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Alumni Spotlight: Charting a career path in gaming
With an office overlooking the iconic Halifax waterfront, supporting some of the biggest titles in gaming, Tabea Marzlin (BCS’22) is still in awe of reaching her childhood dreams so early in life.
The Dalhousie Computer Science alumna began coding video games at the age of 12 as a hobby. This early passion accelerated as she entered high school in Antigonish and joined an organization that introduces young women to careers in tech through job shadowing, events, workshops, and working closely with female role models in STEM. This organization known as Techsploration gave Tabea the opportunity to dive further into the world of STEM.
When it came time to choose her next step after high school, Tabea knew Dalhousie was the right choice. Having shadowed a professor at Dal during her time in the Techsploration program and knowing about the vast co-op opportunities, Tabea had confidence in choosing her next step.
The post-secondary foundation
With Tabea’s STEM background and keen interest in gaming, she went into the Bachelor of Computer Science program with eagerness. During her time in the Faculty, Tabea was a part of several clubs and societies, notably the Women in Tech Society (WiTS) where she became Vice-President of the society in her third and fourth years, “some of my fondest memories while at Dalhousie was when I was with WiTS” Tabea shared.
It was also during her degree that Tabea took part in the co-op program and started her first co-op term as a Junior Programmer with Ubisoft in Halifax, it was there her childhood passion for coding came to fruition. Tabea went on to complete her second co-op term with Ubisoft and was offered to join the organization full-time upon graduation.
With a job offer in hand, Tabea completed her degree in May 2022 graduating with a Bachelor of Computer Science and a minor in Music. “My degree and minor are so complementary, especially for my field of work, it’s been an amazing asset,” says Tabea.
With her promise of employment secured, Tabea started at Ubisoft as a Junior Programmer in June 2022 and has found a fulfilling and rewarding career since. Praising the organization for its innovation and supportive company culture, Tabea feels fortunate to be in her dream job at such an incredible organization. “Everyone at Ubisoft is so kind and supportive, I also love that it’s such a large international company. I've gotten the opportunity to work in co-dev with people from Ubisoft Paris and Ubisoft Barcelona,” says the Junior Programmer.
Full circle moments
Tabea’s work fuels her passion every day, having contributed to major games like Assassins Creed: Rebellion and an exciting new project in the works, Tabea is glad she pursued her big aspirations of joining the world of computer science.
As the computer science sector makes sizable advances, Tabea hopes to see more representation of women in the field and continues to mentor young women in the Techsploration program. “It feels like a full circle moment for me, I got to mentor students from my high school in Antigonish, Dr. John Hugh Gillis, and reunite with the teachers who ran Techsploration back when I was in it. I brought the students to the Goldberg Computer Science building at Dal and ran a small game development workshop with them,” Tabea shares.
Aside from mentoring, Tabea also helps with the hiring of co-op students now, another full circle moment for her to help determine the next generation of coders. Tabea is enthusiastic about encouraging students to work at Ubisoft, “During my co-ops when I was just learning, people were always willing to help, and there is a big emphasis on skill development and personal growth even now.”
The future of computer science
Young women such as Tabea play a vital role in the gaming scene, Tabea’s story is a great testament to not being afraid to chase your ambitions and no dream is too big to chase.
Tabea’s advice for women considering computer science is to not be intimidated, while she had some experience with coding as a hobby, the skillset isn’t required to pursue a computer science degree.
“Even in my job today, I feel some level of imposter syndrome that I don't know enough. I think especially for women and minority genders, it’s normal not to have computer science experience but don’t let that stop you from pursuing your dreams. You do belong in this industry.”
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