Interview

Grand Cru CFO Celine Pasula: "Don’t be scared of going after the job you really want"

Grand Cru CFO Celine Pasula: "Don’t be scared of going after the job you really want"

Today is International Women's Day and to mark the occasion we'll be highlighting some of the incredible women working in the games industry across both PocketGamer.biz and PCGamesInsider.biz. You can catch all the profiles on PocketGamer.biz here.

Here Grand Cru chief financial officer Celine Pasula discusses her unlikely route into games after studing for biology and neuroscience. 

PocketGamer.biz: Can you tell us about your current role and what it entails?

Celine Pasula: I am CFO for Grand Cru Games and on my table is everything related to business development/finance/legal/HR and also being part of the management of the company.

I see my role as supporting the team to be able to focus and make great games. So, in principle, I take care of many things unrelated to the actual game development and try to support these great people around me in any way possible.

What did you study (if anything) that helped you get into games? What courses would you advise for aspiring professionals interested in your areas of expertise?

At first I studied a completely unrelated subject! I actually studied biology and neuroscience and then after that business and finance.

I don’t see those early studies as a waste of time though and I still love everything I studied. Those who know me would say that I am still interested in talking about those subjects. It is always interesting to understand how the human mind works and helps with any type of job.

In general my advice would be that you should start to build up a portfolio early to get your foot in the door. In fact this applies to any industry. Try to be consistent and do what you feel most passionate about.

I am not that actively taking any courses but I love to read a lot and that is the best way for me to learn. I read all kinds of books and about all kinds of subjects.

What has also been very important for me is talking with other people in the industry and having a network that, if you have some questions, you have someone you can talk to and ask for help and share thoughts with.

Where did you get your start in games and how did you progress into what you're doing now? Is this something you ever imagined yourself doing?

This is a funny story. I never really even considered the games industry, it was a total accident and I don’t advise anyone to do the same thing I did.

Someone I knew told me about an open position that would be perfect for me. I was not really looking for a new job at that stage but I decided to go for an interview regardless just out of curiosity.

Since I was busy I did not prepare and just went there. I was not aware that it was a games company and actually found out when I got there. The name of the company was Mr Goodliving and my impression was that it had something to do with real estate.

I was completely wrong. I loved the people who were super motivated and passionate about their work. My first role was purely finance and legal, and later on I got involved with the other tasks also.

Finnish developer Grand Cru has worked on mobile games such as Battlejack

Over the past 12 years my responsibilities habr become more about the business aspect of the company and I enjoy that part of the job.

What part of your role do you find most fulfilling?

Working with the team and the people most surely! Watching my colleagues doing their best every day, getting excited and passionate about the games we are making. They push me do my best and work harder.

Start and build up the knowledge and some day you might be where you want to be with a little bit of luck and lot of hard work.
Celine Pasula

Do you think there are any misconceptions, public or professional, surrounding your area of expertise?

I think in general the biggest misconception with starting up any kind of company from ground up is to think that it is somehow glamorous. For people who have not done it, it might be difficult to understand the amount of dedication and hard work one has to make to succeed.

My dream was always to start up a new company with talented people and do something great together. I just never ever imagined how much it would take and it did not make it any easier to become a mother the same week.

Is there anything about the job/industry you wish you would have known when first joining?

I would say that in my role I wish I would be less sensitive and have a thicker skin. There are always people who won't like what you do or what you say.

What other advice do you have for someone looking for a job in this profession?

Don’t be scared of going after the job you really want. Start and build up the knowledge and some day you might be where you want to be with a little bit of luck and lot of hard work.

I would also add that mentoring could be in valuable if you can find the right mentor.

Is there anyone in the games industry (or anyone else in general) who inspires you?

At the risk of sounding a little cliche, I am inspired by anyone who is passionate about what they do.

You can read more profiles of some of the incredible women working in the games industry right here.

Celine Pasula was a speaker at Pocket Gamer Connects Helsinki in September 2018. The next PGC will take place in Seattle on May 13th to 14th. The event  will return to Helsinki later this year.

Senior Editor

Craig Chapple is Senior Editor of PocketGamer.biz and InfluencerUpdate.biz. He was previously Deputy Editor at Develop and Online Editor at Nintendo of Europe.

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