Aurélie’s career path didn’t follow a straight line. When she entered university, she studied management, but rapidly realized she wanted to be closer to implementation; inspired by her passion for video games, she switched into programming. After all, growing up, she had been her friends’ and family’s official computer repairwoman. In short time, we had the opportunity to meet Aurélie via the second edition of the Ubisoft Game Lab Competition, which led to her being employed at our studio. After working on Rainbow 6, Child of Light and Shape Up, she settled into the For Honor family as a gameplay programmer and programming team lead.
In this first episode of web series Les Catalys, Aurélie opens up about her work with the goal of encouraging young girls to consider careers in STEM. We took a few minutes to talk to her about her participation in Les Catalys.
What was your motivation for doing Les Catalys?
Ubisoft encourages us to get involved in these types of projects. I would have been the perfect audience for this web series ten years ago. I would have loved to get a feel for jobs in sciences when I was making career choices in high school. Since I didn’t really have any ideas, I opted for economics. I truly had no idea what kinds of careers existed in the scientific field, except for doctor or researcher. If I’d known I could work in video games, I would have made different choices. So if I can help other girls make decisions earlier, instead of wandering aimlessly on their career path, that’s great!
Do you engage in other mentoring activities?
Yes, I am a mentor at Pixelles. We meet women who want to change careers, and we help steer them. I’ve also taught programming workshops at Kids Code Jeunesse. I’ve talked about my career path as part of the Filles et les Sciences initiative, for girls ages 12 to 15.
We know that having role models can be defining in choosing a career, especially for young girls. Was there someone who sparked your interest in sciences and technology?
No, there wasn’t. I really didn’t have a role model. I wanted to do this and I went for it, even if I was told, erroneously, that there weren’t any jobs in the field. At Ubisoft’s summer school, I was a team lead, and I started looking for women role models in such a position. I found Aleissia Laidacker. I thought: if she can do it, I can, too. Also, she looked bad-ass with her colourful hair and her leather jacket!
Do you have any advice for young girls considering a career in science and technology?
I feel like saying: don’t listen to your parents if they discourage you to take up a career in science! I don’t want to go with the cliché “follow your heart.” but my main message is that you shouldn’t be afraid of this industry. The future is so promising in science and tech, and these are fields that will continue to grow. There are so many jobs and interesting things to do, and it would be great if there were more women in the field. On For Honor, there are quite a few women, and many in leadership positions. It’s cool to see that we are there to define the future.
Check out Aurélie’s episode on Les Catalys’s Facebook page. Follow the page to find out when the nine other episodes featuring inspiring women of science come out.