Learning new ways of thinking: Software engineer intern Raul Trejo shares his experiences at Adobe

Learning new ways of thinking: Software Engineer Intern Raul Trejo shares his experiences at Adobe.

At Adobe, internships are more than mere on-the-job training; we encourage our interns to dream big, and we equip them with critical opportunities to learn, build community, and make an impact. We’re featuring their experiences to provide a glimpse of how these extraordinary people are contributing to Adobe’s mission of changing the world through digital experiences.

Raul Trejo joined the company through Adobe Digital Academy, which empowers high-potential talent with non-traditional backgrounds to thrive. Raul’s time at Adobe has given him new coding and business skills — but it has also changed his outlook on his work and personal life. We spoke with him to learn more about his experiences.

What was your journey to applying to and joining Adobe Digital Academy?

I was born in the U.S., but my parents moved us back to Mexico when I was six, so that’s where I grew up. I even went to college there, but I wasn’t able to finish, unfortunately. I just didn’t have the financial resources and my father passed away during my third semester. I eventually moved back to the U.S. in search of a better future for myself and my family. About two weeks after I landed in LAX I got hired at a hospital as patient transporter and later got promoted to hospital courier. After two and a half years of working there I found myself at a crossroads: I wanted to continue my education, but it wasn’t financially possible.

One day, a cousin who works in tech told me about the Adobe Digital Academy. It was an opportunity like no other, a chance to learn programming, do an internship at Adobe, and the possibility of getting a full-time job at the end. I didn’t think twice after I found out and submitted my application. I was really nervous going in and didn’t know what to expect. I had some basic coding experience, but it was from years ago when I attended college. It turned out to be a great experience, with incredible instructors who were really supportive and encouraged me to pursue my goals. It completely exceeded my expectations.

What is your internship title, and what is your main project this summer?

I’m a software engineer intern, and my summer project was building a preview functionality for the Help Center site for Adobe Commerce. The team I was assigned to just recently created an open source repository where anybody can contribute their knowledge of the Magento platform. The problem Benjamin Cerda—my fellow intern—and I solved was that contributors were unable to preview what their articles would display as without publishing them, and it takes about 15 minutes before they go live on the site. If they don’t render properly, they have to fix any issues, resubmit them, and then wait another 15 minutes.

The person I worked under—Ursula Cedillo—had the idea to build a preview feature, but she hadn’t had the time develop it. That’s where Benji and I took ownership of the issue, and we now have a working prototype. It’s only available for internal use at the moment, but the idea is to make it accessible to the public for a more user friendly contribution experience.

What has your overall experience at Adobe been like?

It’s like drinking out of a fire hose at times, but I’ve learned that Adobe is a company that takes care of its employees, and I’ve discovered the potential that a conglomeration of kind people has. I’ve never experienced that before. My team treats me with the same respect as any full-time employee, and they do not look down on me for being an intern. My ideas and opinions are taken into consideration, and I am encouraged to grow and develop myself.

I can only say it has been a challenging, life-changing, positive experience.

I also had the opportunity to meet Adobe’s CEO, Shantanu Narayen. I expressed how grateful I was for the opportunity the people of Adobe had given me, and that it truly changed the course of my life. He replied that if it had made such an impact, that it was my responsibility to pay it forward.

Pay it forward. I never expected to hear those words from such a business giant. An honest display of humanity that I believe sums up the culture Adobe fosters.

What has it been like working virtually as an intern?

I like it—you can’t beat the commute—but it has been a little tough because, even during COVID, I regularly saw my co-workers in person as part of my job at the hospital.

I live in Bakersfield, California, which is definitely not a tech hub, but I ended up living close to an Adobe employee named Archy Posada. He went through Digital Academy as well, and now works on the Photoshop team as a product manager. He’s even featured on the promotional video of the Digital Academy site.

What are the odds!? Adobe has 24,000+ employees; out of everybody, the one person I got to meet face to face is someone who understands and relates to the experiences I’m having. We’ve met for lunch a couple times, and he’s a really genuine and inspiring person.

What have you learned at Adobe that you’ve carried over to other parts of your life?

Definitely the growth mindset. I didn’t really understand it before. I assumed it was a corporate cliché, or some kind of “woo-woo” concept. But I’ve had the opportunity to meet a lot of people with this mindset, and I had it all wrong. It’s really the idea that you can grow and develop yourself as an individual in a continuous manner, and it’s a very encouraging way of looking at things—that you can embrace challenges, be resilient, and get better.

I’m excited to apply this new mindset to achieve my life goals, and to be able to pay forward the opportunity that I was given.