In this Faces of Unity post, we’re spotlighting Unity’s Technical Project Manager for the Global Localization team and Asian ERG Lead in Bellevue, Sharlene Tan. Read on to learn more about Sharlene’s career journey, advice, and all the places she’s lived.
What do you do at Unity?
Though my experience has mostly been in technical writing and translation, I just moved to a new role on the Global Localization team this year. I'm now a Technical Project Manager leading Unity's documentation localization efforts and supporting our APAC offices with their localization needs.
Tell us about your role with the Asian Employee Resource Group (ERG). What inspires you to be a leader?
Many Asians are taught to keep our heads down and avoid standing out. There's an apt Japanese proverb: "The nail that sticks out gets hammered down." I think part of joining the ERG leadership team was me wanting to get over my fear of speaking up. Ever since I started voicing my opinions more freely, I've had several colleagues thank me for articulating their thoughts.
I'm privileged in many ways. For example, I'm a native English speaker, and I'm not relying on Unity to provide a work visa so I can legally remain in the country. I want to be the voice for others who may be unable to express themselves well or feel disempowered at work.
Any interesting jobs before working at Unity that led you to where you are today?
Prior to joining Unity, I was a Technical Localization Specialist at Nintendo of America, where I used to be in charge of translating the Unity for Nintendo Switch™️* developer manual from Japanese to English. That's how I first learned about Unity!
What are your favorite things about Unity?
I think it's wonderful that everyone at Unity is encouraged to speak up and let their voices be heard, and In It Together aligns well with my personal values. Singapore is a collectivistic society, where people are encouraged to be team players and care for one another. As the saying goes, "United we stand, divided we fall."
Can you share a piece of career advice for others in the industry?
I'd encourage others to keep an open mind and never stop learning. Back when I was a college student, I never imagined that I'd wind up in the video game industry, working with languages and the written word. As technology evolves, it's hard to predict what jobs will be in demand 10 years down the road. I'm glad my career journey led me to where I am now.
Can you share a few fun facts about yourself?
I was born and raised in Singapore, but have lived in many different places: Austin, Houston, Dallas, Hakodate, Tokyo, Oita, and currently, Seattle.
I enjoy translating Japanese song lyrics into English, and also really love karaoke.
I've run into Jackie Chan twice – once in a hotel in Canada, and another time in South Africa. He was filming Who Am I? Atop Table Mountain.