The gaming industry plays an all-encompassing role in modern culture and entertainment while epitomizing technological innovation. The ever-growing popularity of this booming industry comes as no surprise, especially among the younger generations, so we jumped at the chance to learn more from EU alumna and marketing specialist at PlayStation, Kamila Qurratuaini!
Despite starting her studies in fashion, Kamila decided to change career direction and completed a Bachelor of Science in Digital Media Management at EU, Geneva. This helped her to pursue a digitally-driven career, leading her to her current position at the world-renowned gaming company.
Thanks to her international upbringing, Kamila speaks Indonesian, English, Sundanese and some Japanese and French. Her hobbies do include gaming, but she also has an artistic flare which is reflected in her love of painting, drawing and design. She has also played the piano since she was a child and is a fan of literature. She is currently reading the English classic, Wuthering Heights.
You started studying fashion in Indonesia, but you then changed to digital media and now work in the gaming industry. What was behind this change?
When I was in high school, I was always inspired by fashion. I loved to paint, draw and design and I was the creative one in my class so naturally I wanted to follow my passion. But sometimes when you pursue your passion, you discover it’s not for you. After completing one semester in fashion, I was really drained. I wasn’t sleeping because of the work I had to put into the assignments. I also had to invest a lot of money in the materials, and it was the first time that I had lived away from my family. It was a very challenging time for me.
Then, my father was assigned to a post in Geneva so I decided to go with him. I didn’t start at EU straight away – instead I waited a year to explore what I wanted to do. I joined a lot of communities and spent time with people from different career backgrounds and, eventually, I found the meme community. These people create funny content in different forms by drawing or using editing tools. I enjoyed creating my own comics, so I decided to learn more. The first professional platform was 9GAG and I was inspired by them to focus my career on digital content creation.
I found the Digital Media Management major at EU and liked the fact that it was taught in English. A lot of Swiss universities accept international students, but most of the courses are in French.
Could you tell us about your professional journey since graduating from EU?
I started applying for jobs as soon as I finished my thesis and I joined an online healthcare service startup, followed by a tech startup. At the time, it was hard to find a person who specialized in digital media, but my profile was a good fit. I learned a lot from these first companies, not only with regard to product creation, but also a lot about how startups are run.
Later, I joined a company in the fashion industry. Their organization structure was similar to a startup, and they were also working on digital products like shopping apps and websites for Muslim fashion, so it wasn’t a big change for me. I was there for about two years when I got a call from Sony PlayStation in Singapore. It was really random, I didn’t expect it at all! They were looking for a digital marketer, so I went through the recruitment process which was around three months long. I have now been working for PlayStation for almost three years.
Could you describe your current role?
My current position is Marketing Representative for PlayStation, Indonesia. I plan, execute and monitor all active marketing, branding activities and events.
How does the PlayStation 5 slogan, ‘Play Has No Limits’, reflect the PlayStation brand?
I played PlayStation games long before I started working for the company. In fact, I bought my first console when I was in Geneva! Speaking from personal experience, I played PlayStation games with my siblings a lot – it was like a bonding session for us and would help me learn more about them. In Geneva, there are lots of things to do; you can go for a picnic in one of the many parks or go hiking or skiing but, sometimes, when we just wanted to stay home all day or if the weather wasn’t great, the PlayStation was there to entertain us.
There is no limit to play. You can play with your friends, family or alone. You can play as yourself or as a character, exploring and completing challenges or quests. In a game, you not only have to play, you also have to think strategically to prepare yourself for what’s to come. That’s where games have also helped me to maintain a clear mindset, not just while I am playing but also in real life.
What is your favorite game?
It changes from time to time but I’m currently playing God of War. It has its own take on Norse mythology and it’s more challenging than the games I usually play. There is also an emotional story to it; you aren’t simply scoring points, there is a strategy behind it all.
Gaming naturally skyrocketed during the pandemic. How are marketeers keeping people interested in games now that restrictions are easing?
We have to keep thinking strategically and learn from current trends. We always plan a lot of activation for our users, especially holding a lot of tournaments for FIFA. We also make the most of big holidays like Christmas, Ramadan and the Lunar New Year.
For Lunar New Year, we always hold an event to encourage people to play games, watch their favorite movies, go on YouTube or stream their favorite shows on their PlayStation. Participants have to record how long they have spent on the console and we showcase the total hours of all of our users in the region on our website. Once a user reaches a certain tier of gametime, they can win a big prize.
What misconceptions do people have about the gaming industry?
There are a lot of misconceptions. Many people still think that games make kids less intelligent because they are playing instead of studying. But if parents take care to monitor their children, gaming can help them a lot. For example, I wasn’t academically inclined but as I grew up, I started playing games with my friends and I improved in school.
At school they had a computer class where you not only learned how to use basic programs like word processors and Paint, but you also played games and the teachers encouraged it. I think gaming helps with concentration, as many kids get distracted easily, but when they play games, they can learn to focus on completing a task.
What advice would you give women who aspire to work in the gaming industry?
You have to be confident and open to different aspects of the games. Sometimes women don’t like to play fighting games, but you have to dive deep into these kinds of areas and find out what it’s like for yourself. That way, you learn to empathize with the main customers of your product.
How is gamification being used in business nowadays?
There’s a lot of gamification, especially in the super apps here in Indonesia. E-commerce platforms are very popular, and you can even use them to pay your bills or book holidays. To keep users engaged with the applications, gamification programs are created which reward people with discounts on their shopping.
What skills did you learn at EU that have served you in your career?
For me, there are a lot, but one of the most important skills was communication. I really struggled with communication before I went to EU because I didn’t meet with a lot of people. At EU, you meet lots of students from different countries, so you have to learn to communicate effectively because sometimes having a mix of different cultures, languages and accents can cause misunderstandings.
Everything I learned at EU I have applied to where I’m currently working. Even finance! At PlayStation, I changed roles. Before I was working as a digital marketer but now, I’m focusing on all areas of marketing. Naturally, I will get to learn more about marketing and branding than I ever have before. I need to understand all aspects of marketing, just like I did when I was at EU.
I also learned to be more disciplined with my time management. Swiss people are quite strict with time but in my culture, we are more lenient. If we have a meeting scheduled at 4 p.m., we will start at 4:30 p.m. or even 5 p.m., but in Switzerland even the trains are punctual!
What was your favorite class at EU?
My favorite subject was Financial Statement Analysis! It might seem weird, I know. But sometimes it’s fun to balance all the sheets, it’s really satisfying!
My second favorite subject was Ethics in Business. Before, I wasn’t aware of the things that companies can do for society and the environment, but now I know that businesses have an obligation to be more responsible.
What was your experience of living in Geneva like?
Most of my memories from Geneva are exciting and heartwarming because I got to spend the time with my family and friends. Sometimes I still miss it!