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Chase Wilding

BSc (Hons) Computer Games Programming and Design
Graduated 2021

Portrait image of Chase Wilding

Tell us about your role and what a typical day looks like for you

I’m a rotational product manager at NaturalMotion – this is a graduate programme which has allowed me to work in the industry on live games while also learning from more experienced colleagues. Working in this role has benefited me greatly and given me many opportunities to grow in my career.

My day-to-day includes looking at our KPIs and driving our product strategy forwards by working with other disciplines to create features and improvements to our live games, with our business goals and players in mind. As a product manager I help scope and prioritise features based on their business and player impact, and use data from existing games to highlight opportunities to improve our KPIs.

Working in project management allows me to use the skills I gained from my university degree and focus on the areas I found to be my strengths. Product management isn’t something that is spoken about enough in the games industry when you’re trying to find what suits you the best, but I highly recommend looking into it, especially if you enjoy analysing and problem-solving.

How do you feel your studies at Solent helped prepare you for your career?

Solent allowed me to work with a variety of people on mini game projects which helped me develop both my technical and interpersonal skills. As one of only a few females on my course I was made to feel very comfortable and treated no differently from my male peers by lecturers and fellow students, which was greatly appreciated as it can be intimidating joining a new course in a field that is usually male-dominated.

Solent gave me the opportunity to better myself and create a portfolio I could be proud of. The lecturers gave great advice and constantly pushed me to be my best, even during the pandemic when everything was virtual.

I highly recommend product management especially if you enjoy analysing and problem-solving.

Favourite memory from your time at Solent?

During my time at Solent my favourite memory was in my third year when 20 of us worked to form a game studio and created a game to a set brief. This unit not only ended in us getting a game published on Steam but allowed me to experience working in a larger group, which enabled me to develop my communication and teamwork skills. Without our lecturer’s support we would not have got a game on Steam before graduation, which was a huge accomplishment. This also led to multiple memorable social sessions as we all met up on Discord once a week during the pandemic to socialise and play games together – I will forever remember the call where we stayed up when the PS5 was released.

What advice would you give to future students wanting to follow in your footsteps?

Create your portfolio. Add quality projects to your portfolio that best demonstrate your skillset. Also take every opportunity that comes your way and make the most of group projects, as this is where I learnt the most and made some of my closest friends. Don’t be afraid to reach out to people in the industry with questions. Solent has alumni working in all sorts of companies and industries (not just games), so make the most of this network.

Finally, stick with it – everything is hard at first, but perseverance will pay off. Every six months, look back at how far you’ve come in your university journey as it’s easy to forget when you’re constantly learning.