Pathfinding: The Year in Quotes

A look back at the most insightful quotes from individuals featured in 2022.

December 21, 2022
College of people featured in the Pathfinding series in 2022

As we come to the end of 2022, I am grateful for the many people who have contributed to this series – both as featured professionals and behind the scenes, providing editorial and web guidance. Pathfinding started near the beginning of the year as an idea sparked by the creators of Swimsanity!

“When we (Khalil and brother Ahmed) grew up, we didn’t even know it was possible to become game developers—there are a lot of very talented people out there who don’t even know it’s possible. If you see someone who looks like you, talks like you, and has similar skills, it gives you a boost in confidence to know you are on the right path.”
—Khalil Abdullah, Co-Founder, Decoy Games
How Decoy Games inspired this series

Inspired by their desire to share more about jobs in the games industry, I sent out a request to a few folks at Xbox and Microsoft Game Studios. Within days I had dozens of nominations and volunteers, each with their own passions, backgrounds, and career journeys.

This year I learned so much about the many distinct job functions it takes to create the Xbox ecosystem and the amazing people that fill them. I am honored to share their stories and look forward to featuring even more people next year. I hope their journeys inspire you to find your own unique path into gaming.

Wishing you health and happiness as we head into 2023!


My Favorite Quotes from 2022

“Your mental health is important; your bandwidth is important. There will always be time to do work tomorrow. If you are not your best self and not taking time for yourself, you won’t be able to help others. Keeping this in mind allows me to not only share the joy of gaming with underrepresented communities, but also enable them to make a positive impact on the world.”
—Jenn Panattoni, Head of Social Impact at Xbox, United States
Career Advice from Women in Game Marketing

“Negotiation is listening. If you are patient and you listen, the other party will let you know what they need to make the deal.”
—Kim Williams-Osborne, Director of Licensing, Turn 10 Studios
From drums to Director of Licensing at Turn 10

“Diversity has always been really important to me on a personal level and it’s something that I keep pushing forward. You never just check that box, you have to keep trying, and while I’m proud of what I’ve done, I think I can always do so much better. I don’t have a perfect solution, but I think we need to keep talking about it and being ok with being awkward in order to make progress.”
—Maya Halfon Cordova, Senior Music Supervisor, Xbox Game Studios
Designing music narratives at Xbox Game Studios

“To move forward in your career, you need to invest in those around you. If you don’t help people develop and grow, you are depriving yourself of the chance to learn from them as well. It’s very important that in your planning and career growth, you dedicate time to helping others.”
—Naxla Mina Sayeg, Gaming Marketing Lead, LATAM
Career Advice from Women in Game Marketing

“Know your value and acknowledge yourself. Be bold about it. When you get criticism or feedback, have the humility to learn from it, but don’t let teaching moments quash your self-advocacy. Nobody knows your worth as well as you do.”
—Julie Lowe, Director of Marcom, Xbox Integrated Marketing, Worldwide
Career Advice from Women in Game Marketing

“Don’t chase a role, chase what you love to do. I never said I wanted to be a Content Program Manager, I just said this is what I love to do, and I did it and kept chasing what I loved until the right role literally was created for me.”
—Albert Dankwa, Content Program Manager, Xbox Support
Chasing a love for gaming to Xbox from Retail

“Bold ideas that sometimes lead to failure are what drives innovation, and I realized it’s ok to fail if you learn from the experience. This industry is diverse, and we need diverse people to fill a variety of roles. You can enter the industry and you don’t have to know every game or even play games daily to add value to your team. You belong here.”
—Maxi Graeff, Integrated Marketing Lead Xbox for Germany, Austria, and Switzerland
Career Advice from Women in Game Marketing

“The key to being a successful producer is getting a feel for the room and helping the team, figuring out what people need and what needs to happen. I have to make sure I understand the vision of the game and where it’s going, then stay ahead of the team to make sure they are all unblocked and have what they need to make sure the game happens the way we all want.”
—Naoko Takamoto, Senior Producer, Double Fine Productions
Communication across disciplines is vital

“I remember making a simple snake game [in undergrad], where you keep collecting pieces and growing longer and try to avoid doubling back on yourself. The logic and design of those types of games, even though they aren’t as sophisticated and don’t require as much technical development, it still gave me a sense of what goes into making a game and that fascinated me.”
—Monisha Monikantarajan, Age Ratings and Safety Program Manager, Xbox Game Studios
Helping Xbox Game Studios create safe and inclusive games

“There is something magical about being able to connect to a character in a game and go through that world and feel connected to the narrative, music, and environment. It’s a surreal experience. If you allow yourself to be open, games will transport you to a different place. You can experience a different reality and for a little bit you can forget about everything that’s happened and be focused on this other moment. For me it’s therapeutic.”
—Chris Douglas, Business Program Manager, Xbox Game Studios Game Camp
Changing lives with Xbox Game Studios Game Camp

“I don’t have a degree… After working here for five years I realized that college and higher-level education is amazing, it’s a great thing, but it’s not everything. No matter what your background is, you still need to educate yourself on the fly, on the job, and you must develop and learn new skills. Then just do it – whatever that new thing is – mistakes will be made, measure and learn from them. Gaming can really provide you with a different path in life.”
—Eric Richardson, Program Manager, Xbox Game Studios
Applying Marine Corps discipline to Xbox Game Studios data processes

“Moving around was definitely a big factor in growing my experience and advancing my career. It also gave me the opportunity to understand different sides of culture. I learned about the various store cultures and how to work with all types of people. Then moving to corporate I got to experience working on different Microsoft teams and large-scale projects.”
—Gricelda Hernandez, Business Manager, ID@Xbox
Using business skills to find great games

“I just love working with people who are bilingual, who come from cultures and backgrounds that are different from mine. Diversity is the spice of life for me. I’m bored of my own background; I want to learn about others. It’s wonderful to learn from my teammates and it makes a much more enriching work environment for me and has led to so many fun games.”
—Laura Hamilton, Senior Global Readiness lead, Xbox
Preparing Xbox games and devices for international markets