Internships Lead to Employment at Adobe

Julia-Grummel-web

Alumna Julia Grummel had a dual major in digital arts and computer science (CS), and a great familiarity with Adobe software products. She had used PhotoShop and InDesign in as early as junior high school, and says she was “a customer and a fan” of the software.

So when, in her sophomore year at BGSU, she heard about internship opportunities at Adobe Systems, she applied and landed what would become a three-summer internship at its headquarters in San Jose, California.

Although she hadn’t met Adobe CEO and fellow alumnus Shantanu Narayen prior to her internship (she met him during her first summer), she said that his connection to the university definitely helped her to get a foot in the door.

“There’s a relationship between BGSU and Adobe because of him, and Adobe pays attention to BGSU applicants because of that connection.” It didn’t hurt, either, that she was an active student in the CS department and chapter president of the Association for Computing Machinery.

Starting work in design for accessibility and usability at Adobe, Ms. Grummel eventually took on development work as well, and worked part-time on projects from home during the school year. It was a rich experience and she gained a great deal of real-world knowledge that lies beyond the classroom, including navigating a corporate environment and the different opportunities there are in the broad field of computer science. In particular, she learned about user experience design, or UX, which involves enhancing customer satisfaction by maximizing a product’s ease of use. After being exposed to UX, she decided that’s what she wanted to do.

Grummel graduated in May 2015 and was hired full-time as a UX designer/developer at Adobe the following month. Her team is working now on the restructure and redesign of Adobe Support, which includes both online and live agent tech support tools. They are making many of the design changes to online templates for support web pages and agent tools for an improved experience for the customer. Her role involves front-end coding to build prototypes in consideration with the interaction a user has with a particular design—a perfect fit with her dual major of computer science and digital arts.

“The BGSU computer science program was really valuable because the department is so closely tied to the industry,” said Ms. Grummel. “There were so many valuable opportunities, and speakers, and workshops, and relationships with people in the industry, that it made the transition from the classroom to corporate life much smoother.”

She says she joined Adobe at a very good time, because the project involves the collaboration of many teams and entails big changes that will have a big impact on the company.