June 5, 2024

PRIDE 2024 EMPLOYEE SPOTLIGHT:
DEEPANJALI SARNA

Deepanjali Sarna
Associate Game Designer

Pride 2024 Employee Spotlight on Associate Game Designer, Deepanjali Sarna.
Hometown: Bangalore
Last book: Before the Coffee Gets Cold by Toshikazu Kawaguchi
Most-used emoji: ?

What was your career path to Zynga?

My passion for games drove me to pursue a Bachelor of Computer Applications in Game Development at the university in 2017. Game jams were my sacred space to experiment and bring my ideas to life. This also motivated me to kick-start my studio with a few friends in my second year of university, which later became a great learning experience. In 2018, I volunteered with Unity Technologies as a student ambassador for two years.

During my final year, I started interning with GSN Games as a technical artist for Bingo Bash. After a year at GSN, I moved to a service-based startup called WhiteBud Studios. I worked on their in-house game as a game designer while working on client work as a technical artist. Six months later, a new opportunity came my way, which was a game design internship at Zynga. It’s been slightly over two and a half years at Zynga now!

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

Three things that you shouldn’t hesitate to do are: ask questions, receive feedback, and voice your opinions. If you feel strongly about something, voice your opinion. You could be wrong – but use it as an opportunity to ask questions about where you went wrong and take the feedback in a positive light. And another tip – be nice to yourself – it is totally fine to not know something. We all learn something new every day!

How does our mission – to connect the world through games – shape the company culture?

The games made at Zynga are social, as well as age and skill-inclusive. Stories about players connecting from different parts of the globe are very inspirational – and the same goes with us in the company. People here are so connected, irrespective of our differences and similarities. Our love for games is what brings us together.

What do you enjoy most about working here?

The passion and talent that I am surrounded by. Everyone is creative in their own way, which is a beautiful environment to work in. Along with this, people are supportive, considerate, and inclusive. It is a wonderful place to learn and grow each day.

What is your favorite aspect of being part of your zPride?

It makes me happy when I see people actively take part and make efforts to learn about the LGBTQ+ community. Over the last two years, I’ve seen a spike in the number of allies who take part in events, ask various questions, and choose to use inclusive language.

What advice would you give to others on fostering inclusivity and understanding in the workplace, considering your background?

A few steps can go a long way toward fostering inclusivity:

  • Make yourself aware of the community and their issues. Ask questions if you want to learn something.
  • Use inclusive language and correct pronouns.
  • Be an ally; you can always support the zERG!
  • Protect and support LGBTQ+ employee(s) when they are treated wrongfully.
  • Celebrate diversity by participating in zERG-sponsored events.