I was pretty late at starting my preparation. I started two months before the internship process on the advice of my seniors. I practiced competitive coding, mental ability, and quant questions, primarily relying on Leetcode.
I applied only for my core domain through OCS, so CS only. I would have considered applying out of OCS if I hadn't gotten an internship through it. I applied to many companies, mainly in the core and quant fields. For Adobe, the application process was pretty simple. I only had to apply through OCS, and they took my interview. I was applying for the post of Research Intern, so I had a technical interview where they tested my basic math skills. The next stage consisted of a test. It was a coding test with two questions, plus a bunch of mathematics and mental ability questions. I solved one of the coding questions and some of the other problems.
What made you stand out during the process?
I think my CGPA helped me get selected for the initial interview. During the interview, my research projects were a huge help. They liked that I had some research experience from my second year. I had done a project with Professor Amitabha Tripathi during the summer in pure math. We were not able to achieve anything significant in it, but they liked that I had the background and genuine interest. I also answered some of the questions they asked and got through the selection rounds.
The internship was remote. They sent a laptop home to us, which we had to work on for the summer. I was assigned to a group of three students to work on the project, and we had three mentors. We used to have a two-hour meeting with them every day. During the first two weeks, we invested time in deciding our final problem statement and had to present it during a common meeting of all the research groups. In the presentation, all teams had to explain and justify their goals for the project, which they call "problem defense." Our research topic was about Cloud costs incurred by SaaS providers like Adobe, modeling it correctly and attributing this cost to our clients. We worked on its solution for the rest of the internship and finally presented it at the end of our tenure. We also filed for a patent recently. We had great mentors at Adobe, who taught us the soft skills of research and the correct way of presenting our work. I found this especially helpful. Overall, the research experience was amazing.
Online Vs. Offline
I think the online experience is great with Adobe. The only problem is it is 12 weeks long, so you start the first and end the last. Also, you have no idea about the PPO till the end, which puts you in a tough spot.
Essential Skills For Research Internships
You should like research, otherwise, it will get boring after a while. Other than that, you should have some basic math skills and a little coding. Mostly, you need a will to read lots of research papers and have long meetings with your mentors to understand better solutions to the problems you are trying to solve.
Interviewed by: Aadya Agrawal