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Communication, Listening Skills Make Career Blossom

HR Excellence in Innovation Carrie Dieterle Insomniac Games, Burbank When Carrie Dieterle interviewed for an administrative assistant position in the human resources department of a property management firm, she was asked why she was interested in a position that was a dead-end job. Believing that her career was what she made of it, she excelled at that “dead-end job” to become a human resources manager within two years. “My career just blossomed from there,” Dieterle said Now the human resources director at video game studio Insomniac Games in Burbank, Dieterle continues to blossom in her career. When she joined the gaming company in 2003, Insomniac didn’t even have a human resources department and Dieterle found that building one from the ground up has been rewarding. Dieterle puts her heart and soul into her job at Insomniac, said Abby Diamond, a vendor for the company who has worked with Dieterle for three years. “She makes quite a hit,” Diamond said. “She’s fun and lively yet professional and gets things done.” A background in psychology from San Diego State University turned out to be a good jumping off point for her career in human resources as it’s a profession by nature about understanding people and their behavior and requiring good listening skills. After seven years at property management firm Oakwood Worldwide, Dieterle went to Walt Disney Feature Animation for three years. During that time she met Ted Price, the founder, president and chief executive of Insomniac. At that time, the company was seeing fast growth in its workforce and workload and establishing itself as a major gaming studio through titles like “Ratchet & Clank” and “Resistance: Fall of Man.” In such a highly creative environment, it was less about dealing with personnel issues and more about communications, employee relations and training and development, Dieterle said. In her six years with Insomniac, the studio has never laid off an employee. In fact, the company has been recognized multiple times as one of the best places to work in California and the U.S. From a workforce of 40 people when she joined, Dieterle now provides for a staff of 200 in Burbank and a new office opened last year in North Carolina. In her side role as “party planner extraordinaire” she handled the arrangements of a Caribbean vacation for all the employees and their families.

Mark Madler
Mark Madler
Mark R. Madler covers aviation & aerospace, manufacturing, technology, automotive & transportation, media & entertainment and the Antelope Valley. He joined the company in February 2006. Madler previously worked as a reporter for the Burbank Leader. Before that, he was a reporter for the City News Bureau of Chicago and several daily newspapers in the suburban Chicago area. He has a bachelor’s of science degree in journalism from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.
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