Levelling Up – BAFTA’s Grace Shin

Grace Shin, games programme manager at BAFTA, tells us about what she and the team are up to over at 195 Piccadilly, and why communication skills are a must.

What is your job role and how would you describe your typical day at work?

I design and deliver our year-round programme of games activity. This includes masterclasses, appearances at domestic or international industry conferences, networking activities and more. I also support our partnerships, digital content and awards teams, as well as contribute to BAFTA’s overall games strategy.

It’s hard to describe a typical day as it’s quite varied. It’s essentially about spinning multiple plates: keeping an eye on the status of various activities and their deadlines, planning major tent-poles in the months ahead, and catching up with partners or organisations we’re collaborating with. It involves a lot of communicating and working across various internal teams including events, tech, production, and more, and pulling them all together to work on various projects all in progress simultaneously! It can also involve visiting studios and attending other games events which is always fun.

What qualifications and/or experience would someone need to land your job?

Like many games roles, I don’t think that there is a golden route into a job like this. Qualifications aren’t needed but a very strong understanding of the games industry and a passion for games absolutely is, as well as creative thinking. You’ll be working with multiple teams both internally and externally, so great communication skills are a must.

Being comfortable speaking to senior games folks is a plus too, since that’s who you’ll be meeting for many events or activities. And also the ability to be able to translate games in an understandable way to people who aren’t from this wonderful world and being able to confidently talk about the industry internally. Of course, events management experience helps as well as research skills when it comes to identifying talent or partners. Finally, it’s a fairly varied role, so a basic understanding or experience of production and digital content creation can help too.

If you were interviewing someone for your team, what would you look for?

In terms of joining any games role at BAFTA, beyond the meeting the requirements for the role, I’d look for a real passion for games as an art and entertainment form as well as an eagerness to really excel in pushing BAFTA’s mission in games forward. An ability to be agile with ambitious thinking would also stand out. Finally, an understanding that BAFTA is an arts charity and that our activities need to align with our charitable remit.

What opportunities are there for career progression and/or world domination over at BAFTA?

You meet so many people in this role that the possibilities are endless; this definitely feels like a period of growth for games at BAFTA and progression comes with it. As said, we have a small handful of dedicated games people but BAFTA is ambitious about investing in games more, and it’s really at the heart of the overall charity strategy. We’re very excited for the road ahead.

About Vince Pavey

Vince is a writer from the North-East of England who has worked on comics for The Beano and Doctor Who. He likes to play video games and eat good food. Sometimes he does both at the same time, but he probably shouldn’t.

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