Every month, we pick the brain of an up-and-coming talent. This month’s Rising Star is Anderona Cole, policy and public affairs manager at Ukie. She discusses her efforts to show to policy makers that the industry contributes to culture, society and the economy
How did you break into games?
I have always been fascinated by games and, having seen games demonstrated in my working environment in the tech sector, I have harboured a deep desire to work in such a young, dynamic and thriving industry. When I saw that Ukie was looking for someone with my set of skills, I couldn’t believe my luck.
I stepped into the office for my interview and had butterflies in the pit of my stomach. It just felt like the right fit and here I am today – living the dream as Ukie’s policy and public affairs manager.
What is your proudest achievement so far?
My proudest achievement so far stems around my involvement in Ukie’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion subgroup. I have been making the case to select certain initiatives via presentations to diversity and human resource professionals in the video games industry.
Right now, we are working on a pledge, a survey and a range of other exciting industry-wide initiatives. I can see things moving in the right direction and it’s truly heartening to see.
What’s been your biggest challenge to date?
My biggest challenge has been processing a policy shift from the tech sector to the games sector. Even though the games industry is relatively young, there has been so much done already, in terms of self-regulation. I am learning new things all the time and it’s incredibly refreshing.
“For Ukie’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion subgroup, we are working on a pledge, a survey and other exciting industry-wide initiatives. I can see things moving in the right direction and it’s truly heartening.”
What do you enjoy most about your job?
I really enjoy the parliamentary engagement side of my role. I have always loved establishing professional relationships with people from a variety of political backgrounds. I feel incredibly lucky that Ukie has an excellent reputation within Westminster and that I’m able to contribute to its efforts to demonstrate our industry’s immensely positive contribution to culture, society and the economy at large to policy makers.
What’s your big ambition in games?
My big ambition in games is to spearhead a policy transformation that ushers in a sea change in the industry. Policy achievements such as the introduction of PEGI age ratings, video game tax relief and efforts to secure funding for the London Games Festival have helped change the industry for the better. I want to achieve something as significant as that to help support our mission to make the UK be the best place to make, sell and play games across the world.
What advice would you give to someone moving from another industry to join the games industry?
Don’t be afraid to just turn up at events and get chatting to people. Games people are so open and friendly. So make sure that you always push yourself to start a conversation; you never know where it might take you!
If there’s a rising star at your company, contact Marie Dealessandri at firstname.lastname@example.org