Alyssa Espiritu is a Solutions Consultant at Adobe. A recent Boston University grad of the College of Communications and a California native, Alyssa chats all things tech, PR, and female communities with Harper, our content writer below!Meet Alyssa!
Harper: Tell us about your job!
Alyssa: I am an Associate Solutions Consultant at Adobe within their Experience Cloud (Digital Marketing and Data Analytics). I analyze our customers' digital marketing challenges and help them achieve their overall business goals by providing solutions using Adobe’s products. Adobe is known for their Creative Cloud which consists of Photoshop, Dreamweaver, Illustrator, and more. However, a whole other side of Adobe, which is very competitive in the market right now, is their Experience Cloud. It is one integrated approach for your marketing tech tools from data analytics and content management to campaign execution. Adobe Solutions Consultants help marketing, data science, and IT leaders to improve their overall marketing efforts.
H: What would a productive day look like while you're at the office?
Alyssa: Right now I’m in the Solutions Consultant Associate program. They hire a total of eight people who just graduated from college to be part of an Associate cohort. For a little less than six months, we go through training so that we're ready for the field and to take on our own clients. Since we just started in September, my day-to-day is learning about every digital marketing product within the Experience Cloud. We are being trained on all the products to understand their capabilities and business values. We're also learning how to analyze clients’ objectives, challenges, and industry trends in order to provide the right marketing solutions for them. After training, I will then be placed with clients from a specific industry or vertical and will start applying what we learned to the field.
H: What's it like starting a new job? Like you just said, you graduated in May and then you started your job in September. Was there a gap? Did you know when you graduated you were going to work for Adobe? Tell us all about that
Alyssa: I knew I was going to be at Adobe over a year ago, it was October 2018. I graduated in May 2019. Big tech companies like to hire undergrads around a year in advance. So, my preparation was pretty demanding. I started looking at companies to apply to during the summer of my Junior year, and then interviewing by the fall semester of my Senior year. I did get some time to relax and be with friends and family for three months during the summer after graduation. Starting a new job is definitely exciting. I’ve been ready for the next step after college and was eager to start working at this great company. I was looking forward to applying my skills in this job and to learn about Adobe, digital marketing, and technology industry.
H: Did you always want to work for a tech company?
Alyssa: Not always. My initial passion was Public Relations, and PR for specifically either fashion or entertainment. My path from tech PR to what I’m doing today wasn’t completely linear. Growing up in the Bay Area and the heart of Silicon Valley, I was surrounded by technology and innovation every day and wanted to learn more about the industry, so I gave it a shot and stepped outside of my comfort zone. During my Sophomore year, I was part of a student-run startup at BU, something similar to what Sarah [go Holdette!] is doing and I started gaining some interest in the industry. So my first internship was at a B2B tech PR agency in San Francisco. Then, I worked at BU Spark throughout my Junior year and was inspired by innovative and entrepreneurial students like Sarah who were starting their tech ventures. By working with other students at the organization, I realized that I could also thrive in the tech industry. From then on, I started taking computer science courses and tried to tie in technology into every single internship I had. So I started doing B2B tech PR during my first internship, then switched over to marketing at BU Spark, and then I went over to brand consulting for tech companies at a market research firm, and now I'm doing consulting for digital marketing products at a tech company.
H: What was it like moving to New York City and finding a community as you started your new job?
Alyssa: For me, moving to New York wasn't that big of an adjustment. I mean, of course, it's an adjustment anywhere you go after college, but since I was a little girl, I wanted to be in New York. Coming from Boston to New York was not that big of a transition for me since I already knew a lot of BU students in the city. I’m currently rooming with one of my closest friends from BU and former roommate. In terms of a community, it's great to have fellow BU alumni that you can meet up with anywhere in the city. I also have friends that I can text if I have any questions about moving, where to go, and what to do in New York. Outside of my personal community, my cohort at work make up my professional community. I didn't step into this new job alone and I’m lucky to have such a supportive group of coworkers and friends at work. I stepped into this job with seven other people who are on the same page as me. We all just graduated from college and are learning how to juggle work, personal life, and living in a new city.
H: Was there anything particularly influential to you getting your job at Adobe?
Alyssa: What helped me was the fact that I had a background in both Public Relations and Computer Science. BU, being very well known for its COM program, was a huge advantage. I actually was interviewed by a fellow BU COM alumna. Another thing was having a diversified background. I did a lot of PR and marketing work, but the fact that I also had experience in the tech industry was very helpful. Since I concentrated in computer science, I knew all the tech lingo, learned how to code, and understood the importance of technology and how it plays a pivotal role in digital marketing.
H: What would you say has been your biggest roadblock so far in getting where you are?
Alyssa: I wouldn't say there was one specific roadblock. It was difficult balancing your social life, classes, internships, and graduating on time. In addition, doing all that plus looking for a job a whole year before you even graduate was challenging. I had to be a self-starter learn to multitask in so many different ways, and I think a lot of other students are on the same boat.
I wouldn’t say this is technically a roadblock, but at a young age, I've always wanted to be in New York City, no matter what. Being from Silicon Valley, most tech companies are headquartered over there, so a lot of jobs hire out of the Bay Area after college. However, I knew I wanted to work in tech in New York and there were no exceptions. So to be able to find that and then make it at Adobe was a huge accomplishment for me.
H: What advice would you give to someone who’s looking to follow a similar path to you?
Alyssa: I mean, there's a lot of things to take into account. One thing that I find very important is networking. You want to be able to have relationships with people that are not just surface level. It’s important to work on making ongoing professional and personal relationships because no one can get anywhere alone. My journey throughout college and to Adobe definitely wasn't all because of me. It was because of my professors, my sorority sisters, friends, and professional network.
I’d also say it's okay to step out of your comfort zone and try new things. I wouldn't have known that I was interested in this industry if I had not given it a chance. Right now is a great time to be curious and explore different lines of work. I'm sure some professors will tell you that your first job out of college is not going to designate the rest of your life, but your first job out of college is still an important way to learn and grow within your professional career. Don’t be so freaked out about being in the perfect spot after college because honestly, no one knows exactly what they want to do out of college and we're all still learning.
Lastly, I’d say to educate yourself as much as possible. Go to professional events or conferences that interest you, read up on what is going on in different industries, and maybe take a certification class on a topic of interest or a skill you want to obtain. Continuous learning outside of college and in the workplace is extremely important. A lot of companies now are focusing on investing in their employees to continuously learn inside and outside of the workplace.
H: What are your go-to office clothes?
Alyssa: I wear black a lot. It's easy, simple, professional, and goes with anything. Honestly, the majority of my clothes are from Zara, and that’s my personal style inside and outside of work. Most people are pretty casual in tech, but I tend to go the business casual route. During the Fall and Winter, I like to wear turtlenecks, blazers, sweaters, and skirts. I like to keep it sleek, modern, and simple.
H: Is there anything else you'd like to add on?
Alyssa: Sometimes, women think that they can achieve their goals and succeed in their professional career alone. I honestly applaud and respect those who do. However, I think it is more beneficial to be part of a supportive, professional female community. In order to get ahead in your career, it is important to have a strong network and a small group of women that you can rely on. Holdette is empowering women in the workplace and creating a community for boss women to feel confident inside and out through functional workwear. I am truly excited for what is to come…
Thanks for sitting down with Holdette Alyssa!
Enjoyed reading about Alyssa and her work in communications and tech? Stay tuned for our next post where we'll have a chance to sit down with more working ladies!