Did you know that the games you support in turn support our local communities? It's all made possible by EA's Outreach and Corporate Giving programs—and generous people like Julie Wynn.
What is your name and job title?
I’m Julie Wynn, and I’m the Manager of Outreach and Corporate Giving.
How long have you been at EA?
I started at EA in 1996 in the Legal department, and created the Outreach role under the HR department in 2003.
What’s the mission of EA Outreach?
Our mission is to inspire youth by supporting what we call “teams”: technology, engineering, arts, math, and science. We also champion non-profit organizations that our employees and stakeholders care about, creating fundraising opportunities to support those non-profit organizations and giving employees a chance to make a difference themselves.
Some of the programs include campus tours with students, speaking engagements, volunteer events, game donations, and in-game fundraising. We also have our gift matching program, where EA matches personal donations from EA employees to non-profit organizations.
Does the EA Outreach program extend to other locations? Or is it exclusive to Redwood Shores?
My Canadian counterpart, Wendell Harlow, and I are the two full-time Outreach employees, and we are connected with employees around the globe who create Outreach teams and manage events and volunteer opportunities in their locations.
And how did you end up at EA?
I was working at a law firm in San Francisco and was approached for the position in the legal department. It was closer to my home, it was a bigger company, and it was EA, so I said yes.
You're involved with so many initiatives! What are some of your favorite things about your job?
I love that I’m able to pursue my passion for building connections and helping others through my job. I really like to see the spark of recognition during tours when students realize that what they are learning in school can translate into making the video games that they love.
I believe it's good for our employees to see how many kids are interested not just in playing the games, but in making them. I know several colleagues in engineering, animation, art, IT, finance, audio, and other departments who will present their roles to the kids and explain what they do. I'm sure it’s beneficial to them to explain these jobs and therefore better understand them, as well as further their public speaking skills.
What would a student need to do in order to schedule a tour today?
I coordinate with teachers to provide tours for classes in subjects that are reflected in the video game industry, like math, physics, engineering, computer programming, art, animation, and audio visual.
The campus tours last about two hours and consist of an hour-long walk around campus. We visit each building, talk about the roles of each employee there, and go over EA’s history. I often arrange for an employee speaker to come and present talk about their career path and role at EA. Teachers and group leaders interested in scheduling a tour can email me at email@example.com.
What advice do you give to students who are interested in working at EA?
There are several resources on the EA Jobs website that may be helpful. You can click on ‘Careers’ or ‘Search for Jobs’ to see open positions, you can check out news and events, or you can read press from around the world. Under ‘About EA,’ you can read about the company and its industry, our different locations and teams, and get tips and advice for students.
I also like to recommend several free and inexpensive resources for people who want to work on development and game-building:
1. Unreal Development Kit: Available as a free download.
2. Unity 3 Editor: Available as a free download.
3. Hammer Editor: Provided when you purchase any Valve game (e.g. Half-Life 2, Portal, etc.)
4. Adobe Flash: Available as a trial download.
5. TorchEd: Available as a free download.
6. Warcraft III World Editor: Provided when you purchase Warcraft III.
7. World in Conflict Map Editor: Available as a free download.
8. LittleBigPlanet: A game that's all about making games! Available on PS3.
9. Alice: Available as a free download. Teaches students computer programming in 3D environments.
10. Kodu: Available as a free download. Uses a simple visual programming language to create games.
What does it take to be a Manager of Outreach and Corporate Giving at EA?
It takes compassion, a desire to connect people to causes, patience, organization, and a drive to help others and do the right thing.
For people who want to work in Outreach, is there any particular college degree that helps?
I received a degree in Public Administration, which provides an overview of nonprofit organizations as well as governmental and financial background. Communications, political science, and organizational development could all be stepping stones into this type of role.
One last question: What’s your favorite game?
The Sims Social,of course! It’s all about building relationships and connections with others to achieve what you and others need.
We're done! Thanks for taking the time to do this Julie.
Julie Wynn recently sat down with One on One for Peninsula TV to talk about her role at EA. Check out that interview here: http://vimeo.com/42217436.
Is there a specific video game job you'd like to know more about? Let us know in the comments! Plus, check out our interview with Corporate Development Associate Carolyn Rohde, for more insight into the industry.