AAPI Employee Spotlights: Grace Zhang
May is Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month (AAPI), a time to celebrate the contributions of the AAPI community in the U.S. We are proud to embrace the collective achievements they’ve made throughout our history and to recognize the incredible challenges they have faced in a variety of industries.
In keeping with this year’s theme, “Advancing Leaders Through Opportunity,” we asked our employees to share what it means to be an Asian American and how they are empowering each other to succeed.
To kick off our month-long AAPI employee spotlights, meet Grace Zhang, a Senior Concept Artist on Zynga’s Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells team.
Tell us a little bit about your background, culture, and career.
I am a Shanghainese Asian American living in Los Angeles. My parents worked a lot to give me a comfortable life here in the U.S., and the video games that helped raise me became a passion in my life. Most of my career was spent working for the Mouse at Disney, before I found my way here to Zynga.
Tell us about joining ZAPI (Zynga Asians & Pacific Islanders) and what the employee resource group means to you?
I didn’t seek out ZAPI right away, but when I did, I discovered my love for the community. I really appreciate the sharing of culture and experiences with such diverse and inclusive conversations. It’s also a wonderful space to find resources to give back.
What does Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month mean to you?
To remember and honor your roots, and to look forward and reflect on how you can make a positive change in your community.
Do you have an inspirational figure in your life? Who are they and how have they helped you along on your journey?
I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for my Mom and Dad. Both my parents immigrated to the U.S. from China. Here, they built a successful business through hard work and determination, working six, often seven days a week to build a better life for us. For two people who worked so hard, who didn’t have the luxury to pursue their own passions, they still sent their gremlin of a daughter to art school and supported her “non-traditional” career path.
What was the best advice you ever received in life or career?
Take care of the people who got you to where you are.
Looking back at previous experiences, what makes Zynga stand out the most?
Zynga actively fosters a healthy and happy community, but it’s the people within those communities who are the real secret sauce.
What’s something you love that you want to share? CrossFit has been such a source of joy for me. It brings another sense of community, fosters discipline, and of course, helps you burn more calories so you can eat more beef noodle soup, which is a huge plus.