How Adobe is helping student athletes at HBCUs and HSIs discover a career in technology

Student athlete looking at a computer.

In today’s competitive job market, internships are often seen as a vital stepping stone for students to enter the workforce. Successful internships can not only help students gain invaluable real-world skills and land a job more easily after graduation, but studies have shown that students with relevant work experience are likely to get paid more in their first job.

Our internship program is a critical funnel for hiring the future talent of Adobe. During the internship, students from various backgrounds can experience Adobe’s special culture and contribute their fresh ideas to make an impact on Adobe’s category-defining products that touch hundreds of millions of people every day. This year, we’re proud to welcome our largest cohort of over 1,200 interns worldwide. In addition to getting hands on experience with Adobe products, our interns can network with Adobe’s senior leaders, showcase their summer projects to Adobe employees, participate in career development sessions, attend mixers and social hours to strengthen connections with their peers, and much more.

As we kick off our internship season this year, I’m excited to spotlight a new initiative from Adobe that will provide support and career opportunities to student athletes at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) and Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSIs) in the U.S. The program builds on our previously announced $1 million investment each to Bowie State University, Winston-Salem State University and San Jose University to provide their students with training, career readiness, financial assistance, and digital tools to fuel their professional careers at Adobe or elsewhere. It also serves as another example of how we’re continuing to put Adobe For All into action by helping young people of all backgrounds learn and get excited about a career in technology.

Quote by Kennth Imo.

Introducing the Adobe Student Athlete Micro Internship Program for HBCUs and HSIs

For student athletes, the challenges of balancing schoolwork with unpredictable time commitments to sports can make participating in internship programs feel more like a dream than a reality. It’s not uncommon for student athletes to spend more than 20 hours a week on their sports alone, and recent research from the National Association of Colleges and Employers showed that one in five student athletes said that their athletic obligations prevented them from pursuing internship opportunities. While we’ve seen some colleges and universities help connect their student athletes with internship opportunities, we recognized that the same type of support simply does not exist for many HBCUs and HSIs.

Our new Student Athlete Micro Internship (SAMI) has been developed by Adobe’s Diversity Talent Acquisition team to support student athletes from HBCUs and HSIs gain valuable career skills working on impactful projects at Adobe. Developing this program for underrepresented students was an important step for Adobe as we continue to make progress on our commitment to root out systemic inequities and build a strong and diverse university-to-corporate talent pipeline.

“Student athletes have learned in their athletic career how to handle pressure, quickly apply feedback, and overcome obstacles and disappointments while working towards individual and team goals. A career in sales is very similar. It takes perseverance and relentless focus on the end goal while being knocked down time and time again.”

Jessica Holmes, director, Adobe Sales Academy

Gaining real-world experience at Adobe

For SAMI’s inaugural year, we’re excited to welcome student athletes from Winston Salem State University, Bowie State University and San Jose University to the program. SAMI has been designed with student athletes’ demanding training schedules in mind and will allow them to showcase many of their transferrable skills from the sports field in a corporate environment. The internship will run for five weeks and require the student athletes to commit to four-hour workdays. During that time, the interns will get hands on with projects, have access to our industry-leading benefits including competitive pay, and be able to participate in company-wide intern events that will give them the opportunity to fully immerse themselves in Adobe’s culture.

The student athletes will be tasked with supporting strategic businesses within Adobe, including Sales, Global Marketing and Strategy, and Employee Experience teams. Roles were designed based on the student athletes’ interest areas and feedback from Adobe’s hiring managers on their capacity to design a compressed yet effective internship program. As an example, the students may be tasked with planning and executing sports marketing campaigns to drive brand awareness or generate and nurture high-quality inbound leads to build their sales skills. In addition to their day-to-day work, we’ll provide interns with professional development training to grow their soft skills, such as how to network effectively, discover their “superpower” at work, build their own personal brand, and even practical skills such as building and maintaining LinkedIn profiles to get noticed by recruiters.

Quote by Rayhme Johnson.

One of Adobe’s guiding principles is that good ideas can come from anywhere in the company. We’re excited to kick off our new Student Athlete Micro Internship program and witness our student athletes’ contributions to Adobe.