Farewell Blizzard, it's been EPIC!
I still remember my interview at Blizzard back in 2010. Walking through the double doors felt like walking through a portal to another world. I was sitting in reception and in awe of the statues, gadgets and artwork displayed all around me. I had four separate interviews with various managers and when I shook their hands, I knew I wanted to call this home.
Here's a recap of my favourite memories -
Visiting Blizzard HQ offices in Irvine, California. Meeting the developers behind my favourite game, Hearthstone and observing their extraordinary working environment exceeded my expectations. Thanks to Ben Thompson for making it happen!
Diversity and Inclusion - Celebrating Pride Week, LGBTQ social gatherings, lean in circles and so much more! Being a champion and voice of our D&I efforts was amazing and leading our lean-in-circles was my favourite part. Providing encouragement to employees and hearing their personal stories was empowering. At Blizzard, they promote individuality, authenticity and want you to be YOU. For me, Diversity is about being invited to the party and Inclusion is about being asked to dance!
Attending Blizzcon in 2015 and 2018. You really need to experience Blizzcon first hand as the sense of community, passion and love for Blizzard games is difficult to put into words. It's a sanctuary for anyone who can identify as a geek or nerd and their love for gaming. I was able to shake hands with the best in the gaming industry and really enjoyed ambushing, my Heartstone pro gamer hero, TrumpSC. Shout out to Saralyn Smith for executing a truly EPIC gaming convention.
Meeting my husband at Blizzard. This probably should have been listed as my first favourite memory but hey, what can you do! If it wasn't for Blizzard, we wouldn't have met. I love being the wife of a gamer and I'm going to miss seeing him in the corridors and allowing him to buy my sugary snacks from the canteen but I know he's in good hands. It's definitely a balancing act working with your husband but working opposite shifts has kept our marriage healthy and happy!
Internal Events - Holiday parties, Halloween costumes and cosplay for launches. Blizzard was FUN. They celebrate milestones but also acknowledge the importance of communal events for their employees. There's no shortage of events to keep you galvanised and the best part.... being able to bring guests and/or family members to most of the events.
Team building events. This was an important pillar for me within Blizzard. Attending team building with my colleagues solidified relationships and reminded us that working collegially towards the overall vision was equally important.
Service awards. High tenure within Blizzard is prevalent on a global scale. The average employee usually has 8+ years of service and I can see why. They recognise and celebrate years of service with a personal touch. It's not everyday you are awarded a weapon and defence apparatus for five and ten years. I was fortunate to receive my stein for two years service along with my sword for five years service. And even though I'm just shy of celebrating ten years, I'll get to admire my hubby's shield in December.
Featured in the Echo newspaper - I was incredibly proud to be featured in this section of Women on Wednesday. It's essential we promote visibility of women in the tech industry as we need to secure more talent and bring balance to many underrepresented departments. Shout out to Elaine Duggan, editor of the Echo newspaper for pulling this together.
Leaders of Impact - peer mentoring with the American Chamber of Commerce. It was a privilege to be participate in the Leaders of Impact programme. I met an amazing group of women and we continue to meet and chat outside of the programme. A truly inspiring journey and if anyone gets the opportunity to attend, take it. You won't be disappointed. Huge thanks to Mark Redmond and Miriam O'Keeffe of AmCham for facilitating.
Employee Engagement - Dungeons & Dragons (D&D), snacks, health & well-being and so much more! It's no secret that Blizzard is an incredibly employee centric organisation. I loved being part of that and participating in new initiatives. It was an awesome way to build alliances, cultivate relationships and solidify trust among my colleagues.
Community involvement & Philanthropic efforts. Local community activism played a huge part during my years with Blizzard. Assisting with the Munster Maths & Science Fair, time to read volunteer with Business in the Community, providing mentor-ship to a little sister with Foroige and creating some cool new spaces for the kids of the North Monastery primary school. Every conversation, every smile, every thank you and the overall sense of pride was worth it. It's amazing what can be accomplished in a day. Check out the video in the tweet below!
There you have it folks! Nearly a decade of my top favourite memories wrapped up in three minutes. To my friends in Blizzard… thank you for inviting me into your personal lives. From milestone birthdays, engagements, weddings, promotions, births, communions, confirmations, game launches, meeting your partners and pets…. it was an honour.
PS. Make sure to follow @LifeatBlizzard Twitter page for all their updates along with the Cork careers page.
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