also usually very interesting.

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On a more serious note, the internship is divided into three stages, which loosely translate into choosing a problem (problem defense), thinking of a solution (solution defense) and a demo (final presentation). The first stage goes a long way in improving your presentation and analytical skills and the next two stages, your technical skills.

The timings are flexible, which means you can work for as much as you can, there is nothing to stop you from working. In fact, interns also tend to work on Sunday, lured by the prospect of ordering free (till a certain, but huge, amount) food for both lunch and dinner. Lunch and dinner on all other days is free and provided in the cafeteria. There is a pantry at every floor which always has a stock of milk, coffee and tea, while maggi, fruits and cornflakes finish quickly.

Adobe tries its best to keep work lively for its interns and employees by organizing fun activities like volleyball tournaments, chess competitions, Friends quiz, and stand up comedy shows. Apart from that, one can find interesting things to do in Bangalore using apps like LBB and Insider.in.

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Key Takeaways and Advice


One of the goals of the internship is to publish research papers and file patents, which is a useful addition in case one plans to pursue research in the future or make more money on the side. As for the structure of the internship, one of my mentors fondly referred to the internship program as a mini-PhD program. To be fair, I couldn’t have agreed more! The prospect of a research internship had always appealed to me from the start of my second year. An internship at Adobe Research seemed like the best of both, the industry and the research world when I had accepted the internship offer. As my internship progresses, I believe that I made the right judgement.

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As mentioned previously, a ‘wild-card’ way of getting this internship is on the basis of your CGPA. To the smug readers falling in the aforementioned category, here’s a warning! Unless you are the DR1, or have a secret contact in the TPO who can reassure you otherwise, do not live in the bubble of comfort of having already scored an internship, as Adobe’s intake policies could change every internship season.