Asia Feature

When a Change of Plans Led to New Opportunities

January 23, 2018

Many people expect graduating university students to know what they want to do after graduation. And while most have an idea, many set off down their chosen path and realize it’s not the right one. Others just don’t know. How could you know for sure when you’re just starting out?

When Haruna Kaji finished school, she had a plan. She had studied international relations in Tokyo, got a master’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania, then completed a J.D. in Japan. Her ultimate goal was to start her own company.

“In Japan, the fastest path to starting your own company and becoming a CEO is to go to a consulting company so you can learn how to manage business organizations,” Haruna said. “So after graduation, I planned to join an American consulting firm that deals in acquisitions and compliance.”

First, though, she wanted to get some in-house experience at the type of company she might eventually consult for. So she applied for and accepted an internship at Adobe Japan.

The next thing she knew she was rethinking those old consulting plans entirely.

“During my internship at Adobe, I learned that the foundation of business is sales and marketing, and Adobe was the best place for me to learn those things,” Haruna said. “Adobe hires a lot of experienced people, so you have a chance to learn from the best. I was really attracted to that kind of environment.”

Just a few months after her internship ended, Haruna was back at Adobe, this time in a one-year rotation that would give her the chance to explore different parts of the company. She began in the employee experience department working on talent acquisition. After that, she moved to marketing. Next, she went to customer service to provide post-sales consulting, then digital media, followed by enterprise sales, inside sales, and account development. 

“This type of rotation program is very unusual in Japan, and sometimes new employees at other companies won’t even have much say over what they do,” Haruna said. “Adobe gave me a wonderful opportunity to explore other departments across the company. Some people or teams have their own culture, and after my year of training, I learned how to adapt to all sorts of groups. It teaches you to be very flexible.”

Today, Haruna is a channel account representative at Adobe for a major client in Japan. She assists with product marketing and content creation and communicates with partners. Every day, she draws on the relationships and understanding that she built during her rotation, and still has aspirations to become a stronger leader within the organization.

“If you know all the functions of the different departments you can understand the company on a holistic scale,” Haruna said. “I know functions and people, and I can make connections. That helps the whole business!”

 

Interested in joining the Adobe team? Check out available career opportunities at Adobe or read more stories about Adobe careers.