ESIPBLOG: The American experience – 6/24/24

Published on Monday, June 24th, 2024

The American experience

By Khalifa Al-Mehairi, Zayed University

Coming from the other side of the world as an Emirati and experiencing the different work and study cultures that America has to offer has been a eye opening experience, one that is filled with freedom.

The first few days of learning have been that of a familiar experience back in my country, a lot of presentation slides and paying attention, which in my personal opinion is not my preferred way of learning, at least not for a passion project. Though the way I learn back in college is that of the same. Monty Sharma has been a different spice of a instructor I’ve never encountered before, very very honest, and that’s something I like as at least I know for sure what direction to take that will result in a better outcome.

The Americans in the SIP program with us have been very kind and helpful, they are also a great source of general knowledge for us as we don’t know America as much as they do, alongside that they are many that are talented that we could gain experience from.

The toughest part of the first two weeks was transitioning from the player to the developer mindset, a lot of the ideas that were bounced around in the first week were either too ambitious, of a movie mindset, or simply bad pitches, but as we slowly got into the developer mindset alongside our integration of what would be a valuable and easy to transform game for Mansour, the good ideas started rolling in.

We wished someone a happy birthday, and cut cake, we laughed together and debated, and learned our differences, what we needed to improve as a team and what things we needed to understand from each other to be more understanding. One fault of mine was being stubborn with ideas, which I heard is somewhat common with artists, but as time goes the more I realize there’s always another perspective, and that we should hear things out, let them marinate before we conclude ourselves on what it is.

If there is one thing I can be grateful for it is the people in this program with me. Monty has been a excellent mentor in expanding the horizon for what the correct mindset needs to be, and what we need to be aware of, and other than him are the people in the program, who are all talented and passionate in their own way and who I hope will carve something beautiful for the end.

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