Thursday, July 27th was a special day at Amazon, when the company celebrated “Global Intern Day.” It’s a day where we acknowledge the many contributions that thousands of interns, across more than 40 countries, make at Amazon, each year through its global paid internship program, including many who work with Amazon Games. We dropped by the worldwide celebration, held at the company headquarters in Seattle, to hear thoughts and career tips, from Amazon Games leaders to the latest class of interns.
Each year, Amazon Games employees and managers are excited to celebrate the interns and keen to offer career guidance whenever they can. At Global Intern Day this year, interns had the opportunity to hear from Amazon Games leaders early into the event. Liz Egol, Chief of Staff at Amazon Games moderated a panel of speakers including Sallie Hirsch, General Manager of Crown Channel, Dash Nash, Software Development Manager, AGS Product Development, and Matt St. John, Sr. Manager Business Development for Prime Gaming.
With an auditorium filled with people eager to hear from tenured games industry professionals, the panelists dove right in, noting for one, that you do not necessarily need a degree in game development in order to have a career in games. In fact, panelists encouraged the interns to go out of their way to try something new even if it wasn’t their particular area of study.
Alternatively, the speakers suggested, even if you eat, sleep, and breathe games, there will still be projects that surprise you and take you in new directions. When a group as diverse as Amazon Games brings together artists, producers, and designers from all over the world to create new titles and entertainment, learning from all the different teams and perspectives can be invaluable. “I’ve been a game developer for most of my career, and I still get excited when different skillsets align and create something that’s never been done before,” explained Dash Nash.
In addition to passing on guiding lessons from their own experiences, panelists also relayed their thoughts on the industry and its bright future. “IP crossover from games to TV and vice versa is obviously becoming more and more prevalent,” offered Matt St. John, whose experience in business development gives him a great view of the massive business landscape in and outside of Amazon. “It’s special to be able to be there for those cultural zeitgeist moments, and there’s only more of those to come.”
Global Intern Day is a unique celebration at Amazon, and the team at Amazon Games was thrilled to be a part of it. To this year’s intern class, we wish you great luck on your path toward exciting and rewarding careers, be that in games or elsewhere.