#MeetIronGalaxy – Alesha Knight, Human Resources Manager
At Iron Galaxy, our HR Team sees to it personally that everyone on our team has a great experience. This interview is a chance to learn about a person who helps make our company a great place to work. Stay tuned for insight on who is making waves in the games industry at IG.
Today, we’re talking to Alesha Knight, one of our Orlando teammates who works in the HR Department. Alesha has been thoughtfully supporting our employees and IG since November 2019.
Iron Galaxy: Hello Alesha. Who are you and what would you say you do here at Iron Galaxy?
Alesha Knight: I am Alesha Knight, and I’m the Human Resources Manager or the people person at Iron Galaxy. I help manage the employee life cycle from entry, pay, and benefits to exit and retirement.
IG: What would you say is the most challenging aspect of your job?
AK: Maintaining a good balance between the needs of the company and the needs of the employees. In over 20 years in HR, I’ve worked in a few industries from manufacturing, federal contracting, distribution, and now the games industry. There’s been so many changes within the culture of work. My previous work environments were very corporate, so the employees could not express who they were as individuals. As an African American, that was a challenge. I feel that I'm now at a company that fosters a more inclusive space that encourages you to bring your whole self to work. IG's culture allowed me to look at the world of work in a different way and it's been a very positive experience for me.
IG: Your whole self is what helps make IG the special place it is. What is the one skill you learned growing up that you use the most in your role?
AK: Probably how to talk to people. I was fortunate to live and work in more than one environment, so I’ve learned to converse with different people from different backgrounds.
IG: Being able to communicate with a diverse group of people must go a long way for understanding what IG needs at the company and individual level. What has been your proudest moment as a member of the Iron Galaxy team?
AK: During COVID and around the time of the George Floyd murder, the company really wanted to help employees digest and deal with what happened. Knowing that our employees, as well as the nation, was dealing with so much volatility, fear, confusion, depression, etc.; management felt they had to reach out and make sure everyone was ok. And if they weren’t ok, we wanted to get resources out to staff. They also contributed money to causes that meant the most to employees.
IG: A great thing about IG is that support by management is often felt at the individual level. If you could give someone who wanted to follow in your career footsteps one piece of advice, what would it be?
AK: Always look to improve your knowledge and skills. Don’t think that once you’ve mastered one thing that you are done. Keep learning your craft since it always evolving.
IG: Lessons to always remember. What is the best thing about working at a gaming company?
AK: It’s so much fun for me. I’ve been in corporate for so long that I never saw folks get loose at work. As an artist, I love seeing how all the pieces come together, so it’s especially fun for me to see what goes into its creation. We have some really talented people here and it’s so cool to see it all come together! I’m not a gamer but I love the art and fun of it!
IG: What is your favorite perk associated with your job?
AK: I love the gifts! When I got the flowers for international women’s day, I was really touched and believed that they really put thought into what they give employees. The social events here are awesome as well! It really gives you a way to connect with your teammates.
IG: What is unique about managing the HR department for a video game studio?
AK: I have to get rid of my old corporate brain-thinking. In this current time period, dress codes, attendance policies, etc. don’t really come into play because we are laid back with issues like that. Not that those issues are not there, we just handle it differently than most corporate organizations. It matters that you are productive and work well with your team. No one is asked to work 50-60 hours per week. IG wants you to have a good work-life balance and we work hard to keep employees feeling like they have a life outside of work.
IG: What prompted you to work in the games industry?
AK: I was working with a federal contractor and mentally not excited about the role. I happened to glance at a job board and saw Iron Galaxy’s ad for an HR position. I read the description and saw that there was an office in Chicago (where my family was) with an office in Orlando and I felt it was perfect for me! I applied and I got the job!
IG: A match destined to be! How has working in HR changed during the pandemic?
AK: I think this whole experience of working from home has proved to some companies that it can be done, and it can be done successfully. I don’t see it as a long-term solution for most companies, but I think the argument “if you are working from home, you are not really working” can be put to bed.
IG: If a favorite book of yours were to be turned into a video game, which would you recommend?
AK: L.A. Banks Vampire Huntress Legend. Damali is the main character and I love the way she kicks vampire and demon butt! I also like the way the author, L.A., incorporates different historical and religious references that she weaves together to make you think hard about real life.
IG: Sounds like a great read. While you may not play too many video games, you’ve got a gamer’s reading spirit. Now what would you say is your HR Brand?
AK: Approachability. I want employees to feel comfortable to come to me for help and I’d like to be that bridge between the company and employees to maintain the balance of both for the benefit of all.
IG: Approachable you most definitely are. Where are you from?
AK: Chicago. I’ve lived in Maryland before moving to Orlando.
IG: Aside from playing video games, what is a favorite hobby of yours?
AK: I actually haven’t played games in a while. The last one I played in my past was Oddworld and that was when my kids were young. I tried to play Overwatch recently, and I couldn’t get my fingers right on the controller, so my character pretty much stayed on the ground looking at the ceiling. 😊 I love painting, reading, and seeing art!
IG: Sounds like you’re a consumer and creator of art. What is something you have always wanted to create?
AK: A mural. I think that would be a really cool experience.
IG: What is one place that you hope to see one day?
AK: The Louvre Museum. Also, any one of the 7 Wonders of the World would be awesome!
IG: What is your favorite book or series?
AK: The Anne Rice Vampire Chronicles and LA Banks Vampire Huntress series!
IG: What was the last concert you saw?
IG: What is the one song most likely to earn you a speeding ticket?
AK: “Move, B*#%$, Get Out Da Way” by Ludacris.
IG: Noted! You’ll be nominated to lead the next company road trip between offices. What movie have you seen the most times?
IG: What has been your favorite series to binge?
AK: Game of Thrones, Sons of Anarchy, True Blood and Being Human.
IG: What is the one superpower that you would like to have?
AK: The power to transport!
IG: Given a time machine, which historical period would you like to experience first-hand?
AK: The twenties to forties with the Cotton Club era. I would have loved to see the Black clubs and theatre districts (not the racial part though, I do not want to go back to that).
IG: What fictional universe would you choose over our own? What if there was no coming back?
AK: AleshaLand with her Purple Sky! It’s my world so it’s ok.
IG: If you could have dinner with anyone in the world, who would you invite?
AK: Idris Elba, Bob Marley, Anne Rice, L.A. Banks, Maya Angelou, Malcolm X, Michelle Obama, Billie Holiday, Stephen King, Lupe Fiasco, and HER. There’s more, but I can’t think of them at the moment.
Thanks for letting us interview you, Alesha! We appreciate the diligent work you do for everyone in the company and are lucky to have you.
We're constantly growing, and we're looking for people with varied experiences to join our team. If you want to work with a group of fantastic individuals making great things, view our career page and see if there is a fit for you. We’re even looking for a recruiter to work closely with Alesha in finding new talent to come work with us in this awesome space.