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Featured Alumni

Evans Ackon is a Public Affairs and Administration graduate in the College of Arts and Sciences at OU. Like so many students, increasing costs and decreasing state support placed a huge burden on Evans, who is one of eight children, and the first from his family to graduate from high school and attend college.

As Evans approached his last semester of college, his financial aid package fell short of what he needed to complete his degree. Because of generous donors who contributed to unrestricted funds in the College, the College was able to give Evans the assistance he needs to graduate. He will graduate in December 2016 and plans to influence public policy.

Gifts to unrestricted funds in the College, allow us to assist Evans and other students who need a helping hand from those who believe in education and the impact it makes in our society.

Q: How has your education from OU helped you move from position to position?
A: Each gaming company I’ve been at has been in the process of launching a new title, or sustaining a current one. Each community has a different tone and temperament and it’s a delicate balance between their style and the style of the company with talking to your community. For instance, my tone in writing and on social channels and planning was very different from a game like The Sims FreePlay to Call of Duty. Having a variety of communication skills from my education helped me transition from title to title.

Q: Was there a way it helped that surprised you?
A: Yes! Since the games industry is so big, I wasn’t sure I’d ever be dealing with smaller communities. But, I’d come to realize that my training in Small Group Communication helped me work with my own team, and those around us.

Q: What advice would you give to OU students on the types of education/skills they might need to get into the gaming industry?
A: The gaming industry is a very broad space. Competition for jobs, especially Community Management positions, is high since it’s a role that’s high in demand. Never underestimate the different types of communication you’re going to learn at OU. You’ll be surprised at how often you have to switch between styles, both within the company and community-facing. Small Group Communication can help with your internal teams while Mass Communication will help you understand how to plan and execute community activities for thousands to millions of fans. Remember that every community is different and will respond to you differently. One place might not understand your tone the same way another will. Be prepared to be very flexible with your communication styles and skills; you’re going to need them!