September 14, 2023

With Electronic Arts internship, Mallula built worlds through sound

The English and Emerging Media Arts student from Malcolm interned with Maxis Studios this summer, the developers behind the wildly popular Sims video games.

Alijah Mallula, an English and emerging media arts student from Malcolm, Nebraska, interned with Maxis Studios this summer.

For aspiring audio artists like senior Alijah Mallula, few opportunities could be more exciting than an audio artist internship with Electronic Arts in Redwood City, California, an opportunity she beat out over 600 applicants to secure.

“I was shocked, for sure.” she said of learning that she scored the internship. “And to be honest, I still can’t believe it. It feels like a dream.”

For three months this summer, Mallula worked and learned alongside the audio engineers and sound designers in EA’s Maxis Studios, the developers behind the massively successful series, “The Sims.”

“As an audio artist intern with the Maxis audio team, I’ve learned sound design, dialogue editing and how the team works to create cohesive audio in a professional game development pipeline,” Mallula said. “Pretty much any sound that is heard within the game, the audio team creates.”

If that sounds like it requires a lot of painstaking detail and consideration, it’s because it does.

“Audio adds an emotional layer that helps create a cohesive player experience along with the visuals,” Mallula said. “A door shutting isn’t just a door shutting — there is a whole story of why and how the door got shut, and different sounds will bring out different feelings.”

Though nervous when she arrived, Mallula found that her classes made her well-prepared to hit the ground running at Maxis. But, she said, it’s still been an enormous learning experience.

“My classes and professors in the Carson Center have taught me the tools, theories and industry standards that I used in my job,” she said. “At Maxis, I feel like I grew in my ability to communicate and develop my ideas and technical skills.”

After this three-month immersion into the world of Maxis, Mallula is excited to be back in Lincoln to apply all she’s learned to a variety of projects alongside her fellow emerging media arts students and to see where this passion could take her after graduation.

“This experience taught me so much more about what I want to do in the future,” she said. “I love creating sounds for experiences that make people feel happy and seen.”