Malou Neguembor suffers from Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a genetic disorder that causes defective collagen, a glue that keeps the body parts working together. The syndrome results in hypermobility, subluxations and bouts of excruciating pain.
“I was told that I would never be able to work,” Neguembor says. “I clearly did not listen to that… instead, my life motto became ‘Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, but about learning to dance in the rain.’”
In other words, Neguembor does not let Ehlers-Danlos rule her life.
“There are days when the pain is quite bad, and yes, it is then hard to focus at work, but I more than make up for that on the good days,” she says.
Neguembor has enjoyed a career in gaming after leaving her native Sweden. Her husband entered the industry first, landing a position in Malta, where the warm weather was better for Neguembor’s condition. But she also secured a job as a customer service agent for the Kindred Group.
She joined MegaLotto in 2019 as head of customer relations management. In October 2020, the company pivoted to MegaRush online casino.
“Our ambition is to create great entertainment in online casino with customer experience, automation and gamification at heart,” she says. “And we did it all with a small and fully remote team.”
As director of casino operations in such an environment, Neguembor does just about every task.
“My job can entail everything from commercial agreements to integrations and building automations, copywriting, CRM execution, and even cover the chat for support,” she says.
Covid-19 proved a benefit, thanks to working from home. Pre-Covid, Neguembor struggled a lot with work-life balance and was often stressed, especially with three children. Since Covid, she works from home in Spain, and is expecting a fourth child with no worries.
“I will continue to work mainly from home and keep a great work-life balance,” she says. “I used to ‘live to work’ and give way too much, ending up overworked. I changed my mindset, stopped stressing and trying to do too much. I now ‘work to live’ and perform better than ever.”
Covid aside, Neguembor owes much to Cristina Niculae (now CEO at Interactive Gaming Group). “She was the first one I truly admired and was a mentor and inspiration. She really gave me much freedom to develop under her leadership and helped me grow,” says Neguembor, who enjoys baking and gardening.
She has lots of friendly advice to others entering the field:
- Don’t be afraid to question and challenge what you do not understand or don’t agree with. “The best way to learn and grow is sometimes to see things from another perspective.”
- Don’t just do tasks because you are asked to do them. Make sure you understand why the task needs to be done.
• Never say how high to jump. “When my managers have asked me to ‘jump,’ my first question is always ‘why?’”