As Summer begins to fade into a warm memory and gives way to another semester of learning, the Jam City Summer interns wrapped up their memorable experiences with a week of company-wide presentations summarizing their internship journeys. Twenty interns, dubbed “Jamterns,” joined the company from every corner of the United States and took on a variety of roles in marketing, game design, communications, and more – leaving a lasting impact on their teams. While the Jamterns roles’ were varied, they left us with some advice and learnings that we all could benefit from:
Damian DiLisio, a Jamtern in Marketing Design, presented unique projects that integrated creativity and business objectives while expanding Jam City’s visibility through new social media platforms. His advice? “Don’t be afraid to have out of the box ideas.” Similarly, Isabella Melendez, a Game Art Jamtern, said the mentorship she received from her team allowed her to fully unleash her creativity and bring new creative ideas to the table on Disney Emoji Blitz while giving her the opportunity to greatly improve her artistic skills.
Known for its award-winning company culture, the company welcomed their first-ever People Team Jamtern, Lei Rabeje. Diversity, inclusion, and equity initiatives are a priority for the company, and one its core internal initiatives is to partner with LGBTQI+ organizations to bring inclusion to the world of gaming. Lei contributed by supporting its efforts towards shaping a progressive and diverse community in the mobile game industry. Francisca Phillips, Jam City’s Head of Global Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging noted: “Our team is lean and having Lei support and lead different projects allowed us to figure out where our gaps are while providing her with an opportunity to realize what aspects of HR she likes the most.”
Jamterns led their assigned projects to completion, taking ownership of their work to proudly say “I did this.” A prime example is Grace Davila, a Jamtern for the Marketing Design team, who was able to see her character ideas come to life in the Disney Emoji Blitz game and across all Jam City official game channels.The opportunity to gain meaningful professional experience directly stems from a supportive team, as Emily Ogorek, an Accounting Jamtern, noted: “It is definitely important to surround yourself with good people and being at Jam City showed me how much they value me as a person, even though I’m an intern.” Fellow Jamterns reinforced Emily’s statement: “After receiving an intern care package from Jam City, I felt important. I feel valued here,” said Erin Sawyer, from the Player Experience team.
FEEDBACK IS A GIFT
Despite the challenges that remote work has brought, Jamterns were able to tackle many obstacles through various resources. For example, having weekly feedback sessions with a mentor for insight and asking the necessary questions can significantly impact one’s professional growth. As Vanessa Mendoza, a Creator Programming Jamtern, said “As a new intern asking questions can be so daunting because you want to impress your manager and not be the intern who always asks too many questions. However, I quickly realized if I wanted to get good at the tasks I needed to accomplish I would need to ask questions! Asking questions doesn’t mean you’re less than, it just means you care about doing a good job.”
WRAPPING IT UP
As this year’s summer Jamtern program came to a close, Jam City employees from all studios were invited to a Jamtern panel hosted by Francisca Phillips, featuring four Jamterns from across different departments: Sarah Freimuth, Lei Rabeje, Erin Sawyer, and Brandon Borick. During this session, students provided in-depth remarks about the responsibilities and tasks they took on, discussed the importance of being “your authentic self,” and reviewed the ways company culture can nurture professional growth. Considering the current remote environment, this panel discussed timely topics to prepare employers and Jamterns alike for a new kind of virtual-based workplace.
With some Jamterns looking forward to coming back in the Fall semester and tackling even more ambitious projects, others will be pursuing a different path. Whether performing groundbreaking research at prestigious universities, joining multinational financial companies, or pursuing their degrees, this year’s Summer 2021 Jamterns have left a mark within their teams, players, and Jam City as a whole. Although this might seem like a goodbye, for some it is a “saved progress,” waiting to resume.