Skillz Employee Spotlight: Don Kim, Game Design Associate
If all Skillzians were asked to pick one colleague who consistently plays the most games on the Skillz platform, most would probably name the Developer Relations team’s Don Kim.
To date, Don has earned over 22 million Ticketz through playing Skillz games (that’s already enough to redeem a $100 Amazon gift card, Fitbit, flat-screen TV, AND a GoPro). He spends an average of two hours each day playing Jewel Quest and Sugar Rush, and his record game count is 1,197 Skillz games in one week.
“When I was younger, my dream was to be a pro gamer,” says Don. “I played a lot of Runescape and World of Warcraft as I grew up, but never seriously pursued a career in gaming. I’m so happy to be in the industry now, working with developers and learning about game design.”
Don joined the Skillz team six months ago as a Sales Development Representative, serving as the first point of contact for our game developer and studio partners. Recently, he transitioned into the role of Game Design Associate, in which he helps optimize the designs of Skillz-powered games to maximize user engagement and profitability.
Before he joined the Skillz family, Don spent the majority of his life in Boston. He was a psychology major at Harvard University, where he – contrary to popular belief here in the office – did much more than just play games.
“I obviously love gaming and I dedicate a big chunk of time to my favorite video games like Overwatch,” states Don. “But I decided back in college that I didn’t want it to take over my life. I never want games to make me miss an opportunity to experience something new or spend time with the people I love, so I’m careful about keeping that balance.”
Fortunately, Don says Skillz enables him to maintain that healthy balance. In fact, it’s a big reason why he chose to work at Skillz in the first place. After receiving a job offer from a much larger corporation, Don gave significant thought to what he wanted out of his workplace and early career. In the end, it came down to the work-life balance that a smaller, fast-growing startup like Skillz would be able to provide, as well as greater flexibility, responsibility, and ownership. An added benefit that Don wasn’t expecting? Life-long friends!
“Skillz has a lot to offer, but my team is probably the best part about being here,” says Don. “When we’re working, my team and I are extremely focused on delivering the best possible Skillz-integrated titles to help developers provide better games to their users. But we also have a ton of fun together, both in and out of the office. Games, valuable work experience, and friends – I pretty much have it all here.”