A culture of learning at Adobe

Dennis Hwang (left) at graduation day with the Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism & Mass Communication at YONSEI University, Seoul, South Korea.

Dennis Hwang (left) at graduation day with the Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism & Mass Communication at YONSEI University, Seoul, South Korea.

Here at Adobe, we believe that by fostering a culture of learning, employees can grow their careers and excel. One such way we accomplish this is through our learning fund program. Through Adobe’s learning fund, we provide funding for education and professional development programs to give employees the opportunity to invest in their career at Adobe.

Dennis Hwang was the first employee in our Seoul, South Korea office to use the learning fund back in 2009. Fast forward 11 years and Dennis has used the learning fund multiple times. Hear from Dennis on how the Adobe learning fund has benefited him and his career.

I could not be more grateful for Adobe’s learning fund program! The program—split into a $10,000 USD yearly education reimbursement for academic degrees and certifications, and an annual $1,000 USD professional development reimbursement for short-term learning opportunities—has been such a big part of my career success.

In 2009, I was the first Adobe employee in South Korea to use the education reimbursement benefit, and since then I’ve succeeded in many academic pursuits, such as getting an MBA, a TESOL certification, graduating from the YONSEI University Digital Marketing Executive Program, and I’m currently continuing my studies in English technical writing.

I feel very strongly that education is one of the most important factors in growing your career. However, it is not always easy to pursue extended education, whether it is due to a lack of time, insufficient budget, or misaligned career paths. This is why Adobe’s culture of learning is so important—not only does it help to eliminate the barrier of cost; it also encourages employees to set enough time aside for learning. To better understand my passion for working at this company and my academic pursuits, allow me to tell you a little more about how I got started here.

From dreams to a reality

My first experience with Adobe was when I was in college learning how to use Photoshop and Illustrator. Later, I was lucky enough to become the sole distributor of products for Adobe Korea in 1999. As a partner, my first impression of Adobe employees and the office was unforgettable. The culture and the environment were eye-opening and was vastly different from what I had ever experienced at the time. It was then that I decided I wanted to become an Adobe employee one day in the future.

I asked one of the staff how I should prepare to become an employee, and he answered without hesitation, “English and educational background.” Soon after, I took his advice to heart and registered in an English class to continue up-leveling my language skills and continuing my education at a university.

It was not an easy journey for me to afford the tuition and dedicate the necessary time for my education. At that time, I was an entry-level office worker and there was a lack of support to continue my education, but I dreamed of becoming an Adobe employee. I finally got the chance and achieved my goal in six years. Sometimes I can’t help but think that if my previous employer had supported me like Adobe does now, my situation today would have been different—I might have stayed there to help grow the business, or maybe I would have achieved my goal sooner if I had the dedicated time and support.

Since joining Adobe and using the learning fund, I am seeing that many of my colleagues in Seoul are utilizing it, and I feel proud to be the one who paved the way. I’m continuing to benefit from Adobe’s generosity by learning and advancing my career skills, and I will stay on this path for years to come with Adobe’s ongoing support!