Bonnie Cookson became Executive Assistant to NaturalMotion’s CEO in 2016 and has never looked back since! She was immediately blown away by the founder and fell in love with the company for its creative culture, passionate employees, and close-knit community. After many years of working as an executive assistant for various Tech company’s she has found that the gaming industry has by far one of the best culture’s. In addition to her normal day to day activities, Bonnie takes the lead in organising the amazing Summer and Christmas parties for our UK studios. These events really are something special and they give everyone an opportunity to come together and celebrate their hard-work! Bonnie is also an ambassador for Women at Zynga; she is passionate about creating a network and community for the women at work. It’s her belief that Zynga can continue to pave the way for empowering women in the gaming industry!
To learn more about Bonnie’s journey with NaturalMotion please read below.
What is your role within NM/BA and how did you get here?
I’m an Executive Assistant to our CEO, and our VP of Operations. Additionally, I’m an Ambassador for Women at Zynga in the UK. It is great to be leading on the creation of a network and community for the women in the business. When I joined in 2016, there were only 14 (double check that figure) women working at NM. Today, there are 49. Sadly, the numbers of women in the industry is still low, but we’re working on that!
Tell us how you came to Join NM/BA.
I was made redundant from a job I loved, and never thought I’d find anything again that would compare. I saw the role at NM being advertised, and although I had never worked in the gaming industry before, I was pretty impressed by what the company had achieved and was blown over by the Founder when I met him. My first job in the company was his assistant. I haven’t looked back since!
Tell us a little bit about your background and how you came to NM/BA.
My career as an Assistant started back in 2007. I’ve been lucky enough to work for some pretty cool executives along the way, and learnt a lot from them. I’ve spent most of my career in the Technology industry, and the Gaming industry culture is one of the best I’ve ever experienced.
Why is a culture like this so important to you?
It’s difficult to put our culture into words, it’s something I think you need to experience to fully understand – if you can imagine a group of people who are all extremely passionate about their work, but also a business that is just as passionate about the wellbeing of its employees, then you would be halfway to understanding what it’s like to work here. I have never known a more generous, thoughtful company. During lockdown, there were so many small, and sometimes large unexpected gestures that really made me appreciate working for NaturalMotion. Although like everyone else right now we are working at home, it feels as though we still have that community and that culture even though we’re apart.
How would you describe the people within NM/BA?
The people are what makes this place what it is; a group of some of the most talented, brilliant, and skilled people that I have ever worked with. One of our company’s goals is to wow people with the creativity and technology in our games – but it’s the people here that wow me every day. Alongside that, they are also pretty fun to hang out with. As part of my role, I organise our Christmas and Summer parties, we get everyone from London, Brighton & Birmingham offices together for these events, and it’s one of my favourite things to do because I always know it’s a guaranteed good time – because like any party, the people are what makes it fun.
What would someone be surprised to learn about your company or profession?
It’s not just the gamers that can enjoy working in the gaming industry. It is fair to say that I haven’t played a computer game since I was about 9 years old and had a Gameboy. I’m such a 90s kid! But, I still genuinely enjoy my job. I love seeing the process and behind-the-scenes of the ideas, inception and creation of something that millions of people around the world enjoy.