She walked in as a naïve but when she stepped out, she had a scroll of achievements. Priyanja interned at Adobe and learned whole new sight of work culture. She is now confident of her work and find it interesting, that once she used to call boredom.
I had never ever thought of doing research, but my fate took me to a research internship. I got a direct offer from Adobe as I was lucky (a bit of hard working also) enough to have very good CPI. Adobe Research Lab, they called it with a total intake of 53 interns divided among 17 groups each headed by a mentor. My initial stay was in a 5-star hotel with my office being just next to it. Sounds good right! Actually it was awesome. Though the stay was just for a fortnight but it was worth it. Later on, I switched into a PG. What better it could get if you are welcomed with a chocolate on the very first day itself. The mentors were very supportive and extracted the best out of us right from ground zero.
Who would not love to brainstorm for about 3 weeks just to get a list of research problems ready, but it was not just it. We got to learn various new things. This period was important from the point of view of a newbie, who has never thought of doing something like this. As soon as we thought, we are just about to reach the end, we had to start from ground zero again but this time it was in a completely different direction and so our voyage continued. Those ideas needed to cluster and then a short story had to be written that connected all the clusters. Our mentors helped us a lot to lay a proper foundation for our research project. Well the story thing did sound insane at the start but in the end it proved out to be the best way possible to explore things. The list had to be cut short and we needed to have a sound understanding of what we are going to do. Earlier I used to run away from reading research papers but now if someone asks me to read out a research paper, my reply is ‘bring it on’
Later we explored all possible solutions for our problem. The solution had to be different and novel as these things go hand in hand in the research world. We went ahead with one of the five solutions we proposed which was efficient and feasible enough. We got stuck at various points, but our mentors were always there to help us out. The coding part was completed in just about 25 odd days as in Adobe it is assumed that if you know how to solve a problem, then coding away would not take much of a time.
Well as the saying goes “All work and no play make jack a dull boy”, I guess people at Adobe took this on their heart. Work there was fun with the people around being funnier. The working environment was a great mix of tech talks, quizzes, birthday celebrations and many more fun events that kept us fresh and motivated. Cold drink and snacks became a part and parcel of my life as they were available throughout the day in the pantry that too for free. We had a team outing once and it was simply mind blowing.
The people around were very talented still down to earth. At the end I had a lot to brag about the very first research experience I had, that motivated me to go for higher studies. During the problem and solution defence, we explored a lot of areas about which we had a little knowledge earlier. Adobe will be paying us if our work gets accepted as a patent even after we leave it. Adobe is among the very few company that have this policy. I got a stipend of around 30k per month. Adobe provided me an opportunity to work with real-time data, deal with data mining and machine learning and also in getting a research experience which I would never have got in any other place. In the end, I have the patent and a research paper in my hand.
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