Cord Smith

Degree and Year: 
BA 1996
Professional Title: 
VP Strategy & Creative Development

Professional Background: 
While earning my MFA in Fiction, I freelanced for the Official Dreamcast Magazine, which led to a lifetime career in and around the video game industry. My roles have included Product Marketing Manager, Brand Manager, Producer, Marketing Director, and my current role as a VP at a creative agency. I've been fortunate to play a major role in the creation of games, comics, commercials, trailers, web sites, animated shorts, music scores, and more.

How has being an English graduate from Duke University helped shape your professional success?: 
It was the workshops during my senior year that really propelled me to seek out a creative career, turning down my acceptances to law school and pursuing an MFA in spite of being told it might have the value of a grocery coupon. Mary Oliver and Elizabeth Cox provided so much inspiration, encouraging each of their students to build upon their love of literature to create stories and poems of their own. Little did I know that my penchant for writing would play such a major role in the success I found within the video game industry. Beginning with freelancing, then extending into my ability to communicate so effectively within multi-cultural corporations including SEGA (Tokyo HQ), UBISOFT (Paris HQ), and ultimately with development partners around the globe. Although I'm proud to lead the script-writing efforts at our agency, it is the ability to clearly communicate within e-mails, documents, pitch decks, and detailed presentations that seems to carry the most value. Had I not pursued the English major at Duke, I can't imagine I would be where I am today. Sometimes the unorthodox path is the most successful. In my case, I'm excited to see where it takes me next.
Cord Smith