ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – While many college students spend their spring breaks traveling or visiting their favorite beach, several students at NC Wesleyan took the time to learn about career development. The College’s Office of Career Development & Leadership organized an opportunity for a small group of NCWC juniors to visit Grover Gaming in Greenville, NC. On Tuesday, March 8 and Wednesday, March 9, these students were exposed to many aspects of the organization’s business, including their game development studio. Grover Gaming’s Greenville location is home to game developers, 3D artists, release QA testers, research and development engineers, and several other teams.
All students who participated are Computer Information Systems majors. They were able to learn about the mission, vision and values within the company, benefits of full-time positions and the intersection of various departments. As an added bonus, each student received a professional headshot taken by Grover Gaming.
“When I heard Grover’s president, Garrett Blackwelder, discuss the meaning behind the company name being rooted in the concept of growth, I knew I had brought our students to a great place for a developmental experience. Mr. Blackwelder genuinely explained that “Grover” was selected to reflect his vision for the organization to “grow over and over” in the game development industry and also for his entire team to continually grow professionally and personally,” stated Jessie Langley, Associate Dean of Career Development & Leadership at NC Wesleyan. “Our visit confirmed this as I found the Grover culture to be intoxicatingly warm while also laser-focused on the company’s goals.”
Ki Vera Pardillo, one of the NCWC students who took part in this opportunity, witnessed how her training in the classroom could apply to a full-time career after college. She states: “I got to see a real-life setting for the development processes of gaming software ranging from graphic design to the deployment of their products. I was also able to ask software developers and programmers which methods and development tools they use to create the programs, as well as how they improve their products to have a competitive advantage.”
Langley hopes to continue facilitating future visits to Grover Gaming so that additional students can learn specifically about the game development side of the business.
About Grover Gaming
Founded in Greenville, NC, Grover Gaming is a software development and design company with offices and distribution facilities in 9 different states that specializes in electronic gaming throughout the US and Canada. Grover Gaming has evolved from a small gaming route started by founder Garrett Blackwelder in 2003, to a company of over 350 talented employees, focused on building a strong foundation of humble, passionate people, effective processes, and superior products. That vision continues, thanks to our growing team of dedicated employees and their desire to create innovative and entertaining gaming experiences for an ever-changing industry. Grover Gaming is a multiyear recipient of Inc Magazine’s prestigious Inc 5000 award, ranking #194 in 2020.
ROCKY MOUNT, NORTH CAROLINA – The Bishop Gaming Association (BGA) is North Carolina Wesleyan College’s co-ed Esports Program. Established in September 2019, the BGA has quickly become the College’s largest student club with 89 current members. The Program is categorized into three different entities: the Elite Team, Productions and the Club.
The Elite Team is for students who are looking to compete in leagues or tournaments on a collegiate level. Students can compete on both PC and console platforms in multiple games, including Call of Duty, Overwatch, Fortnite, Super Smash Bros and many more. BGA Elite Team members are part of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) and the Collegiate Star League (CSL). Since its inception, the team has participated in several third-party tournaments. To become a BGA Elite Team member, students must: complete a questionnaire; submit a highlight reel via Twitch, Facebook or YouTube; participate in live tryouts; and play a game with current members to exhibit their communication and skills in a team environment.
Productions is targeted toward students interested in video editing, content creation, graphic design, journalism, TV shows, podcasting and on-air hosting. The BGA Production room allows students to explore their creative ideas and consists of an iMac computer, an Alienware computer and Elgato products for graphic design, podcasting, editing and streaming. Students within BGA Productions shoot, edit and produce a bi-weekly segment called “BGA News,” which is broadcast on televisions throughout campus and shared on The BGA’s social media accounts.
Those who are casual gamers or spectators interested in gaming as an extracurricular activity are able to join the BGA Club. The Club allows casual gamers to participate in various BGA-sponsored gaming events and activities. Those interested in the Club are able to develop their gaming skills, as well as receive education and various perspectives into the development of video games.
Video game tournaments – known as Esports – are quickly becoming a must-have on many college and university campuses. The National Association of Collegiate Esports (NACE), says that there are currently more than 170 active collegiate varsity Esports teams with over 5,000 student-athletes.
“I am excited to return back to North Carolina Wesleyan College to help promote the culture of gaming, media and entertainment in our community. My goal is to provide students with awareness, resources, advice and experience in the gaming industry,” stated Chantoni Grant, Director of Bishop Gaming Association.
The Bishop Gaming Association has developed positive relationships with faculty, staff, students and media outlets while interacting successfully with the College community. It provides students with knowledge to enter the Esports field from any angle. The BGA offers connections, internship programs and desired career opportunities within the Esports and production industry. Students develop skills in community building, team chemistry, managing and organizing teams, planning and organizing events, and creating innovative and unique strategies. The College’s state-of-the-art, glass-enclosed Esports gaming room, The Fortress, opened in January 2021 in The Hartness Center and is equipped with the some of the best equipment in the gaming industry. The room features a row of Alienware computers, multiple flat screen TVs, a small console area and an Esports art wall created by students.