Ashley Pierce has been with EA for almost three years, she sat down with us to discuss her thoughts about being a female in the videogame industry for our Women in Games series.
Tell us a little bit about your job at EA.
I recruit and hire top talent for BioWare Austin and Pogo Austin. My role varies wildly – on any given day, I may be negotiating offers, providing training and coaching to my teams, reviewing resumes, scheduling interviews, giving New Hire Orientations or representing EA at an event. It still makes me happy every time I get to call a candidate up after the interview & give them the great news that we want them to be a part of the EA family. I love my job!
What does an inclusive environment look like to you?
An inclusive environment to me simply means that every person I’m working with is able to be their true selves while we are here at work.
What’s the best career advice you’ve received (from a male or female)?
The best career advice I’ve to set yearly professional goals and write them down! Making a list of big picture goals and planning out all the steps I need to take to achieve them helps me plan for the future without feeling overwhelmed.
What advice would you give an aspiring female who wants to do what you do?
Make choices about jobs, classes, volunteer work, and extracurricular activities fit the narrative you’re building about yourself. Your resume really tells the story of who you are and who you are aspiring to be through the choices you’ve made. As a general example, if you’re trying to break into the games industry, you’ll want to highlight as much relevant games-related work as possible! This could be anything from a membership with your local IGDA chapter, personal projects you’ve worked on with other designers or developers, internships, or even a section that highlights type of games you’re really passionate about.
What attracts you to working in games?
I’ve been playing games since I was a little girl and there’s still something so magical to me about getting lost in a game! My experience in the games industry has been that most folks here know that magic I’m talking about and are excited to be able to create new worlds and stories to get lost in.
How did you end up working in the games industry?
My background is actually a weird hybrid of professional writing and human resources– I’d always been a gamer, but didn’t realize that working in games was a real possibility for me until I moved to Austin. Our city is such a great hub for creatives and technology in general– there are just so many opportunities here! I saw a BioWare advertisement for a contract HR opening and knew I had to go for it. I was nervous to take a contract position, but BioWare was a dream company for me so I took the risk! It totally paid off – I’ve been here ever since!
Ashley Pierce stays active outside the office and participated in her first CrossFit Iron Belle Challenge last year.