10 Women Rising in Gaming
Hometown: Soldotna, Alaska
Current position: Director of Marketing & Communication at Konami Gaming
First position in the gaming industry: Marketing communications specialist at Konami Gaming
Did you apply for work in other industries? Do you think it was easier to find a job in gaming than other career paths?
I worked in marketing and public relations for the performing arts, and the tech space, before transitioning to the gaming industry. No matter the market sector, finding a job isn’t easy. However, gaming is an especially attractive industry for job seekers because it is a growth sector. There is a lot of opportunity to be part in driving new technology, entertainment, and creativity within gaming organizations, and in doing so, gaming professionals gain very competitive job skills and experiences.
What do you like about working in gaming?
Working in an industry that centers on both entertainment and technology, my job allows me to help transform how people play. It’s more digital, convenient, connected, comfortable, creative, and vibrant than when I first entered the industry. I’ve seen casino operators, suppliers, developers, and regulators work cooperatively to responsibly expand the industry’s value to consumers, as well as our communities. Together, I’m optimistic we’ll continue to transform gaming spaces to engage and entertain players in new ways.
Did anything surprise you about the industry when you first started?
The diversity of the player base is one of the most fascinating things to discover about the gaming industry. That’s not to say there isn’t room for greater diversification, through product innovation, responsible market expansion, and tech advancements. The future of the industry relies upon our ability to grow and cater to evolving consumer preferences—delivering more entertainment value to broader audience demographics and geographies.
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?
I had some familiarity with slots, bingo, and lottery, but only from the player perspective. Before I joined the industry, I didn’t have friends or family who worked in gaming. I had to learn a lot when I first got into gaming, but I loved it. The leaders and professionals at Konami who helped welcome me to the industry were very supportive, and today they’re some of my closest friends. In 2017 I joined the nonprofit Global Gaming Women, which offers fantastic networking, education, leadership development, and mentorship opportunities for women in gaming, often at no cost. I truly believe that Global Gaming Women is a leading force in ensuring the future of our industry, because it is actively attracting, developing, and sustaining a diverse workforce in gaming companies across the U.S. and abroad. It has a direct impact on individual careers, and on our workforce as a whole.
Can you envision making a career in the gaming industry? What are your long-term goals?
I’ve been in gaming for almost nine years—in honesty, that’s most of my adult life. To leave the industry, at this point, would be to lose a part of myself. My long-term career goal is to advance to the highest levels of leadership. My long-term leadership goal is to empower others, using strong data, systems, and communications to drive our actions. I’m privileged to work with an incredibly smart and talented team at Konami. I want to be part of helping our people and partners grow, achieve, and succeed.