Four women with insights on how to establish a thriving career in iGaming
This interview was published in the Autumn edition 2019 of SiGMA magazine, Issue 9. Read similar articles in the digital edition here.
These four women are among many who have helped bring success to Blexr, a performance marketing company based in Malta. This is their advice on how to forge a fruitful career in iGaming.
Words by Mario Cacciottolo, PR and branding manager for Blexr
Rimante Kvasinskaite - Senior SEO analyst
I was hired by Blexr in September 2017, even though I didn’t have any gambling experience. I had invaluable, intense training, got to work on thrilling projects and was promoted after a year.
I’m currently working in a team responsible for our top website, and I also onboard new members of our SEO team.
The more I worked in SEO, the more I fell in love with it. I really enjoy being surrounded by inspiring fellow professionals, going to top industry conferences, and always getting to try out new things. My dynamic job really excites me.
SEO is the future of marketing and a key to online business success. It’s highly competitive and this pushes us to keep up with the latest industry trends and constantly keep our knowledge sharp.
Success can be measured in different ways. I believe my achievements have come from being a hard worker and a team player, as well as from always looking for ways to add value.
When I started at Blexr I studied obsessively to make up for my lack of industry experience. I also made a point of showing initiative, raising my hand first and fast, even when the tasks intimidated me.
Adopting this approach meant I always learned and grew and ultimately progressed. Therefore, I highly recommend being proactive and trusting the process.
I’m also a big believer in always doing your best work at work and leaving your ego at home. It’s a good idea to ask for immediate feedback but don’t take that advice personally. Bring positive energy into the room and start everything from a respectful place. Having a healthy work-life balance will also play a crucial part in avoiding feeling burned out.
Being a team player is a must for me, I suggest being loud with generous praise when it’s deserved. It will build trust, keep a happy environment, and make people in the team feel recognised.
I do recommend that people specialise. It’s easier to become a generalist later, but specialising will fill a very specific business need, give you a competitive advantage as well as making you feel proud that you have an area of expertise.
Being a part of the iGaming industry – particularly in Malta – puts you in a privileged position. To keep up with the fast pace you must be driven, determined, and assertive.
Just bring the best professional version of yourself to work and show up prepared – success won’t pass you by.
Magda Goraj - Growth programme lead
I didn’t have any knowledge about the iGaming industry, but I heard Blexr was looking for SEO staff, and the company’s culture intrigued me.
I was honest in my interview and told them I didn’t know anything about SEO – my background was in linguistics. However, I made it clear that I would do my best and learn as quickly as I could. They hired me and in June 2017 I began my new career as an SEO analyst. I will forever be grateful to Blexr for taking that big leap of faith to hire me.
For the first few weeks I was more of a student than an employee, undergoing full-day learning. Every day we had question and answer sessions with managers, where no query was a stupid one. I then asked my team lots of questions and built up my knowledge. It was an amazing time, and I ended up working on one of our key web properties.
Recently, I was given the chance to move into our growth team. I like this area because it makes us think more about what our users want. It gets them on board with our philosophy and our ideas, allowing us to check what they like and what they think about our products.
We measure user loyalty and satisfaction, helping our teams understand the information we discover, allowing them to develop our sites to be what our users want. I stay focused on keeping our company aligned with our users, rather than the other way around.
My other focus is on our internal development, how good we’re feeling as a company and how we are helping our employees grow. We organise training courses to help improve our staff’s skillsets, and we run regular internal surveys to measure how happy our staff are at work.
At Blexr there’s a culture of learning. I would recommend everyone looking at a career in iGaming put in an hour or two each day to keep their knowledge current and their skills sharp. Otherwise, you may find yourself going out of date fast.
Never say “no” to something just because you don’t know how. Grab opportunities as they come up and then figure out how to do something. You’ll learn, it’s just a matter of taking that first step and getting out of your comfort zone.
I also strongly believe in Laszlo Bock’s advice that we all should think of ourselves as founders and act like it. It’s not about responsibilities or the role you’re given, it’s all about your attitude and your initiative.
This means acting on anything that would improve the business, the culture, or working conditions. That’s how you, and the company you work for, grow and succeed together.
