Maria Bines

Operational Innovation Director, London

When I moved to the UK, I sold everything and hauled one huge suitcase across the Atlantic. It held a frilly apron my mom made, a handmade clay spoon rest, and a PS4. I would not survive on a deserted island.

At Colt, I run a creative team tasked to prove an innovative idea through experiments using cool technologies. My love for games drives my approach to problem solving at work. I love figuring out why a game is fun – or frustrating, where its design flaws are, and what the essence, or genius is, of the gaming engine.  Designing experiments requires a similar philosophy. You’ve got to figure out “what we’re winning” and design the most efficient engine to win it.

When I was 22, I had no money, two babies, and poor career prospects. I told everyone around me that someday I would move to London, have a great career, and travel the world. They laughed at me.  How preposterous would it be for a 22 year-old-girl from a tiny town in the middle of nowhere achieve so much?  But I was determined.  I am not one to be underestimated.

There are a lot of people who influenced me throughout the years. An old boyfriend bought me a computer so I could automate my job – that definitely changed my life for the better. Nowadays, my husband, Jay, and our grown kids, Zac and Morgan, inspire me the most. Jay boosts my confidence, Morgan reminds me to be brave, and Zac shows me how to be zen.

I’m really proud of what I achieved and I’m looking forward to the next chapter!

Maria Bines – Operational Innovation Director, London