Product manager at Warner Bros Otisha Sealy (and winner of 2017's Rising Star prize at the Women in Games Awards) discusses why hard work and a will to learn can be more valuable than qualifications.
What is your job role and how would you describe your typical day at work?
I’m a product manager for Warner Bros Interactive Entertainment UK. I hate to snapshot it as there is no real typical day, it’s the nature of the industry but primarily the culture of WBIE and the teams around me, it doesn’t ever feel ‘samey’. Warner Bros is such a huge entertainment company there are always new opportunities and tasks to explore, especially collaboratively throughout the business. If I must summarise, I am primarily responsible for bringing video games to the UK market and the marketing campaigns around that. Day to day, it can range from setting up a SKU code to developing a strategy or working with the theatrical and franchise teams on cross-divisional activity. I love it.
What qualifications and/or experience do you need to land this job?
The first thing I noticed joining WBIE was that everyone is either expertly skilled or working hard to be, so I think drive and determination is the most important. You must be prepared to work hard, learn and enjoy doing so! Within my own team, our qualifications and background experience are actually really diverse; some of us have formal qualifications and straight marketing management experience and some of us don’t. There is no particular marketing path I would categorically say would land my role. I think character counts for a lot, you just need to really want whatever your goal is and naturally your decisions should lead you to the right experiences that will make you personally right for the role. Someone could have the exact same experiences or qualifications as me but it doesn’t automatically mean they should be in the role; individual traits always bring something different.
If you were interviewing someone for your team, what would you look for?
I guess my answer follows on from my response to the previous question. I would look at how their background can add to the diversity of the team, to complement any differences and add another unique dimension to new and existing ideas and approaches. I’m someone with a marketing qualification, but that still wouldn’t be the first thing I look for or consider the most valuable. A hard worker who values continuous learning as an ethos would stand out to me.
What opportunities are there for career progression?
Warner Bros services the full scope of consumer entertainment, so there’s the potential to progress in games and, over time, also across other divisions throughout the business. Within my team there is a fantastic approach to development and progression. I have regular constructive chats with my manager about my goals, so career progression is a very open subject and I have access to my choice of training and transitions within the team. Warner Bros has worked hard to put the right processes in place.
A majority of people I’ve come across seem to have been at Warner Bros nearing or upwards of a decade. However, there is always a healthy influx of new employees and we annually hire interns and apprentices, so there is also something for those looking for something shorter term, too.
Want to talk about your career and inspire people to follow the same path? Contact Marie at firstname.lastname@example.org