“When there is a plethora of technical knowledge, put passion behind it. That’s how you will stand out,” says Aishwarya Rai, a current master’s-degree student who is obtaining her degree in information management at the School of Information Studies.

Rai spent her summer in San Jose at Adobe headquarters. She landed her internship job from persistence and genuine curiosity.

Finding the iSchool

Prior to coming to Syracuse University, she attended SVKM’s Narsee Monjee Institute of Management in Mumbai, India to obtain her degree in computer science. Then, the desire to find a mixture of her technical ability with management skills emerged. After working at Amdocs as a quality assurance analyst in the Pune area of India, finding a master’s program crossed her mind.

When speaking with alumni from her university, the iSchool kept popping up. She heard of the success of her past colleagues who attended the school and sought out more information about the program. A recurring theme was the iSchool’s positive reputation and high job placement rates.

Rai determined that a master’s degree in information management would fit nicely with her passion for project management and computer science.

iSchool gradaute student Aishwarya Rai on the Syracuse University quad. Photo by Lucas T. Kosmynka

iSchool graduate student Aishwarya Rai on the Syracuse University quad. Photo by Lucas T. Kosmynka

Getting Involved

Since the start of her master’s program at the iSchool, Rai immediately decided to immerse herself in multiple facets of the iSchool. She became involved in the  Graduate Student Organization, as well as working in the graduate enrollment office. Early in the fall semester she began to search for an internship.

Rai explained that, in India, finding a job tends to revolve more heavily around grades. Learning to network in the United States was an adjustment.

“You are moving across the world; it’s not even the same country. It’s a different continent. It takes time to adjust.”

Rai noted she quickly understood the importance of networking – not only in the iSchool, but in the professional world. If you can learn to use social media as a professional networking tool, Rai believes success will follow.

Utilizing LinkedIn, Rai searched for alumni of Syracuse University who currently worked at Adobe, crafting careful messages to reach out and seek advice about the company. Within one week of strategic networking and talking to Syracuse University alumni, Rai had landed an internship at Adobe.

A Dream Internship

Moving across the country, Rai settled in San Jose, where Adobe’s headquarters is located. Immediately, she fell in love with the company and its mission. She claimed she felt like royalty, working on projects relevant to the company’s strategic goals and making a true impact as an intern.

Rai worked alongside the mergers and acquisitions team, crafting playbooks for the teams to use in the future under the title of IT project management intern. Once her internship was complete, she received a full-time job offer from Adobe and accepted the position, working in the same division. Rai will begin her new position at Adobe after graduating from her master’s program in the spring.

For the future, Rai continues to utilize her time at the iSchool to build a foundation for a successful career, taking the knowledge from her summer experience to enroll in courses relevant to her future full-time role at Adobe.

Aishwarya’s Tips for Connecting with Alumni

  • Show persistence for advice and genuine interest.
  • When you ask to speak to alumni, don’t ask for a job outright. Show your curiosity.
  • Do your research. Show you are whole-heartedly interested in the company.
  • Use LinkedIn to your advantage. You are able to filter Syracuse alumni by company and might have so many resources right in front of you.
  • People are willing to talk to you and offer advice, but you must take the first step. The rest will follow.
  • Find a company where you agree with the mission.

Want to know more about Aishwarya’s time at Adobe? Check out her Adobe Spark page here.