10 Women Rising in Gaming
Current company and role: Senior Director of Sales Relationship
Hometown: Crystal Lake, IL (suburb of Chicago)
First job in the gaming industry: I started my career as a Systems Implementation Trainer at Bally Technologies.
Did you apply for work in other industries?
After graduating from Purdue University, I applied for, and nearly accepted, a high school mathematics teaching position. I did not sign the contract and instead moved across the country with a friend to Las Vegas without a job/career lined up. My parents were not overly thrilled their Midwestern daughter was moving across the country without a job.
Do you think it was easier to find a job in gaming than other career paths?
I’m impressed with the gaming industry promoting a diverse set of skills across the job boards. I have a passion for education and found a niche in teaching adults at the beginning of my career. The opportunities are endless in this industry. Whether it’s sales, engineering or management, the growth opportunities are exponential.
What do you like about working in gaming?
I’ve been in the casino systems division for nearly 17 years and not a single day has been the same. The constant change in technology, regulatory requirements and new customer business needs makes for a thrilling ride each day. Building relationships with customers and co-workers, along with their families, has been really rewarding.
Did anything surprise you about the industry when you first started?
I didn’t realize how small the industry was until about my second or third year. It is almost like one degree of separation for industry individuals. Every few years, I see customers move from one casino to another one down the street or even across the globe.
The very first surprise, I started training a platform that utilized a ‘green screen’- no mouse required. While Bally Technologies was shifting towards Windows, it was a bit of a learning curve as a millennial.
Were you familiar with gambling before landing a job in the industry? What were your thoughts about it before starting to work in gaming? Has your impression of the industry changed at all?
Growing up in the Chicagoland area in the 90s/2000s, I had limited exposure to horse tracks and dog tracks. I never thought of a career in gaming as I assumed I needed industry experience. Promoting diversity in our sector boosts ideation and innovation to move the needle for the player’s experience across all the channels.
Can you envision making a career in the gaming industry? What are your long-term goals?
In the future, I envision myself in an executive leadership role surrounded by a world-class team. I also want to intentionally dedicate more time to non-profit boards that empower women in leadership and helping student-athletes in the community.