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Journey with GameChangers Accelerator: Transforming Challenges into Opportunities

My Journey with GameChangers Accelerator

My journey with the GameChangers Accelerator Program began, “technically-speaking,” with the loss of employment. We often hear that the closing of one door leads to the opening of another. That’s exactly what happened to me. Losing my job due to a company reorganization freed me to attend an AI Q&A Segment at the African American Chamber of Commerce Expo in August 2023. There, I encountered Sulaiman Rahman, Founder and CEO of the diversity-focused talent firm DiverseForce, interviewing Shelton Mercer III, a childhood friend, on how AI can accelerate your company and career. During this enlightening exchange, the GameChangers Accelerator Program was announced. Targeting underrepresented black and brown Philadelphians and those in neighboring communities, the program’s objective is to expand technical knowledge and career opportunities in game design and AI by covering No-Coding Programming, UX/UI Design, Project Management, and Digital Marketing. Thanks to DiverseForce’s grant to pilot the program, the tuition was free. This was the change I needed to enhance my skills, meet new professionals, and increase my career opportunities.

Initial Expectations:

I had three expectations:

  • Learn new skills

  • Network with new professionals

  • Find new career opportunities

Not only did I achieved those expectations, I achieved so much more — remained motivated during this phase of being in-between jobs and made new friends!

Initial Feelings:

Initially, I felt excitement and nervous about delving into the fast-growing world of AI; but, eventually, my emotions leveled-out, and I became a highly productive participant of the Program.

Section Reviews:

Below are my key learnings and insights of four program sections: Project Management, Marketing, UX/UI, and No-Coding.

Project Management Section Review:

While the fundamentals of project management have remained the same, the methodologies have evolved from waterfall, agile, to scrum. These modern methodologies allow you to stay on pace with today’s projects.

Marketing Section Review:

I learned the key differences between two marketing modes: AIDA (focused on acquiring customers) and AARRRR (focused on growth and revenue). The synergy of using both models in a complementary fashion was a valuable lesson.

UX/UI Section Review:

  • UX Design: Focuses on the functionality of a product.

  • UI Design: Concentrates on the aesthetics of a product.

  • Together, they ensure a product is both marketable and balanced.

No-Coding Section Review:

The “No-Coding” process hinges on two critical elements: understanding AI’s role and knowing the right questions to ask AI for the desired output. The more you engage, the more proficient you become.

Overall Experience Review:

The GameChangers Accelerator Program exceeded my expectations! Vincent Quarles, CEO of DVNC and lead instructor, was not only deeply knowledgeable in game design, AI, and No-Coding Programming but also professional, patient, and proficient. His assistant, Nicholas Leffler, COO of DVNC, adeptly managed classroom logistics. The DiverseForce Team — Sulaiman, Lucy, Jessica, and Elijah — were exceptional in soliciting and responding to feedback, displaying unmatched professionalism and friendliness. Their organization and execution of this pilot program were impressive. As a student, I felt fully supported by the DiverseForce Team. I wholeheartedly recommend the GameChangers Accelerator Program to anyone seeking growth in this field!

Outcomes of the Program:

  • A better understanding of AI and its role in our future

  • Acquired knowledge and skills in new technologies

  • Graduation and certification from the Program

My Short-Term and Long-Term Plans:

  • Next 3 Months: Incorporate my GameChangers Accelerator experience into job interviews, leveraging new skills to stand out.

  • Six Months: Employ the new technologies and skills in a new role.

  • Next 12 Months: Anticipate consultant opportunities arising from these newly acquired skills and technologies.

This journey has not only been about acquiring new skills but also about transforming a personal setback into a stepping stone for future success. The GameChangers Accelerator Program was more than just a learning experience; it was a gateway to new beginnings and endless possibilities. I am thrilled to have participated in the Program’s inaugural class and to have been one of its first students!

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