It was a career fair at Paulina Raguimov’s high school that started her on the path to becoming a full-time video game designer at only 19-years-old.
TechCrunch reports Raguimov was 16 when she attended the career fair.
She had no work experience and she also wasn’t the best student. But the folks at the JumpStart booth didn’t much care about either of those things.
Instead they cared about Raguimov’s passion for games, and her personality.
“Raguimov’s first role at JumpStart was as a production intern,” TechCrunch’s Kyle Russell writes. “Her responsibilities included quality assurance, the job that sounds appealing when you’re 12 but in reality is incredibly dull: endlessly playing games to find their bugs. She was taught to use bug-tracking tools and how to update the game studio’s documents.”
At the time, Raguimov was still attending school, and during a science class, got the idea to create a game based on putting elements together to create things, kind of like the basis of wildly popular Candy Crush.
Her bosses loved the idea and “the team built it as a mini-game within School of Dragons, the studio’s massively-multiplayer online game based on Dreamworks Animation’s “How to Train Your Dragons” universe.”
She started building out the concept in her own time, using what she had learned on the job to piece together a 30-page design document. She showed the idea to the studio’s curriculum designer, who really liked it and passed it up to her boss. Who then passed it to the CEO of the company. “Suddenly,” Raguimov says, “it was a top priority to get it out.” As this was happening, the studio promoted her from intern to production assistant.
The game did really well.
Now she’s working at the studio full-time, and is contemplating persuing college as well.