Tell us about your journey
After studying Marketing as my degree, I was able to find a role in e-commerce and affiliate marketing as an online Marketing Executive, learning the digital marketing basics and more notably, account management and relationship building. I then finally joined the gaming industry in early 2012 after landing a role at the Candy Crush Saga developer King, and then later at Rovio as an Advertising Account Manager, working with media agencies and brands to drive income through in-app video & bespoke placements.
After this stint in gaming, I wanted a complete change from working in digital ad sales but still wanted to continue working in and around the sector. I just so happened to come across a fantastic role at the NGO War Child UK as a Gaming Partnerships Manager, and then later as the Head of Gaming Partnerships having built the gaming value proposition, team and strategy, and winning numerous fundraising awards and acclaim for our innovation in the sector. Having felt that I achieved as much as I could there, I moved into my current role at TikTok and have been the Lead Strategic Gaming Partnerships for Europe, working with gaming developers and publishers in and around the platform.
What is a personal quote/mantra you uphold to help you thrive in your career?
Be honest, always. It is easier to build and maintain relationships by simply being as honest and as transparent as possible. Being upfront removes any ambiguity behind your words and actions and creates an opportunity to build a strong, long-term relationship with both colleagues and contacts.
How important is Black role model visibility within the workplace?
The general visibility of a more diverse workplace is important, even more so for those from a minority background. Having more visible Black people in the industry and in leadership roles means that it can inspire those yet to enter the workplace but also those already in it. For me personally, general visibility is more important than a role model because the more diverse the workplace is, the more likely that the organisation is genuinely interested in diverse thoughts and ideas as opposed to figureheads for social clout.
Name two of your top role models and how they inspire you?
Reggie Fils-Aimé; ex COO of Nintendo, was (and potentially still is to this day) the most senior Black individual in the gaming industry. The video game industry continues to struggle with diversity in senior and in business-related positions, so to see Reggie as not only a prominent figure in the industry as a minority, but also someone who is universally admired reminds me that it is possible for us to become leaders.
Marc Bernardin; writer, podcaster and recently short film maker is someone who, although I don’t aspire to do what he does, is so well versed in his field that you cannot help but be interested in his take on pop culture. Marc can understand genre, contextualise and then methodically break it down to its basics. This process continually inspires me to look at the bigger picture, when I can and break ideas down to their core to truly understand the intention and the objective.
Upskiling is a key component in anyone’s career, what are some of the measures you have taken to enhance your skills?
Switching sectors and industries while keeping a specialist subject at the core – video games in this instance – was the most efficient way to diversify my skill set and differentiate myself from others who are doing similar roles. Moving from e-commerce to mobile gaming, to an NGO to now an entertainment platform means I have gained a wide range of knowledge across many sectors. I feel well rounded when I am able to pull ideas and experience from sometimes, completely irrelevant sectors.
To find out more about TikTok and their career opportunities visit their BYP Employer Profile page.