10 Women Rising in Gaming
Current company and role: Aristocrat Gaming, Chief of Staff, Global Gaming
Hometown: Coon Rapids, Minnesota
First job in the gaming industry: I started my career in the public relations department at MGM Resorts International, which was my first exposure to the hospitality and gaming sectors.
Did you apply for work in other industries? Do you think it was easier to find a job in gaming than other career paths?
Most of my career has been spent in hospitality and gaming; however, I do have other consumer public relations experience as well through my time with 1-800-FLOWERS.COM. I fundamentally believe that the opportunities that present themselves are a byproduct of the work you’ve put in and what unique contributions that you can bring to the table, regardless of industry. With that said, I do think that gaming as an industry presents an allure that others do not, whether that be through the interview process or conversation at a networking event. It isn’t always something that is a consideration for people, and for that reason, people tend to be very interested in it since they do not know a ton about it.
What do you like about working in gaming?
The people, without question. I’ve been surrounded by more talent and creativity since starting at Aristocrat, both internally and externally, than I have in my entire career.
Did anything surprise you about the industry when you first started?
As someone who worked on the operator side for many years before starting on the supplier side, I was shocked at how little I knew about the industry despite working in a casino environment for so many years previously. One of the most enriching parts of my experience on the supplier side has been my ability to learn something new every day while simultaneously being surrounded by people who have different skill sets than me.
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?
While I was familiar, I would say it was in a very passive sense, which I think has added tremendous value to my experience. I would say I possessed relative indifference towards it before working in the industry – I wasn’t opposed to it but also wasn’t an avid participant. As a marketer and communicator, this previous mindset has allowed me to better connect with consumers in my role, having once been in their shoes. Overall, I have a completely different level of appreciation for the industry than I ever have before.
Can you envision making a career in the gaming industry? What are your long-term goals?
Absolutely. There is tremendous potential as the gaming industry continues to evolve and it would be an immense privilege to continue to be a part of it. Long term, I hope to continue to grow my marketing and communications skillsets to drive meaningful exposure to the masses for the industry.