When I started college I dreamed of making movies. I loved the magic of creating entirely new worlds and using technology to enhance those worlds and those stories. In my senior year, I was fortunate enough to attend the Game Developers Conference as a volunteer and it hit me – video games did everything I loved about the movies AND you got to actually PLAY them too! I had always been a gamer, but had never really considered what it would take to make games - I mean, they just magically appear, right? My developer and game design friends opened my eyes to an entire industry I was unaware of. Creating that magic and being able to share it with others, delighting people, I knew that’s what I wanted to do.
Getting Your Start with EA
At that same Game Developer’s Conference (GDC) I met someone who had just started working in Quality Assurance at EA. I managed to go to one of the recruiting events during the conference and got to meet a few more folks from EA (even Will Wright!). I have been a Sims fan since the first Sims came out. Getting to talk with the people that worked at the same company was a pretty amazing experience for me. The friend I met at the conference recommended me for an opening in the Quality Assurance group (in The Sims no less!) which I happily departed my waitressing job for.
Working at EA
When I started in QA I still intended to work my way up into the art teams at EA, but realized I still knew very little about game development overall. I took any and all opportunities quite early on to get to know the development teams I worked with and learn more about all the different roles involved in creating a game. My strategy worked, as I moved out of QA straight into production, and upon arriving knew I had found my home. I’ve been doing it ever since and have expanded more and more into the Game Design space as well. I love the different personalities and opinions that go into everything that makes up a game. It is exciting to see teams come together and solve problems and create these mind blowing experiences out of thin air. It’s very imaginative. Even after shipping many games and working with many people I’m always humbled by the talent we have here at EA.
Make no mistake – games are hard. Very hard. There’s always a way of doing things that is better. Perhaps it’s something you can’t quite figure out, or some aspect of the game that maybe didn’t turn out the way you expected or maybe it's some part of the game you just weren’t able to create but you really loved. At the end of the day it all adds up to an incredible experience you can be proud of. On top of all of it, you then get to share your creation with the world. I’ve been fortunate to have been part of The Sims family since I started at EA. I’ve watched The Sims grow over all these years, worked with countless talented folks, and found the place I like to be – making people happy.
EA has not only offered me a multitude of professional opportunities and challenges but I’ve met my best friends and have been lucky enough to work with many of my coworkers for a decade (or more!). It’s not something I ever expected to find when I sought out my career but it’s been an adventure that I continue to enjoy. I’ve been able to meet so many people across EA, travel to other studios around the world, make friends with our fans and play so many great games! I’ve been able to work with some inspiring mentors that I’ve looked up to not only professionally, but personally. My managers have been primarily women, which in a stereotypically male profession, is something of a rarity. They’ve helped me find balance between my work life and my non-work life, supported me through maternity leave and continue to support me in growing my career. Having access to the onsite daycare has helped me feel even more supported and valued, while also giving me peace of mind! I also really appreciate how much EA does for the community, like matching my donations and the volunteering events we can get involved in each year. It doesn’t just feel like a place to go work.
Any Thoughts to Those Seeking a Career at EA?
If you’re interested in learning about game development across any step of production, EA has a role for you. Not only do we make a ton of fun games, but the teams and ways in which we make them are just as diverse. It’s fun, it’s challenging, and you will have the chance to see something new around every corner.