Adobe & UNCF – Inspiring Each Other

November 18, 2016

uncf-4In collaboration with the United Negro College Fund (UNCF), Adobe welcomed over 50 Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics students from Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) as part of a tech trek through Silicon Valley. Adobe’s mission to increase diversity in the workplace has always been around the belief that true innovation can only happen when we embrace the diverse perspectives that we each have to offer. During their afternoon at Adobe, students were treated with a campus tour, an Adobe Spark Experience-athon and a panel hosted by our Black Employee Network (BEN).

UNCF students at Layers cafe

The tour brought students to all three Adobe towers—East, West and Almaden. Students had the opportunity to play with our digital patent wall, see our “living room” Community Space and our new global comfort food café, temPLATES. They also stopped by to check out the Wellness Center, rooftop basketball court and outside dining area. When asked what students thought about Adobe after the tour, they threw out words like: Creative, stylish, elegant, environmentally friendly, and innovative.

After settling down, Eric Ullman, Senior Customer Experience Improvement Leader, introduced students to Adobe Spark, where they dove into their creative side and created Spark Posts about their tour, UNCF, and career advice. Afterwards, four Adobe employees part of BEN, discussed diversity in tech, career advice and why they chose Adobe.

uncf-bannerRandy Riggins, Senior Engineering Manager
The focus of the Adobe Digital Academyis to attract a diverse pipeline into future Web and Android developers by providing the training and resources necessary to be successful.  We recognize that there are a lot of different paths in tech and we just want to help students find the right opportunity.”

Tomeka Seckinger, Senior Employee Relations Consultant
“Why Adobe? I believe it’s important to be a lifelong learner, and luckily at Adobe I have opportunities to grow and thrive. I’ve had the chance to talk to students and volunteer and I’m training to become a certified life coach. Having the opportunity to do things like this allows me to add to who I am and who I want to be next. Every day I come into work excited.”

Cass Taylor, AGS Communications Designer
“The culture keeps me here. If I need help, I can ask anybody—the doors are always open. And I’m here to tell you that’s not normal. I’ve worked at many different companies, and this makes Adobe really unique. As for advice, take control of what you need and what you want. Obstacles come, but don’t knock your hustle. Keep going until you achieve your goal, and then once you reach it, set an even higher goal. Don’t be good at one thing. Be great at everything.”

Toni Vanwinkle, Senior Director, Service Management
“Regardless of where you start from, you can go as far as you want to go, you just need to believe in yourself. There’s endless possibilities that anyone can achieve. What I encourage you to do is raise issues and take action to move obstacles out of the way. At Adobe we reach out to colleges and universities so that we can inspire the potential of others.”

As the day ended, students were asked what resonated from the panel, and they said:

uncf-6“Stay determined. Even if you don’t know what you want to do, keep going and try something new.”

“Move towards what you’re excited about.”

“No matter what your circumstances look like now, you may never know where you end up.”

“Everyone comes from different backgrounds, build towards your dream and you’ll eventually get there.”

After an afternoon of activities (not to mention the mannequin challenge), we hope these students left energized about the potential of an exciting career in tech. On November 19, the University Talent team will regroup with UNCF for a career fair, where students will get the chance to apply for internships and full time positions. We hope to see them walking down our hallways soon!

Become part of #AdobeLife and apply on our website today!