Turning my Passion for Games and Media into a Career

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By Kronos Li, NYU Class of 2021

I was drawn to NYU because of how cosmopolitan, diverse, and dynamic the university and the city were. Indeed, across my studies in Media, Culture, and Communication in the NYU Steinhardt School, I’ve met all kinds of people from everywhere in the world. My fondest memories come from the time I lived in the Third North dorm, exploring the city and growing up with close friends and classmates. In particular, I loved the absence of walls between NYU and the ‘real world’, the city vibes downtown, the incredible diversity of people, and the sense of openness to different ideas. I also enjoyed delving deeply into the field of Media and Communication, particularly in areas like public relations and political communication, as I was fascinated by the power of media to influence people’s perspectives and behaviour.

Coming out of school, I was keen to join a company which would let me work with emerging markets. Having witnessed rapid technological and economic transformation in China firsthand, I believed (and still believe) that harnessing the growth potential of developing countries presents incredible opportunities for business and personal achievement. That’s when I chanced upon Garena, a global game development and publishing house under NYSE-listed Sea Limited. Founded in Singapore, Sea is a leading global consumer internet company and the highest valued public company in Southeast Asia as of Aug 2021. Sea’s footprint spans more than 130 markets globally, operating across three key business segments: Garena (online games), Shopee (e-commerce), and SeaMoney (digital financial services).

Joining Garena Shanghai as a Management Associate has been a dream come true. Growing up as an avid gamer, I was thrilled to dive into the nuts and bolts of game development and design, and to shape a game experience that touches millions of players from around the world. The Garena Management Associate Program allows me to rotate across a new department and function every 6 months, while giving me leadership development resources and ample mentorship and coaching opportunities. So far, I’ve worked as a Project Manager on the Game Development team for one of the world’s most popular battle royale mobile games, our self-developed Free Fire, and also on the sound and data team for a new game. I’ve also designed my own mini-game, and written research reports on cutting-edge best practices in game design. In Garena, even new-comers like myself are given hefty responsibilities to take ownership of projects, while being supported by experienced team-mates amid a culture that is open to making and learning from mistakes.

Garena’s MAP is challenging because of the steep learning curve that comes with plunging into an unfamiliar role every six months. I’ve found the meta-cognitive skills of knowing how to learn and adapt quickly to be critical. For soon-to-be NYU graduates thinking about next steps, I’d encourage you to look for workplaces where you can learn continually, experience hands-on opportunities to make a difference, and grow through challenges that allow you to develop useful skills. Keep an open mind while exploring roles even with unfamiliar companies – but of course, do your research before the interview so that you feel prepared – and don’t hesitate to seize interesting opportunities.

For those of you who find my experience interesting, you could consider opportunities at Sea as we are hiring to support our rapid expansion. We offer rotational leadership programs for outstanding graduates from all majors that are based out of Singapore, Malaysia, Vietnam, Thailand, Shanghai, Taiwan, Indonesia, India, Mexico, and Brazil (see here). Sea also offers a wide range of full-time positions across business segments: Sea & Garena, Shopee & SeaMoney. Wherever your career choices may take you, trust that the diversity and real-world applicability of your experience at NYU will serve you well. All the best in your adventures ahead!