Time at Roll7: 9 months
Favourite classic game: Rayman 2
Pets: One very large, very loud, very lazy cat called Bozzy
How does it feel to be interviewing yourself, Jemima?
Well, Jemima, I’m glad you asked - I’ve actually spent many hours practising for this exact moment in the shower at home. Granted, I usually imagined a situation where I was being interviewed on the red carpet at the Oscars, rather than being stuck in self-quarantine talking to myself, but still. I’m ready.
Why would you be at the Oscars? You don’t- oh, never mind. Tell me a bit about what you do at Roll7.
I’m an administrator/assistant.
What does that involve doing?
All sorts, really! I’ve spent a lot of the past few months working with Simon (one of the company Directors) on recruitment while we scale up – so that means everything from writing or editing job descriptions, to sorting through the jobs email, to organising interviews and tracking which positions we still need to hire for. But really any administrative task is fair game, and what needs doing tends to change from day to day. One of the great things about Roll7 is that I also get to do some tasks that aren’t really related to my job title but which I’ve expressed interest in – like writing this interview series for the blog, or shadowing our narrative designer, Lizz.
Ah, narrative. This sort of ties in to how you came to work at Roll7, right?
Yes! So, I graduated from St Andrews in 2018 with a degree in English Literature and Medieval History, and I spent a couple months writing – some short stories, a novel, poems – and trying to work out what I wanted to do with my life. The more that I thought about it, the more I felt that I would really love to work either in theatre or in games, because they’re pursuits where you can be creative but in a collaborative way – I don’t know if you’ve ever tried to write a book-
Well, you do know, because we’re the same person.
Right. Yes. Anyway, the point is that writing a book is a pretty solitary endeavour, and honestly, although I enjoyed it, I missed being able to collaborate on things – at Uni I’d had a lot more team-based work with group projects, theatre productions, etc, and I’d really enjoyed it. So it was really that desire to create collaboratively that lead to me applying for an internship in narrative design. And while I was at that internship, I guess I found myself more and more interested in the games industry as a whole – it seemed like a really welcoming space, especially because there were so many local women in games events. Maybe this is partly luck of the area I’m based in, but in general I’ve really found the games industry to be this really vibrant and welcoming place, and that was what really made me decide that I wanted to get into games as a career. I have to give a big shout-out here to the Guildford We Make Games group, who have an amazing mentoring scheme for women who are just starting out getting into games – they really helped me get to a place where I could apply to Roll7 and land the job.
That’s neat! I guess perhaps that’s something other young women looking to get into the industry would be pleased to hear.
I hope so! I know that my experience isn’t universal, but I would say that for any young woman looking to get into the industry, it’s worth doing your research, asking around about local women in games events or networking opportunities, and going along to those if you can. I think speaking to folks who have been in the industry for a while is super helpful, and - in my experience at least – people are pretty happy to help out a newbie and give out tips and advice.
So you like teamwork and networking events – how have you been able to balance that with working from home? Were you concerned about that when you started the job at Roll7?
I definitely was! When I initially got the job I wasn’t sure if remote work would, well, work for me. But we have a system here where we do big full-team fac-to-face meetups in our London office every fortnight, and that actually works really well. You get the benefit of seeing your co-workers and having that social interaction on team meet days, but then you also have plenty of days where you’re in your own space and you can have the heating just how you like it, and eat smelly cheese, and play your music out loud… I’ve found it to be a pretty neat system.
It’s a nice balance, for sure. Ok, one last question – do you have any tips for people who might be working from home for the first time?
I’ve actually been speaking to my co-workers about this, and I’m compiling a big list of tips from everyone at Roll7 which will be posted up on the blog next week. Obviously at the moment a lot of people are finding themselves suddenly having to work from home, and since we’ve all be working remote for a while now, we want to share what we’ve learned to help out anyone who needs it!
I’ll let you get back to typing that up, then.
Thank you! I appreciate it, Jemima.
Thank you, Jemima, I appreciate you taking the time to speak to me, too.
… this isn’t as funny as I think it is.
It really isn’t.
The Roll7 Team
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