Meeting… Ashka Gami, Marketing Director for New York Times Games

Illustration by Claire Merchlinsky

“Meeting…” is an ongoing series from NYT Open that features New York Times employees from different corners of the company.

What is your name?
Ashka Gami

What are your pronouns?

What is your job?
I am the marketing director for New York Times Games.

What does that mean?
I focus on elevating the value of game play to drive subscription growth for our business. I work cross-functionally to help shape our brand identity and voice, and I build out strategic (and delightful!) programs that support all stages of the user journey and lifecycle.

How long have you been at The Times?
About a year and a half.

Most Times employees are working remotely right now. Where are you working from these days?
I have been working from a corner of my living room in Astoria, Queens. I will occasionally switch it up and work from my “standing desk” in the kitchen (it’s really just a high bar table with cookbooks stacked on top).

How do you start your day?
I don’t wake up as early as I did before the pandemic, but I try to wake up around 7:30 a.m. (after hitting the snooze button a few times). I usually check email, Slack and my calendar in order to mentally prepare for the day ahead, but I generally aim to use my “commute” time thoughtfully. Sometimes I’ll go for a run outside or do a short workout at home, then I’ll make tea and breakfast, breathe deeply and head into all of the video meetings.

What is something you’ve worked on recently?
I’ve been building a gallery wall in my living room! It’s a great quarantine activity that spurs both nostalgia and wanderlust.

Tell us about a project you’ve worked on at The Times that you’re especially proud of.
In May, I worked alongside a large, cross-functional team to launch a new subscription landing page for Games. This was a massive undertaking that ran concurrently with a lot of other initiatives to bring our new brand to life. In addition to reflecting a new brand identity and showcasing our full games suite, the landing page displays game-specific branding based on what a user has played before. This allows us to be flexible and experimental with our marketing approach: we can lean into the existing brand equity of the Crossword and increase awareness of our other games.

What was your first job?
I worked for Parks and Recreation in my hometown. Essentially, I made arts and crafts with little kids at my neighborhood playground over the summer while wearing a bright orange, way-too-big T-shirt.

What is something most people don’t know about you?
I am weirdly good at remembering people’s birthdays.

What is your secret to career success?
My secret is probably leaning into discomfort, no matter how uncomfortable it might feel at the onset. I’ve found that the greatest rewards, both personally and professionally, come from not shying away from a challenge.

What is your superpower?
I am an active listener with a pretty good memory, which I find beneficial working at a large, cross-functional, matrixed organization.

What are you inspired by?
As a first-generation American, I continue to be inspired by my parents who instilled a work ethic in me that guides me every day.

I am also inspired by young people, especially in this moment, and those who are challenging the status quo by advocating for widespread social change.

Name one thing you’re excited about right now.
My favorite Vietnamese place opened back up after a long hiatus during New York City’s lockdown.

What is your best advice for someone starting to work in your field?
Be authentic, be open-minded, be bold and be resilient. And be patient with the process and with yourself!

More in “Meeting…”

Meeting… Gaëlle Sharma, Technical Product Manager
Meeting… Jeremy Gayed, Lead Software Engineer
Meeting… Nimpee Kaul, Lead Program Manager

Meeting… Ashka Gami, Marketing Director for New York Times Games was originally published in NYT Open on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.

Source: New York Times