Introduction

Welcome to the Black Youth Action Plan – Awareness and Readiness Program. This is an online learning program that prepares emerging Black professionals and post-secondary students with the tools, resources and networking opportunities to prepare for a career in the video game and Interactive Digital Media (IDM) sector. In the last 3 years, Interactive Ontario has helped to implement the BYAP program by supporting post secondary education and career development in the following ways:

Career Profiles

Welcome to the BYAP Career Profiles! In this portion of the program, we have featured three phenomenal industry guests, Shaun Jennings (Technical Art Director) from Ubisoft, Roderick Nevers (Software Engineer) from Snowed In Studios and Joann Pollard (Global Brand Manager – Madden NFL) from Electronic Arts who will share some insight and inspiration about their career journeys.

Shaun Jennings

Shaun Jennings Career Profile

Technical Art Director, Ubisoft

As a Technical Art Director, I am responsible for research, innovation, technical quality of the production as well as assure technical support to Directors, management, team leads, team members as well as guide and assist them in the best practices possible.

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Joann Pollard

Joann Pollard Career Profile

Global Brand Manager, NFL Madden, Electronic Arts (EA)

Joann Pollard is a non-technical person who has worked in educational technology at Scholastic, as a product manager at Morgan Stanley, and as a gaming producer at EA. She is currently a Global Brand Manager for Madden NFL. Joann has a Bachelor of Arts from Columbia University and a Master of Business Administration from The University of Chicago, Booth School of Business. She is a wife and a mother who enjoys reading, playing board games with her family, and watching true crime.

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Roderick Nevers

Roderick Nevers Career Profile

Software Engineer, Snowed In Studios

Roderick is from Ottawa, Ontario Canada, where he works as a Software Engineer at SnowedIn Studios. He has 12 years of experience in the games industry. He has had many roles over his career, such as QA Analyst, Content Manager, Game Designer and Software Engineer. In his spare time, he enjoys prototyping game ideas, playing new board games, escape rooms and playing dodgeball.

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Modules

Welcome to the BYAP Modules! Our featured modules are carefully designed and developed to focus on the following professional development topics: 1) Portfolio Design and Development led by instructor Kurston Timothy & 2) Building a LinkedIn/Resume Profile led by industry expert, Ingrid Forrest. These modules are designed to support your learning process and help you put your best foot forward with employers.

Hiring Fair

We host an annual Black Youth Action Plan Hiring Fair in mid February/Early March to increase opportunities for Black professionals and post secondary students in the video game and interactive digital media industry. This year, we had over 30+ employers and over 100 career seekers who participated in this year’s Hiring Fair. One of the highlights of the Fair is the Career Paths in the Video Game/IDM Industry panel hosted by our lovely moderator, Carl-Edwin Michel (CEO & Founder, Northern Arena Productions), who interviewed our star panelists: Roderick Nevers (Software Engineer, Snowed in Studios), Joanne Pollard (Global Brand Manager, Madden NFL) and Shaun Jennings (Technical Art Director, Ubisoft).

Participating Employers

Ubisoft Toronto Logo
Certain Affinity Logo
Big Blue Bubble
Snowed In Studios
Capybara Games Logo
Interleave Creative Logo
Guru Studio