Gemma Johnson-Brown is Chief Operating Officer at Dovetail Games. Dovetail Games develop and publish a range of successful Train and Fishing Simulators, including Train Sim World 2, Train Sim World 2020, TS2021, The Catch: Carp and Course and Fishing Sim Pro Tour. Gemma is also the proud Games and Executive Board Member and Ambassador Director at Women in Games. We asked Gemma, some key questions about getting into the games sector.
Explain your role like I'm 5 years old
Ensure the business is operating fully at all times by ensuring we have the right people, at the right time, working on the right things.
Take us through your average day at work
Every day is different there is no average - meetings with key stakeholders, decision making based on information to hand, meeting new people, talking to staff, resolving any issues, understanding potential issues or risks and mitigating where possible. Look externally to what is happening within the industry and wider. Understand political and policy changes that may impact us.
What was your educational and career journey into your current role?
I left school at 16 with my GCSE's C-B grade in old talk - don't know what that is in new money! Job hopped for a bit discovered a love for organising, excel and people managing, studied open university HND in business then went on to professional qualifications through CIPD started at associate now chartered - through distance learning or experience assessment
What do you love most about your role?
The people, the variety, the responsibility
What's the hardest thing about your role?
The people, the variety, the responsibility :) in all seriousness though I love my roles because of the challenges, its difficult sometimes juggling so much but I like that.
What key skills should people work on to do your role one day?
Emotional IQ, soft skills, mindset to learn and grow, listen more than you talk, be able to challenge the status quo and admit when you are wrong.
What advice would you give to your younger self looking to get started in the industry?
Find a mentor, use Linkedin, be helpful, be kind and look for an in, be ready to learn new things and enjoy it.
Do you have any links to good articles or videos that you think might give some tips or advice to someone starting in your role?
You don't just start in a COO role, you grow into it. Get to know your strengths and use those but also know where you need to develop - I enjoy watching TED Talks, watch how leaders hold themselves, talk, present, learn and develop these skills for yourself.