I graduated from Florida State with a B.S. in Information Science. That degree had just enough technical courses to land me a job leading software development projects for America Online (AOL) in the mid-90s. While at AOL I led a number of projects related to customer care, billing tools and eventually their flagship product – the AOL client 8.0+. As exciting as billing tools are I was ready for a new challenge. I am lifelong video game player going back to the original arcade games (Asteroids, Pac-Man, etc.) and the Atari 2600. I’m also a huge sports fan. After discovering that one of my all-time favorite games, Madden NFL, was made in my hometown of Orlando, FL, I sent me resume in and was lucky enough to land an interview. Nine years later I’m now one of the lead producers for the Madden NFL franchise.
Getting Your Start with EA
I actually had sent my resume in a couple times only to get no response. Then I found out that a former AOL colleague of mine was the HR manager for the studio. At the time EA Tiburon was getting a lot of candidates so it was very hard to get looked at if you weren’t from within the industry. Luckily I got an interview and the rest as they say is (nine years of) history.
Working at EA
Working on a product like Madden NFL that has so much history is really an honor. It’s amazing to me that this game I was playing 20 years ago in my college dorm room is now a game that I get to help lead into the future for a whole new generation of gamers. That said, I’ve also had the pleasure of working on a myriad of other great sports titles including NASCAR, NCAA Football, NFL Head Coach and NFL Tour. Each title has its own set of unique challenges, but if there is one commonality it’s the goal of being true to the sport. “If it’s in the game … .”
Reflecting back on the last nine years I can honestly say that EA has made me a better leader. You hear time and time again that one of the great things about our company is the people. When you’re surrounded by such talented, smart and inspiring people it really pushes you to step up your own game. Furthermore you learn from some of the best in the business. The result is an environment where you’re constantly learning and growing.
Any Thoughts to Those Seeking a Career at EA?
When I talk to candidates during interviews I always ask them, “What is it about our company that you have passion for?” It could be one of the games we make. It could be EA’s vision as a company. It could be the challenge of making AAA titles with ultra-realistic graphics. It could be the love of sports. That said, passion is what makes our company and our teams great. If you see something in us that would get you excited to come to work every day then you may have just found the right company for you.