Alumni Spotlight: Jennifer Ortiz
Posted on March 2, 2021 by Keith Lynn
BS – Computer Science, 2001
Director of Business Services at NCSOFT
Orange County, California
Jennifer Ortiz graduated from the School of Computing in May of 2001 with a Bachelors of Science in Computer Science. As a student, she participated in an internship program with QMS/Minolta-QMS, which provided a solid foundation of QA testing experience that proved beneficial for launching her career. She acknowledges the late Dr. Michael Doran, Dr. Leo Denton, and Dr. David Feinstein as her favorite instructors and mentors throughout her education experience at the University. She also credits Ms. Rhonda Lucas as a major influence and guiding force at QMS/Minolta-QMS for the internship program. She says, "Professors like Dr. Doran and Dr. Feinstein encouraged both analytical and creative thinking, as well as a lifelong love and appreciation of learning. My education shaped how I approach both the core mechanics of product development and how I connect and collaborate with others."
After graduating, Jennifer landed an entry level customer service position with Mythic Entertainment, a game company whose product she had been beta-testing and supporting as a volunteer. She says, "Games had always been a staple of my childhood and continue to be a source of passion, entertainment, and creativity today. I wanted to build a skill set which would enable me to eventually join this industry, but also understood that I had to work my way from the ground up."
After nine months in customer service, she was selected to build the first internal QA team for the company and later was offered the opportunity to move into production and design roles. Jennifer has been in the games industry for over 18.5 years and has worked on over 12 titles (games and expansions) in various design and production roles.
She also credits the software fundamentals she has exercised over her career as the reason she continues to excel today. "The practical methodologies learned in college, like 'reduce, reuse, recycle', absolutely have universal applications. Your education is not just about learning a programming language or mastering a toolkit; more important is how you exercise software development fundamentals, analytical skills, and creative problem solving to keep you evolving as a creator, programmer, developer, or manager."
Jennifer currently works in Orange County, California at NCSOFT, a global game developer and publisher for mobile, PC, and console games, where her role in the company is focused on providing market, consumer, and product level insights backed by data analysis to develop the business's strategy and roadmap.
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