Nick Wesley

Everything I learned about business began with Minecraft. In high school, I spent the majority of my free time on video games, something as common and relatable as the next student. However, I was determined to turn my passion into something more as I unknowingly worked to expand my free time into an opportunity to grow, learn, and development for the future. Through my love of the internet, video games, and socializing, I began to network; a term I had no idea even existed at the time.  Through this process, I teamed up with 6 like-minded individuals from throughout the globe to form what one was known as Modzilla – A Minecraft Modding group. Our biggest and realistically only project was a crossover of Call of Duty’s renowned “Nazi Zombie” game mode into the Minecraft world. Through communications on Skype and messaging forums, we built a team, issued a hiring process, established guidelines, collaborated to design a project, and effectively built a startup. This entire process, all done while in high school, was very much a playground turned into a work environment. It was fascinating.

Working with different personalities throughout different areas of the globe, the team created a modification that appealed to gamers in mass. Launching in March with a website and a downloadable version to play the crossover, consumer response was wild. Over 100,000 unique signups in the span of a month alongside an online presence to manage all operations, Modzilla blew up beyond our wildest dreams. Opportunities continued to expand. We leveraged our product with influentials and worked to pitch to powerful opinion leaders. Through meetings, planning, and networking, we collaborated with massive YouTube uploaders – some of which had hundreds of thousands of subscribers. All in all, it was difficult to tally exact figures because we were young, naïve and too busy enjoying the game. But in hindsight, a few million views across YouTube were accrued. As a group – or what could now be referred to as a startup – our virtual team organically grew a community of over 150,000 uniquely registered users. Numbers were difficult to manage. Of course, the next step was to introduce micro-transactions and monetize our efforts. This lead to opportunities in public relations, support, communications, and so many different avenues of business. However, we were still in high school and operating across multiple different time zones with hours of variance separating members. A rabid but niche market was grown. And then right at the peak of our operations, we pulled the plug.

Since my Modzilla days, I have switched my focus to advertising and marketing communications, pursuing a Bachelor’s of Business Administration in marketing at Camosun. With the end of my four-year journey on the approaching horizon, I have experienced a number of diverse opportunities to expand and develop on my career path. With an already established love for startups, I found myself interning for a social media app development company. Through this experience, I worked with a team of interns to handle and manage the communicational efforts of a new business on a global scale. With the nature of our startup being a social media app, I was able to once again connect with individuals across the globe. Most notably, I made friends in Indonesia, East Asia, Ghana, and the spread of Europe. But before this all, I discovered DECA: a group for emerging leaders, entrepreneurs, and business people.

Through DECA I competed in marketing case study simulations, participating in both regional and international levels. Through regionals I ranked 2nd with my business partner, competing in the field of International Marketing amongst 200 young like-minded students. This opportunity led me to Washington DC, where I competed with my same partner, in the same field, but this time was against over 1,500 individuals. We managed to achieve the rank of first for the International Marketing category. My partner and I became international champions. And that leads us to where we are today, expanding my career and taking every opportunity to explore the creative world of advertising, marketing, and business.