Asia Feature

Switching Gears

June 21, 2016


Located in the heart of Seoul lies Adobe’s Korea office, where Eun Young Lee worked as the Manager of Administration and Operations for over nine years, making contributions to the success of the office. Even with nine years in the same position, she worked on and led countless projects and experienced working for various departments in Adobe. However, for the last nine months, Eun Young has switched gears, officially working as a Digital Media Marketing Manager. This week, Eun Young shares how she has grown with Adobe, and how sometimes, the key to career development is simply patience.

How did you start off and what led you to Adobe?

During my senior year in university, I was taking English lessons at a language institute, and there happened to be a woman in my class who had worked at Adobe. There were also students from large Korean enterprises like Samsung and SK in my class, but the woman who had worked at Adobe seemed like she had had the most pleasant and energetic work environment, which sparked my interest in foreign IT companies like Adobe. My IT career began with me as a Senior Operations Administrator with Macromedia prior to its acquisition by Adobe in 2006. After our merger with Adobe, I began to take on more responsibilities and was promoted to a people manager position. The Adobe Korea Country Manager, who was also my direct reporting manager, made me the Administration Service Manager in charge of sales operations, order management and office management.

You were a Manager of Administration and Operations for over nine years. What made you switch career paths?

I had a variety of different work experiences going beyond the title of Administration Service Manager, but I wanted to focus on working in just one department as I passed the 10-year point. In addition, I was also responsible for internal employee events and communications as the Korea office contact point for the APAC Employee Experience team, finance, procurement and head office facilities and security. Until Adobe’s shift to the subscription business in 2013, I even prepared the weekly KR revenue forecast reports for the APAC Weekly forecast conference call, a task which I was entrusted with each week for about eight years.

How did you find out about the marketing manager position at Adobe?

Actually, when the Marketing Manager position opened up I didn’t immediately apply. In fact, a few of my senior peers, who appreciated and respected my work, recommended that I apply for the position. After doing so and going through the interview process, I was chosen for the position.

Was marketing always an option?

Absolutely! From early on in my career, my work was always related to marketing, and I even earned my MBA taking night classes while working full time during the day. I performed my jobs dedicatedly and patiently, keeping my desire to belong to and work for just one department at the forefront of my mind. At times, it didn’t seem like an actual marketing job, but by using a marketing approach, I still ran a variety of events and programs for employees with the Employee Experience and Facilities teams.

How have you used your experiences to get where you are today in your current role?

When it came to sales operations, I wasn’t a stranger to revenue numbers or reports, and my experiences with various programs while planning and preparing events for Adobe MAX Korea, new product launches, and for employees and partners, were also very helpful.

What’s the most interesting marketing trend that you’re seeing today in South Korea?

To me, Digital Content Creation, Creative Leadership and Social & Personalized marketing are the most interesting trends today. As a global leader in digital media and marketing solutions, I believe Adobe is taking the upper hand in the industry by releasing product lines that are best suited to the ever-changing market needs.

Would you say career growth and development is easily found at Adobe?

It all depends on the individual and company needs. More often than not, if you work at a small branch office, you may need to consider relocating to a larger office if you’re seeking to expand your role. Alternatively, at smaller offices, companies are always looking for individuals who are willing to jump in and help across different areas of the business. I believe that if you’re simply open and ready, opportunities for growth can be found everywhere.

What would you say to employees looking to change their career path?

In order to find new opportunities, you might have to give up what you already have. For example, even if you switch from a people manager position to become an individual contributor, it’s actually worth it if it’s what you really want to do. I personally view this as a stepping stone to bigger and better career opportunities.

If you had one word to sum up your experiences at Adobe, what would that be?

I would have to say ‘growth’. Honestly, I feel that I have grown wiser during my time at Adobe. As the company has undergone successful transformation and growth, I have also worked on my own individual growth and development. I’m excited about the future of our business, and I look forward to the ‘growth’ opportunities that change will bring.