Last month, VP of Corporate Fundraising Steven Chen invited Senior Mentee Austin Van to go to work with him for a day. Chen is a Product Manager at Kabam, a mobile gaming company that develops free-to-play games.
Kabam was selected for the organized job shadow event because of its focus on technology and innovation. "It was an exciting event that allowed Austin, who's really interested in engineering, to speak with all departments at Kabam," said Chen. "He was able to learn from engineers, product managers, and marketers by observing their day-to-day."
From the first moment Van stepped into the company, the graduating senior was in awe.
"I thought visiting a gaming company would be cool," Van said. "But when I got there and had the chance to look around, I was amazed. They have pretty much everything! There was a huge kitchen with fridges with all sorts of drinks and snacks. There was a mini gym, a recreation room and games everywhere."
Van's interest in computer science solidified after the job shadow. The assortment of people he met and their varied daily tasks gave him a better picture of the industry as a whole. He also got some valuable guidance about the path to becoming an engineer.
"My future definitely involves reading a lot of books and writing lots of programs," said Van.
But study advice was hardly his only takeaway. Van was able to relate to the engineers in more ways than he imagined.
"My favorite thing about the job shadow was being able to talk to adults about the games I play," said Van. "It was a very interesting experience because I was under the impression that only young kids or teenagers played games, and that adults usually shunned them!"
Van quickly learned: At Kabam, playing games is part of the job description.