Hyper Island alumni Sandra Molin on Industry Research Projects

After studying business, Sandra Molin came to Hyper Island looking for a creative learning experience that didn’t feel stagnated or outdated. She took our 11-month master’s in Digital Management, including a six-month Industry Research Project, and hasn’t once looked back.

How would you describe your Hyper Island experience in three words?
Sandra: “Insightful. Rollercoaster. Love.”

What did you know about Hyper Island before you started your application?
“I basically knew it was a creatively driven way of doing “school” but I really didn’t know what it meant in reality.”

What made you choose Hyper Island?
“Coming from business school with tons of ‘this is the way we’ve always done it’ situations, I was longing for a learning experience that didn’t feel stagnated or outdated. I always thought I wasn’t creative enough for Hyper Island, since I didn’t craft things in that sense. But hey, I managed to prove myself wrong and got in anyway.”

Tell us about your experience of the Industry Research Project (IRP) as part of the program.
“I did my IRP at an advertising agency in Amsterdam whose purpose is to use communication as a tool to improve the world. I thought it was an intriguing purpose that might be challenging to constantly deliver on in a commercial setting. So I set out to explore the dynamics of expectations that the purpose creates between employees, management and clients. My end delivery was a report of the current situation together with a set of tools that could be used early in the process with clients to explore if they shared the vision of the agency, and therefore establish, on a deeper level, if they were a perfect fit or not.”

What was the most fun part of the project?
“I got a lot of trust from the strategic director and management to carry everything through conducting interviews, testing prototypes and presenting my findings back to the whole agency at the end of my six month IRP. Nerve wracking, but loads of fun!”

What was the hardest part of the project?
“Getting started. Omg. Finding an interesting angle to explore, and then just get going.”

How did studying at Hyper Island help to prepare you to get real-world ready?
“I think it was really insightful coming straight from Hyper Island into reality and realising things don’t change in a heartbeat, no matter how brilliant the ways of working at Hyper Island are. It’s a matter of being strategic in starting small and testing, convincing key people in the organization the value of your idea and go from there. Basically finding the balance that makes you a realistic visionary.”

Was it difficult to get a job after Hyper Island?
“After my project, I applied to a traineeship program in Amsterdam that allowed me to work across four different agencies in a year. (Absolutely crazy, but I learned so much). This was the perfect head start to become a strategist at Achtung! also in the Dutch capital. I would NEVER be where I am today if my ‘I’m not creative-enough’ thoughts had stopped me. Being creative to me is all about problem solving and finding new ways to add value and Hyper Island taught me the mindset and gave me the toolbox”.

What are you doing now?
“Today, I’m back in my hometown Stockholm working as a strategist at Seventy, a brand and business design agency. We help our clients position themselves in the market, but also execute on the strategies defined to create a valuable as well as beautiful customer experience – an experience built on everything from film and communication, to sharp digital platforms and smart services.”

Do you have any advice for anyone thinking of studying at Hyper Island?
“Stay humble, and never think you know it all – because then you’ll stop learning.”