This week for Digital Her we have Jemima Crow, Marketing and Community Partner at Auroch Digital, check out our interview below to find out more about her journey into the tech world through her love of gaming.

TechSPARK has teamed up with Manchester Digital to deliver you Digital Her, a project from the Institute of Coding. We want to showcase talented women and non-binary people from across the entire tech and digital sector who are doing amazing work in the South West.

The objective is to create a platform of role models for young women and non-binary people to encourage and inform anyone who may have been dissuaded away from tech about the opportunities in our region. Through talking to a range of individuals with various roles and experiences, we want to highlight the various career paths available whilst reaching out to people who didn’t know there was a perfect role in tech for them.

What do you do? 

I’m the Marketing and Community Manager for Auroch Digital, an independent games studio from Bristol. We specialise in strategy and simulation videogames as well as tabletop games.

What skills do you use most in your job? 

My role requires you to be really well organised and a good project manager. We are always working on multiple projects so juggling all those timelines, as well as different stakeholders, takes a lot of planning. Other than that, copywriting, video editing, photoshop, HTML, email marketing, and streaming are things I do most days.

What’s your educational background? 

I have a History and English degree from Exeter University. I don’t have any formal marketing qualifications. Instead, I started as a marketing assistant and worked my way up, learning the necessary skills on the job.

What inspired you to go into digital & tech? 

My love of videogames is what brought me into the industry. I have been obsessed with gaming since I got my uncle’s old Sega Mega Drive at 4 years old. I never dreamed it would be something I’d get to work in.

How did your tech & digital career start?

After leaving university I was sure I wanted to work in marketing but didn’t know which sector. I worked for the Institute of Physics and then saw a job to work for Future PLC in Bath. That job happened to be marketing for their range of videogame magazines.

I jumped at the chance to combine my skills and my passion for games, which of course meant I was a great fit for the role. Once I was in the gaming industry, I worked hard to network and make connections, which was how I heard about the other roles I’ve had over the years.

What’s the most interesting thing you’ve worked on in your career so far? 

What I’m currently working on – Mars Horizon. It’s a space agency management videogame. We have worked closely with the European Space Agency and the UK Space Agency in making our game as authentic as possible. We’ve worked with many staff from those space agencies, including rocket engineers and technicians.

I’ve been able to do livestreams and podcasts with the International Director at the UK Space Agency, Head of Robotic Exploration, Head of Human Exploration, and I’ve even worked with a real astronaut! It’s been really exciting and inspiring to use our game to communicate the important work the space agencies do, and to do it in a fun way that connects our audience with them.

What challenges have you faced along the way?  

The biggest challenge of my career has been learning the many necessary skills it takes to do the job, and constantly adapting and learning new ones. Livestreaming and social media, for example, have grown hugely in importance as part of marketing in recent years. It’s been vital for marketing to understand these new technologies within the companies I’ve worked for, explaining them to everyone else, and figuring out how we can use them. Although this is challenging it also means that my roles have remained exciting and varied, which I love.

What is your favourite thing about working in the sector?  

I love how technology, especially gaming, helps connect people. This has been more important than ever during the pandemic. Gaming and tech have been important to help people relax, find new ways to spend time together whilst being apart, and helped us to feel close to loved ones.

I’ve had a blast playing detective games over webcam with my niece and mum, as well as group party games with friends. I love being part of an industry that helps make this happen.

Do you think the tech & digital sector is doing enough to talk about intersectionality and create diverse workplaces?

I think we’re making good progress but there’s always more work to be done there. I’m grateful that Auroch Digital has supported my own efforts to increase diversity, which most recently includes hiring more women onto my team.

What advice would you give to young people thinking about a career in digital and tech or unsure what to study?

It’s definitely a good idea to do a degree that matches the job in the tech and digital industry you want to get. I think I would have got into the position I’m currently in quicker had my own degree been geared towards that. That said, just having a degree itself can give you a big advantage, whichever one you choose to do. It’s also worth bearing in mind that a History degree, for example, still gives you transferable skills, such as analysis and creative thinking, which you can certainly use in a tech job.