May 13, 2024

API | Employee Spotlight: Melanie Chen

Melanie Chen
Associate, Procurement Operations

Even though Associate of Procurement Operations, Melanie Chen, is just starting her career with Take-Two, her path to getting here has been full – and she shares her advice for others who are just starting out themselves. Read on to hear how being part of ZAPI (Zynga’s ERG for Asian and Pacific Islanders) feels like a community, and one of her favorite holidays to celebrate.

What was your career path to take-Two / Zynga?

This is my first full-time job out of college. I pursued a BBA in Financial Management in Taiwan, and then further specialized in Supply Chain Management in my post-graduate studies in Canada. During my time as a student, I worked various part-time jobs, including Mandarin Summer Camp Counselling, Admin Assistant at the Department Office, translating, lifeguard, tutoring, tea’rista at a bubble tea store, server at restaurants – and many more. Pursuing my educational goals – paired with gaining experience on the side and building a friends circle – outside of my multiple responsibilities as an international student in two different countries has shaped my the way I am today. Working here has given me a platform to showcase the learnings and experiences of my past.

What do you enjoy most about working here?

I love that I can bring my authentic self to work everyday. In addition, be a part of zERGs where I can do things for the company that I am passionate about with folks having similar values. It is a great learning environment, and I’ve never felt bad about reaching out for help. The culture is uplifting and encouraging, and it keeps me going.

What’s the best advice you can give to someone who just started their career?

I am someone who just started my career so firstly, you’re not alone. Finding a network of people who can be your mentors can be very helpful in navigating your career. Know that you bring a unique set of experiences that are valuable, so don’t ever doubt yourself.

How has your cultural background influenced your career journey?

Being an individual with a diverse cultural background, and growing up as a minority has taught me to be resilient. Being focused on your goals and hard work are things that were always taught to be non-negotiables. It helped work through all the challenges I have faced in my early days as a young adult.

Tell us about joining ZAPI (Zynga Asians & Pacific Islanders) and what the group has brought to you and your career?

I joined ZAPI, because I’m proud of the culture – and ZAPI is the place I could share it with others. We live in a very diverse society and it’s always fun to know about different cultural backgrounds. Since joining ZAPI, I have been able to connect and work alongside colleagues I would have never worked with on my day-to-day who have similar values and passion. It has helped bring creativity to my job. Things can often feel isolating; however, a community like ZAPI never makes you feel alone <3

How do you recognize and celebrate this heritage month?

To me, API Heritage Month is a recognition of all the people who ever moved outside of their comfort zone to start a life in a foreign land, and all the hardships that they faced along the way. It is a celebration of the strength it takes to carry forward your culture with you wherever you go.

Can you share a meaningful tradition or celebration from your heritage that you hold dear?

I grew up celebrating Lunar New Year in a very unique and traditional way. Days leading up to the new year, my family would come together to perform various tasks including cleaning the house, preparing homemade foods from scratch such as sesame bread sticks, prawn crackers, etc. It is an auspicious time of year where we were taught to be well-behaved and say good words, and in turn, the elders would not nag/scold the children (which we loved as kids…). Arranging flowers, and the offering table on new year’s eve, following lion dances around the city, sounds of the drums and fire crackers are nostalgic memories that are meaningful to my family.