Finding the right path: Customer Solutions Intern Jamera McNeil talks about finding community during virtual work

Image of Jamera McNeil, customer solutions intern.

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 on Adobe Life to provide a glimpse of how these extraordinary people are contributing to Adobe’s mission of changing the world through digital experiences.

Jamera McNeil often felt that the tech world had a high bar for entry, until she joined Adobe Digital Academy, which gives career switchers the education and experience they need to launch into tech. While at Adobe, Jamera found a community that has helped her see where her career path might go next. We spoke with her to learn more about her experiences.

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

I’ve been interested in getting into tech for years, but I didn’t really see an opportunity to advance my skills or move into the field. I was working in marketing and social media, but that’s not exactly what I wanted to be doing. I started looking into programs and apprenticeships, especially for women of color, and that’s when I discovered Adobe Digital Academy. I went for it and attended an information session, and now here I am.

What I enjoy the most is that it’s an ongoing community. I even still talk to my friends who didn’t go on to intern at Adobe. From the beginning, there’s been a lot of encouragement and support, plus a ton of programming and events to learn and ask questions. The panel discussions with Digital Academy alumni have been especially important. It made me feel very comfortable working with and reaching out to those employees.

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

I’m a customer solutions intern on the Adobe Consulting Services team, and my main project for the summer is creating a recruitment video for support engineers. That’s different from software engineering, which I studied at Digital Academy, but that’s a good thing: It’s allowed me to learn more about Adobe as a company and more about the support engineer role.

The beauty of this internship is that I’ve been able to talk with people in a lot of different areas, which has opened up my knowledge around fields in tech that aren’t coding but are still a part of the product development experience.

What has it been like working virtually as an intern?

I was used to working remotely through my previous job, but I will say I was very nervous virtually joining a company and a completely new industry for the first time. I’ve definitely had to change how I network with and reach out to people, but I was able to build out a whole workflow every week. It was just a matter of adjusting and taking the initiative. As I mentioned, though, I’ve been able to communicate with a lot of different folks via Digital Academy. Those conversations have been really fruitful in helping me build a possible career path and setting long-term goals.

What experience from your personal life did you bring to your role at Adobe?

I really enjoy video and content creation, with platforms like YouTube. I like the aspect of exploring creativity, storytelling, and finding new ways of expression. Working in social media, I did that a little bit, but I’ve really been able to bring that to my work at Adobe and the video project I’m working on. I think I was able to use my skills to capture the essence of the support engineer’s role, as well as the Adobe employees we feature and who they are.

What has your overall experience at Adobe been like?

My last job was a nonprofit, so I’m used to working at smaller companies. It’s been astounding to be a part of the Adobe world that affects so many people. This has shown me that there’s so much that’s possible in the tech field. I feel my career goals have pivoted in that I’d like to have a role that encapsulates all of my skills, with my background in marketing, my technical skills, and my interests in development and user experience, perhaps in product management.

I had this full-circle moment recently. When I was a social media manager, I was part of a study for Adobe Spark and would meet monthly with a product manager. Sadly, I actually had to leave that study when I joined Digital Academy. As an intern, I was matched with the lead software developer on the Adobe Spark team who actually sits next to the product manager I was working with. She and I reconnected, and she shared a lot of insight and advice into like this new career path I’m exploring. It just felt like a symbolic moment of my previous life and future aspirations coming together — and here I am an intern at Adobe, getting the inside scoop!