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Deborah Farley, Head of Talent and Outreach and the one who makes our Tranzfuser competition happen, is shortlisted for the MCV Women in Games Career Mentor of the Year award.

The awards ceremony takes place this Friday (11th May) at Facebook’s offices in London. Alongside esteemed nominees from both the likes of Space Ape Games, Playstation London Studios and Staffordshire University, Deborah has been selected to join the shortlist based on her experience of running our annual graduate talent development competition.

So what makes our Head of Talent and Outreach stand out as worth of being in the shortlist? Ahead of the awards ceremony, we take a look at what goes in to making Tranzfuser happen.

How would you describe a typical day at work?

No two days are the same! As with organising any large-scale event, the job doesn’t involve daily routine as such. It’s better to look at the role as being cyclical; from developing the concept of the year’s competition, to putting together documentation, attracting applicants and running the process of reviews and selection. And that’s just part of the job! My duties also include the planning, coordination and operational oversight of our annual showcase event.

As Tranzfuser runs over the summer, you could say that is my most prolonged busy spell. During the competition I am in continued contact with the teams; I’m the go-to person for any and all questions relating to the mechanism of the competition. I also work closely with our network of Local Hubs (universities, enterprise hubs, etc.). I guess you could say the main thrust of my job is staying on top of everything that’s going on and keeping track of teams / hubs / events.

Do you enjoy your job?

I love it! I’ve always worked in the field of supporting people; whether it’s talent development interventions such as Tranzfuser, or my background in social enterprise, I’ve always enjoyed the magic of seeing talented people do well with my support.

I’ve been involved in the games industry for many years now and am thrilled to be in a position where I can help (with the Tranzfuser HQ team’s support) to make dreams a reality. That’s not to say that the success of the team’s who take part in the competition isn’t down to them – last year we had 23 graduate teams who worked tirelessly for the best part of the summer to take their project to the UK’s biggest consumer-facing games event (EGX). Every day they showed up, worked hard and learned to apply the skills they’d honed over the years to the real world of games development. It was with great pride that I was able to witness the journey at first hand of the graduate teams then go on to become successful indie games developers.

What are you working on right now?

We’re getting ready to start the competition! Selected teams for this year’s Tranzfuser have been notified and we’re busy getting all the paperwork and comms in place for the big announcement. I’ve got a very busy few weeks lined up in making sure all teams know exactly what they’re doing, the Local Hubs are well-informed and getting plans in place for our annual showcase event to take place later this year.

How do you feel about being shortlisted for the MCV Women in Games Career Mentor of the Year award?

It definitely came as a pleasant surprise! My colleagues saw that nomination was open and submitted an entry on my behalf. I was actually skiing in the French Alps when the news came in that I’d been shortlisted!

It’s an honour to be placed alongside such respected names in the games industry. The work the women in my category do to support the next generation of games developers is fantastic. I’m really looking forward to the awards later this week!

The full list of shortlisted categories and nominees for the MCV Women in Games awards can be found here.