WHM Spotlight – Ozge Agziemiz
Zynga continues our celebration of Women’s History Month by spotlighting some of the incredible women that work at our game studios around the world. We are thrilled to be featuring Ozge Agziemiz, a UI-UX Designer based out of our Casual Cards Studio in Istanbul, Turkey.
Ozge’s passion for art and design started at an early age and she always knew she wanted to build a career around it. Having been with Zynga for 3 years, Ozge is responsible for creating game visuals including interface design, illustrations, animations, and design assets.
Continue reading below to learn more about Ozge, how she has benefitted from Women at Zynga’s mentorship program, and the importance of involving everyone in the effort to challenge and eliminate gender inequality.
Tell us a little bit about your background and what brought you to Zynga.
From an early age, I had a fine arts education and when I got into university, I continued to practice digital art and design. I was always passionate about traditional and digital games, so I knew I had to build my career around them. I transitioned to working at Zynga when they acquired my previous employer, Peak Games. It has been a good three years!
What is your current role and responsibilities at Zynga?
I am a UI-UX Designer at Zynga Turkey’s Casual Cards Studio. I am responsible for creating all game visuals such as user interface design, illustrations, animations, and implementing any design assets to the development.
Tell us about joining WAZ (Women at Zynga) and what the group has brought to you & your career.
Knowing that there is an organization for women’s rights at Zynga makes me feel supported in itself. After researching the program, I matched with a WAZ mentor and we shared such inspiring conversations about our careers and daily struggles. I started to foresee the ways in which I could support myself and other women. This group has helped me realize that I will be supported if I want to step up in my career, my role, or get valuable advice, even on a smaller scale.
How have mentors/leaders helped or inspired you throughout your career?
First, I’d like to thank my first mentor, Bonnie Cookson, who informed me about WAZ and broadened my horizons. She gave me many examples about what events and organizations we could incorporate both inside and outside of the office. Just learning about her career journey was an exciting and motivating boost for me.
The support I receive from my managers always helps me to work much more creatively and productively as well. Leadership and management are extremely important in large diverse groups; it contributes to the production of entertaining products.
What advice would you give your younger self?
I’d definitely say that everyone, regardless of gender, is experiencing similar difficulties around the problems that they are facing throughout their youth. If you step aside, silence your inner saboteur and work hard and efficiently enough, you can overcome anything you want!
I would also tell my younger self that misogyny, gender bias, and inequality are another huge challenge and that theme that will show up throughout your life. Don’t hesitate to speak up to create a different perception.
The theme of this year’s International Women’s Day (IWD) is #ChooseToChallenge (collectively, we can all help create an inclusive world. We can choose to challenge and call out gender bias and inequality. We can choose to seek out and celebrate women’s achievements. From challenge comes change, so let’s all choose to challenge). How have you chosen to challenge? Or have you been inspired by a leader or mentor in your life who has chosen to challenge?
This year, I #ChooseToChallenge by speaking up about the prejudice against women that still exists today. I — and other women — are subject to mobbing and lagging in their careers because of the same biases and inequalities that are prevalent in Turkey.
I first began educating other women about this and providing them with moral support, however, this is not a one-sided fight; we need to include all individuals in the effort to challenge and eliminate gender inequality.
What is your favorite Zynga game (past or present) and why?
My favorite Zynga game has always been Farmville, and it will remain the same because it was my first ever casual game obsession. I signed up for a Facebook account just because of FarmVille. It is a game that still inspires hundreds of thousands of games out there and provides so many fun social experiences. The various versions of Farmville that exist today are still trending!
Tell us a surprising fact about yourself.
When a new person starts in our office, I must be friends with them and make sure they adapt to the office environment. Introducing them to the team, showing them where the office supplies are kept, and even teaching how they can use the coffee machine is deeply important for me. I have to be sure that they are eating well too. 🙂