Faye Pace Decesare - PR & events co-ordinator
About three years ago I was an English teacher in a boys’ school. I wasn’t really enjoying it, and then I noticed how betting companies had great staff parties, with lots of international team members, and they were clearly having a good time.
I have a BA in English and a Masters in Shakespeare and Education. I’m also an English speaker, so I put all this in my CV and looked into content departments at various iGaming companies.
I pointed out how my skills crossed over into iGaming – how I was a leader (of a team of pupils), how I’d work well with product owners (as I did with other teachers), how I was used to organising day-to-day tasks for myself and others.
No matter what you do, if you want to get into iGaming then your skills will often be transferable, so I’d recommend taking a step back and looking at your abilities so you can convince iGaming companies why you’d be an asset to them.
I was taken on by Blexr in November 2016 as a content writer. I did that for a couple of years before I was asked to switch to the new PR and Branding team, which looks after the company’s image.
We handle our social media, organise branded events and community projects and look to create a good name for Blexr, both in the industry and in the wider community. A big part of this is to show how good an employer we are, so that we are attractive to highly-skilled potential employees.
To be a success in whatever role you have, you need to show an appetite for the position and if you want a change, you need to be vocal about what you want to happen.
I worked on my copy to make it better, and I also learned about how to handle our social media accounts. I made a point of working on any feedback – which is best when it’s constructive – so that I improved. And I realised I needed more of an eye for detail. I’ve grown my skills, and that’s helped me to progress.
I’ve also been friendly and respectful and polite, which are important qualities. People like to work with those that have a positive outlook and show enthusiasm.
That can be hard when perhaps you’re in a role you don’t really like, but being hard-working and enthusiastic is how you get to improve your situation. My career really took off when I showed I had a passion for it.
Erika Zammit - Senior UX web designer
I joined Blexr in December 2015 as a junior designer and have been promoted twice. It’s been a great journey so far.
The company has grown a lot since I started. At the beginning we were only two employees – me and another woman who worked in finance. As the company grew so did the design department, and now I’m in a team of five.
Before I start designing, I analyse our user’s behaviour, carry out competitor research and search for any other relevant information. I organise a meeting with product team members to establish a wireframe. Only then do I start designing. If the site does not have an existing UI library, I create one and establish a style guide. Once the design is done, a meeting is organised to gain feedback from different departments and amendments are made to finalise the design.
After development of every page I carry out a QA from a design perspective. I have also compiled user personas for some of our sites, so that we can get a better understanding of our target audience.
I’ve handled a variety of projects at Blexr. I’ve done design work for around 10 sites, as well as designing and organising our first two stands at SiGMA. Over time we have changed our processes, so I’ve had to adapt myself to a number of different things including the introduction of the Agile methodology at Blexr.
Agile has been great for the company and for me personally. It helped me understand why and how we do things. I had the opportunity of becoming a scrum master for a team for a while, which I enjoyed because I got to work on my coaching skills.
My time at Blexr has taught me that no-one has all the answers, we are all learning. The best solutions crop up when we are all pitching ideas as a team. Once you’ve picked the right niche you want to be in, it’s a good advantage if you can show interest and work hard.
We have great people in the office that you can learn from at Blexr, and they’re easy to get along with. They help you and tell you how you can improve.
Currently we are being taught and encouraged to perform tests on our sites for conversion rate optimisation (CRO) purposes. We want to measure the performance of our sites. It’s something that I have been looking forward to doing for a long time and I’m excited to see the future benefits of this practice.
I’m an analytical person and I like the idea of contributing to the company’s wider goals. I want to add value to whatever I’m doing and I get to feel that way in my role here.
About SiGMA Expo:
The iGaming summit SiGMA is setting its sights on Asia. Our ground breaking Asian iGaming expo will be held in Manila, on the 8th & 9th of June 2020. SiGMA’s largest venue to date will bring together high quality conferences and content, premium networking opportunities, and luxury networking event. 10,000 delegates from across Europe, the US, and Asia are expected to attend, making this one of the biggest shows to unite East and West in the region. To become a part of the fastest paced Asian iGaming event, book a pass or sponsor & exhibit.
For those planning to attend SiGMA Manila, AIBC Manila and ICE Asia at SMX on June 8-9th, this is the buzzing business environment to be expected: