Joining The Switch Effect on today’s Industry Interviews is Sandra Chau, Marketing Ninja for Rising Star Games. As one of the #girlsbehindthegames, a campaign that originated with Runaway, Sandra shares her passion, background, and advice for working within the video game industry.
What was the first console/game you ever owned?
The first console I owned was the SNES which came with Super Mario World, but it wasn’t the first I ever played. My uncle had the NES with Super Mario Bros. That’s where my life as a gamer truly began.
Do you have any fond childhood memories based around gaming?
Plenty! The majority of my fond memories come from playing video games with my cousins, crowding around a small TV in someone’s bedroom and fighting over who gets the controller next or how long the winner can “actually” stay on for before it’s deemed unfair.
On the SNES – it was always who was the best at Mario Kart and Street Fighter.
A close second would be during my PlayStation days (the second console I ever owned) which were spent playing Dance Dance Revolution when they released the dance mat home edition, and also competing in Street Fighter Turbo Puzzle Fighter (I was the reigning champ amongst my peers – not sure if I can hold that title anymore though!)
Another memory I can’t leave out would be during the Nintendo 64 days and battling it out on Super Smash Bros. (I would never win, but it was a lot of fun!)
Growing up, did you always know you wanted to work in the video game industry?
Working in the video games industry never seemed like an option when I was younger. It wasn’t something they mentioned in school as a “career prospect”. I grew up in a traditional family, where my parents encouraged me to become an Accountant, Lawyer, or something similar. However, I went down the Marketing route which was still fairly acceptable. As my career progressed, I got to a point where I decided that I wanted to do something I actually enjoy instead of just doing a “job”. Think about how many hours you spend working (including commuting) – it’s more time than you would spend doing anything else! May as well do something I like right?
Thus, I decided to pursue a career in video games, and after a lot of hard work and perseverance, here I am!
Can you describe your role at Rising Star Games?
In short – I’m a member of the Marketing team at Rising Star Games, working with our developers to best promote their game to the public via trade press, social media and with media/influencers. There’s a lot of asset creation, copy writing, negotiation, research and data management to make a successful campaign – and I’m a part of all that!
What advice would you give someone looking to work in a similar position/field as yourself?
If working in video games is where you want to be, then don’t give up on it! It might not happen right away, but when you get there, it is worth it. Even if you didn’t study something specifically in “video games”, as long as you have transferable skills, it’s still possible. If you’re missing certain skills to do the type of role you’d like to go into, find ways to acquire said skills – go to workshops, seminars, game jams, find a mentor (I’m also a Women in Games Ambassador – attending their conferences and networking through them has helped me achieve my career goal).
If you’re still studying and can take a working gap year as part of your studies – take advantage of it. Many companies offer students work placement opportunities as part of their degree – it’s a great chance to get hands on experience and leave university with a years’ experience under your belt – making you a very attractive candidate.
What are your thoughts on the Nintendo Switch?
I love it – I had one pre-ordered from the beginning, and to this day, I still play on it and have it on me. As I spend a lot of time commuting and doing activities after work, being able to play high quality games on the go is a must for me (I feel bad for neglecting my consoles at home though).
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
Stay tuned for what Rising Star Games is up to – I guarantee you don’t want to miss what we’ve got in store!
Make sure to follow Rising Star Games by using the links below!