Responsibilites, Skills… and Me

For those of you who don’t know, I’m a sociology student. I’m close to getting my bachelor’s degree and, with any luck, the upcoming fall semester of 2011 will be my last semester.

As such, I’m trying to figure out what I want to do with my life and I occasionally see a vocational counselor to try to help me narrow down the field.

Perhaps unsurprisingly to some, she was fascinated to hear about my involvement with WoW. I don’t tend to talk about it a lot “in real life”, but when I mentioned that something I loved doing was raid leading, she kind of had to ask what that meant and I had to explain and, yeah, she constantly tries to get me to relate things to WoW.

Once I get over the embarassment of it, it’s kind of neat, because she shows me why I love the game in a whole other way.

My “homework” for my next session is to write up a CV (or resume) of my GM skills. “Pretend,” she said, “that you need to apply to become the leader of another guild.”

“But that would mean my guild had failed miserably!”

She chuckled and told me to pretend I was six months removed from the pretend end of my guild and to try to write up a CV.

Obviously, the reason she’s doing this is to show me, in concrete terms, that the skills I have gained and refined while playing World of Warcraft have relevance in the real world. Which I know, but I rarely see real applications for it. I mean, how often do you have to parse a log in real life? How often do you have to armory people in real life? How often do you have to respec in real life?

My appointment’s in a little over two hours, so I thought I’d share with you guys what I wrote. Note that my Bronzebeard and Proudmoore guilds are not named because I’ve been pretty harsh on those people in this blog in the past.

Kurnmogh/Madrana

Guild Experience
October 2005-December 2005: Kindred of Eldre’Thalas: Member
February 2006-January 2007: Fated Heroes of Eldre’Thalas: Member/Officer/Guild Master
March 2007-May 2007: Skull of Eldre’Thalas: Member
June 2007-March 2009: Apotheosis of Eldre’Thalas: Officer/Guild Master
March 2009-September 2009: X of Bronzebeard: Member/Officer
September 2009-June 2010: X of Proudmoore: Member/Temporary Healing Lead
June 2010-November 2010: Choice of Skywall: Member
November 2010-Present: Apotheosis of Eldre’Thalas: Guild Master

Role Duties:

Fated Heroes:
During my time in Fated Heroes, I was a member and was promoted to Officer and eventually given control of the guild as Guild Master.

My responsibilities as an Officer included, but were not limited to:
– research on raid instances, raid bosses and the attunement requirements
– help leading raids, calling out instructions and helping to strategize/explain strategy
– helped people attain various attunements
– evaluating potential applications, particularly the hunters (I devised a great way to trial hunters: dwarves had to kite Spellmaw up to Everlook and night elves had to accompany me to Dire Maul East to duo Lethtendris, using a lot of feign death and shadowmeld)

Additionally, I hosted the guild website and forums.

As a Guild Master, I still did the above, but also:
– organized 20 and 40-man raids
– updated DKP (our point method required for distribution of items)
– did a lot of recruitment work

Apotheosis:
I was a founding member and officer of Apotheosis and became the guild master after 8 months when our then-GM, Huntertoga, stepped down due to real-life obligations.

My responsibilities as an Officer included, but were not limited to:
– raid leading 10/25-man raids, and, in particular, dealing with the healing assignments for healers
– planned out raids and progression, including splitting the guild into two roughly equal teams of 11 or 12 people for the first portion of raid content, then merging the teams for 25-man content
– policy writing/communication to the guild
– recruitment
– evaluation of raids through the WoWWebStats log parser
– research/strategy of raid encounters (and their attunements) and the communication of this information to the guild
– helped to select new officers
– helped to evaluate new recruits

Again, I hosted the guild website and forums.

As a Guild Master, I still did the above, but also:
– became more of a facilitator for the officers
– planned out progression to a greater degree than previously, based on research and current raid performance of the guild

X:
During my time in X, I was a member and was promoted to Advisory Board (a sort of consultant position with some officer privileges) and then I was promoted to the Healing Lead officer position.

My responsibilities as an Officer included, but were not limited to:
– helping to review raids and raider performance
– interviewing healers and evaluating them for their possible entry into the guild
– evaluating current healers and their performance and communicating this information to them
– organizing healers in a raid setting, including advising the raid leader as to which healers should be included in a particular encounter, based on their performance and personal strengths
– working with the raid leader and other role leaders to coordinate efforts during a raid encounter
– coming up with healing strategies that worked well with the raid leader’s overall strategies

X:
During my time in X, I was never promoted to an officer position. A friend of mine I’d known for over 20 years outside of the game was my healing lead and was doing a great job, so I enjoyed some months of being “just a member”. However, my friend had some personal issues that prevented her from playing regularly from February 2010 until April 2010. I was one of the senior healers in the guild at the time and my friend had asked if I would mind doing her job while she was away. The leadership and I were both all right with this.

My responsibilities as the temporary healing lead included, but were not limited to:
– helping to review raids and raider performance
– interviewing healers and evaluating them for their possible entry into the guild
– evaluating current healers and their performance and communicating this information to them
– organizing healers in a raid setting, including advising the raid leader as to which healers should be included in a particular encounter, based on their performance and personal strengths
– working with the raid leader and other role leaders to coordinate efforts during a raid encounter
– coming up with healing strategies that worked well with the raid leader’s overall strategies, specifically for Lich King (regular) and all heroic ICC 25-man fights except Putricide, Sindragosa and Lich King.

Essentially, it was the same thing I’d done while in my Bronzebeard guild with a bit less recognition/authority but a bit more autonomy, due to the difference in raid leaders.

Apotheosis:

I decided to reform my old guild for the current expansion, with myself as a primary raid leader and the main healing lead.

