Valerie Künst, executive assistant at remote control productions, talks about her start in games, adapting to life under COVID and her big ambitions for games
How did you break into games?
Honestly, it was more or less by accident! I always liked to play games like The Sims or Stronghold: Crusader, but I did not think that I would work in this industry one day. I started to work for an escape game company in Munich after my traineeship as an event manager. Looks like I always liked jobs where I can somehow bring fun and joy to people’s spare time. This is one out of many reasons why I joined remote control productions.
What has been your proudest achievement so far?
Organizing the EGBG (European games bizdev gathering) in May 2020 in several weeks only. Due to Covid, there were no physical events possible anymore. Hendrik, our CEO, spotted the need for a virtual event very early on. So we started to organize this event in May 2020, powered by the EGDF and supported by MeetToMatch. Despite a super tight schedule, everything worked out and in the end, more than 530 people had nearly 2400 meetings during the event. It definitely was a great achievement but also a big challenge at the same time.
Pretty soon after the event, I realized how much I learned for me personally and for rcp. It’s amazing how much you can accomplish when you are focused and when you can rely on your colleagues.
What has been your biggest challenge to date?
When I joined rcp and the games industry in August 2019, I learned so many things in a short period of time. Everyone was very friendly, open-minded, and explained “insider stuff” to me. Which is super important to get a bigger picture of the industry. The next step was to get to know the different studios of the rcp family and be aware of their different skills, needs, challenges & super powers!
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Each day is different and brings in new challenges and perspectives. It is never boring. I like to try out new things and that is what I can do as an executive assistant. As rcp is a very dynamic company, there are also a lot of changes and new, different projects where I am involved. So I have the possibility to gain new skills in different areas like marketing, strategy development, leadership, business development, and a lot more.
What’s your biggest ambition in games?
During the pandemic, I got Red Dead Redemption 2 as a birthday present from my colleagues, and it showed me again more intensely how important playing and having fun is especially in difficult times, so I would like to be a part of bringing this medium to an even wider audience.
I see so many opportunities where games are still underused, for example, in school lessons or retirement homes. So to help the world to understand how valuable this combination of experiencing yourself, learning new things, and having fun is.
What advice would you give to an aspiring executive assistant?
My first suggestion would be to read the book Radical Candor as this really changed my point of view about how to communicate and work with others. I have always found it quite difficult to give and receive direct feedback, I think a lot of people feel the same. But thanks to the book and the feedback culture at rcp, it is a lot easier for me, as it is never about criticizing a person, but the role the person is performing. Challenge directly & care personally are the keywords here. And especially for the role as an executive assistant, be brave, try out new things to become an allrounder, as you never know what your next project might be!