You work as an App Store Optimization Specialist at Next Games. How did you end up in your current position and what kind of work assignments do you do in your job?
As I mentioned above, at the end of my Master’s thesis writing, I got employed by Next Games as player support specialist. In Next Games, we have the opportunity to learn and develop ourselves professionally. After one and half hear, an ASO specialist position was open in our company, and I decided to apply for it since curiosity and courage are encouraged within our company’s values. ASO is not a completely new concept for the mobile gaming industry, yet it is not widely known as well. The job is a process of increasing an app or game’s visibility and discoverability in app store with the goal of increasing organic downloads. The fascinating but also challenging part of the job is that it’s ever-changing. Apple and Google are constantly changing and updating their stores, therefore, as an ASO specialist, you have to keep learning in order to adapt with the changes.
How did you become interested in the gaming industry?
I love playing all kinds of mobile games, from Candy Crush to Call of Duty, for instance. However, I had never imagined myself working for a mobile game company until I started exploring this industry while writing my Master’s thesis.
How is it like to work in an international mobile game company?
It has been an incredible. Firstly, our company has over 100 people of 24 different nationalities which has made English as our main language; thus, the language barrier won’t be a problem here. Secondly, people working in Next Games all have the same goal, that is to create the best and highly engaging games that people love. Working with a bunch of passionate, highly creative and ambitious people altogether for achieving the same mission and vision is a true pleasure. Last and most importantly, our company’s values, 3Cs, which are caring, curiosity and courage, have supported my growth professionally as an ASO specialist I am today.
What advice would you give to yourself if you would be a student now? Would you study e.g. something completely different?
I would have told me to allow myself to be more curious. Since the beginning of my studies, I focused on the courses within my Management and International business discipline. After half a year, I started to take courses for my minor studies and getting to explore more of that was different from what I had been learning. And because of that, as I started to realise how data analysis could strengthen the management and business knowledge I had learnt, during the last year of my study, I took a course in Otaniemi campus to learn about R programming. If I had been more curious from the very start of my studies, with the resources and flexibility that Aalto University provides, I believe I could have built a stronger skill set before entering the working life.
What kind of tips would you give to students who are interested in working in the gaming industry?
For business students I would tell that to develop and maintain a mobile game requires expertise from different disciplines. So, it is not only a job for programmers. It also concerns fields like marketing, project management, community management, data science and art. Therefore, if you are interested in working in the gaming industry, don’t be hesitant if you don’t have any programming backgrounds. Try to keep looking for open jobs in the field, and you might find some role that suits and surprises you.
Have a closer look on Wen-Hui’s career path on LinkedIn!