My responsibilities as a GM included, but were not limited to:
– raid leading 25-man raids, and, in particular, dealing with the healing assignments for healers
– writing up detailed healer performance reviews for the players
– policy writing/communication to the guild
– recruitment incuding recruitment videos to drum up interest in the guild
– evaluation of raids and individual raider performance through the World of Logs log parser
– research/strategy of raid encounters and the communication of this information to the guild
– selected an officer team
– evaluated new recruits
– continued to be a facilitator for the officers
– planned out progression to a greater degree than previously, based on research and current raid performance of the guild

Again, I hosted the guild website and forums.

Class Knowledge

While the majority of my class knowledge is centered on the holy paladin, I am at least moderately familiar with the following classes/specs:

– all specs of hunter (Marksmanship is the one I’m most familiar with)
– retribution and protection paladin
– restoration shaman (some knowledge of enhancement)
– discipline and holy priests
– restoration druid
– protection warrior

Other Skills

– Communication: I feel as though my strong writing skills really help me out in communicating various policies, strategies and instructions to the guild members. On occasion, my reviews or remarks may come off as a little harsh, but I do try to soften those as best I can in a text-medium.
– Resource Management: Years of planning out raids has allowed me to hone my ability to look for “outside the box” solutions. While I always attempt to remain true to the “feel” and overall design of various encounters, I feel as though I can bring new ideas to the group and more than adequately adapt other people’s strategies to work for our specific group.
– Organization: I wanted to take being a Guild Master again seriously and have several spreadsheets for attendence, promotions and the like. I plan out the rosters for each boss on the day of the raid and spend a good deal of time trying to figure out which people would be best for each encounter. Assuming all goes well, and it often doesn’t, I have everything planned out for the raid. If it doesn’t go smoothly due to last-minute roster changes, I do adapt.
– Adaptability: Though I’m not necessarily a fan of change, change is something you absolutely must adapt to in a setting such as World of Warcraft. If we do not adapt to the changes each hotfix, minor patch, major patch or expansion brings with it, we are doomed to failure. As such, I am prepared to adapt, whether I like it or not, and spend a great deal of time reading upcoming patch notes to see how they will affect my raid group. This also involves spending time on the test realms they occasionally put up, testing changes and new content first-hand.

Achievements

I’ve earned many achievements over my time in World of Warcraft, including, but not limited to:

– Defeated all bosses in Zul’Gurub, including optional bosses, which only a handful of guilds on Eldre’Thalas had done, at the time
– Completed the epic hunter quest before Burning Crusade was released
– Hand of A’dal (signifying the defeat of Lady Vashj and Kael’thas Sunstrider before 4.0 helped to trivialize the content)
– Defeating all bosses in Karazhan, Serpentshrine Cavern, Tempest Keep, Mount Hyjal and Black Temple before Wrath of the Lich King was released
– Twilight Vanquisher (hardest difficulty of Sartharion, March of 2009)
– Astral Walker (Algalon, the optional, heroic-only boss of Ulduar, defeated on 25-man difficulty, November of 2009)
– Glory of the Hero (all dungeon achievements in Wrath of the Lich King)
– Glory of the Icecrown Raider – 25 (May 25, 2010 – #205 in the US, #547 in the world)

4 Replies to “Responsibilites, Skills… and Me”

  1. Wouldn’t it be great if we could actually put WoW experience on a resume and be taken seriously? Leadership skills. Check. Planning and development skills. Check. Resource management. Check. All the things that companies are actually looking for. However, I seriously doubt that such things would be taken seriously out of a simple online video game. At least not by the older resume reviewers.

  2. @Beezlebubba

    I agree so strongly. The depth of management practice that I utilize in my workplace is echoed in my guild leadership. The correlations between corporate training/adult education and raid leadership/encounter teaching are also striking. I often experiment with leadership techniques in the game that I plan to utilize at work. Heh, leading 300 associates in game is definitely a lot more work than have 30 associates at work. :P If only we could claim this experience and be taken seriously…

  3. Awesome post Kurn. It really is amazing how well a leadership position in WoW can translate to leading well in real life at work. I was promoted to a team leader position of sorts at work after we went through a few different supervisors who for one reason or another didn’t work out. I have to say, if not for WoW and having some experience leading a raid, and the like it would’ve been a lot more difficult. It helped me divvy up and assign work to people.

    Unfortunately, putting on your resume that you’re a guild leader or play WoW will not help. Depending on the type of company, a lot of people may see it as a drawback as you’re too attentive to that rather than your work. But, some may recognize what skills that playing WoW can provide and how it can help you excel in the workplace.

    I will address one of the questions you asked about “parsing logs IRL” – some people pretty much do this daily or have jobs devoted to it. When I was a team leader, and eventually when my staff was dwindled down to me I was looking at reports(logs, in your case) daily to see what people had been performing and if anyone hadn’t been doing their share of the work, etc.

    I’m like you too, people know I play WoW but I despise talking about “in real life” with other people unless it’s people that I know play as well.

  4. Interesting post, however there are few companies that have already understood the value of online gaming and the VAST parallels with the management within large organizations. IBM is one (see 2 white papers: search for “lessons from online gaming” on their site with google, and search for their paper on the future of collaborative software productivity). There’s also someone that got hired at a pretty high level at Yahoo who used his background as WOW GM as a recruitment argument.

    If you re-wrote your resume with more “management” catch-words under the management, appraisal, talent selection, nurturing, discipline, focus on execution, you’d get something that could fit pretty well in a large multi-national profile (I work in management in one). Now “just” need to get over the pre-conceived notion against MMORPG & games in general, and THAT will take some time ;(

    Cheers,
    Gothie.

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