Three Countries, Three Jobs, Three Years

Account development manager, Jill S., shares her Adobe career success story.

At Adobe, career growth drives company growth, and we continue to focus on ways to help our employees own their careers, reach their full potential and contribute to the company’s success.

Jill S., account development manager, Northern Europe, has only worked at Adobe for three years, but those years have been jam-packed with career experiences. In her tenure here she’s held roles in field marketing in San Francisco; Adobe’s Print and Publishing Business Unit (PPBU) in Noida, India; and Omniture Business Unit (OBU) in London. In this interview, Jill shares her advice for making career moves and how she identified her career aspirations and passion for working globally.

Q: Share the various roles you’ve had at Adobe.
Jill: I started in January 2008 as a demand generation representative and Adobe had just decided to bring the function in-house. Thirteen months later, I was given the opportunity for a manager position – my first manager position – with PPBU in India. I was able to take the lead generation business model that we started in the U.S. and transfer it to a desktop business model there. I will say this was the highlight of my Adobe career. I got to hire a team of five. I think I helped indoctrinate the Adobe brand there. I was in India for about 13 months and started looking for my next international experience. I was thinking ahead to a new business unit so I started researching OBU. I started interviewing for the demand generation job in London three months after I got back from India.

Q: How did you get the opportunity to move internationally with Adobe?
Jill: During my first interview with Adobe, I said making an international move was part of my five year plan – this was a passion I carried with me to Adobe. My manager knew from day one that I had an interest in international experience and he was instrumental in helping me get the PPBU opportunity. I feel very lucky because my manager was so supportive.

I feel like my experience is rare, but I also made sure opportunities appeared. I talked to my manager, or manager’s manager, or did informational interviews. I took personal responsibility for my growth and started interviewing and talking to people in channel roles and researched the portfolio that Adobe offered.

Q: How did your manager support you in getting that opportunity in India?
Jill: My second-level manager, learned of the opportunity with PPBU and referred me. My manager knew I wanted to work abroad and that I loved India. Also, this role reported to them so they were able to give me a lot of insight into the job requirements and what things were important. They helped me prepare for the interview and supported the many informational interviews I did with the other stakeholders in the PPBU.

I also had tremendous support from my HR Partner. He had travelled to India and we shared a love of the country, and he had also visited the Adobe offices in India and was able to introduce me to HR contacts as well as an employee he knew quite well. He provided a lot of support and information on this role.

Q: For your first move, were you targeting a move to India in particular? Or were you generally looking for a position outside the U.S.? If yes, why India?
Jill: I was pretty much targeting India at that time. In the past, I had always wanted to go to London because it seemed like an easy place to transition too, but I took a trip to India two months before I started at Adobe and fell in love with it! I was intrigued by the very different work environment there, (I worked from 3:00pm – midnight!) and interested in being part of a truly global team.

Q: How did you find the position in OBU in London? Was it through your network/research as well?
Jill: I learned of the OBU position in London from the manager of the Digital Enterprise Solutions Business Unit demand generation team in London. We met at a Sales Kick-Off in 2009 and we also spoke while I was running the team in India. He had come to San Francisco after I came back from India and he emailed the OBU manager and introduced us.

Q: To sum it all up, what would you say are your secrets of success for growing your career and moving within Adobe (BU/Region)?
Jill: Take responsibility for your own growth. Consult outside sources if needed. I read forums, blogs to research and help me be the best I can be.

Keep abreast of what’s going on with the business and what interests you. Make sure you take personal responsibility for knowing where the company is heading.

Keep up with your network – I appreciate networking opportunities and take advantage of them. For instance, at the Sales Conference, I met my boss for the first time on an escalator. It was a great opportunity.

Ask questions – I have a natural inquisitiveness and used informational interviews to obtain opportunities.

Be at the top of your field. Try to think beyond your day-to-day job. Think of it as running your own business. Help your team progress and you might make your own opportunities arise.

We hope Jill’s story inspires you to seize the various career opportunities that may be available to you.