“In Karlskrona, Hyper Island is truly your main focus, and I found that beautiful.”
Miles, 24, originally from San Francisco, has specialized to become a Strategist. After a 4-year Bachelor’s in International Management, where he majored in marketing, he was looking for more practical insights to complement his academic knowledge.
A Journey through Europe
“I originally came to study in Switzerland, because I wanted to study in Europe and the degree there sounded like a good match. Back then, I was mostly attracted to the marketing part of it, as I have a strong interest for advertising. Then a few years into my degree I realized that marketing wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do. I wanted to be able to work with and represent different clients.”
Miles talks about his marketing professor, almost a mentor to him, who advised him to think about what he wanted to do outside of work, what kind of relationships he wanted to have with clients, rather than focusing on exactly what he wanted to do. After thinking about this, Miles realized that agency life very much appealed to him.
Miles first heard about Hyper Island in the most unglamorous way. “I really just went onto Adweek.com and searched for schools. “I thought any school that the industry is writing about, is where I would want to be.”
A different focus in a new place
“I’m very happy now, that I went with Hyper Island, as I was exposed to a different type of education. Hyper Island is focused on developing interpersonal skills as well – how to form relationships, how to communicate, self-leadership, and team development. This ended up being of huge value to me because one thing that will never change in this world is the need for forming meaningful relationships and communication. ”
Miles took the train from Berlin, where he was doing an internship, to Malmö and went to both Hyper Island locations in Sweden, Karlskrona and Stockholm. He decided to study in Karlskrona.
“I chose the Karlskrona location because it was a tight community. It fit better with what I wanted out of the experience. In Karlskrona, Hyper is truly your main focus, and I found that beautiful. It creates a unique learning atmosphere and helps with the cross-pollination and inspiration of ideas.”
Miles applied pretty much last minute and was on a trip to Malawi, stealing wifi, when he found out he had been admitted to the program.
“Needless to say, I was really stoked!”
A natural development towards Strategy
Miles applied and got into the Digital Media Creative program. For him, this was an obvious pick, as he wanted to be able to focus on different roles and specialize later on, which is something this program’s design supports. He ultimately ended up specializing in strategy.
“I found out halfway through the program that strategy was ‘my thing’. I had met some industry leaders and guest lecturers who were performing the role of a Strategist and it made me feel very much affirmed in it. This occupation is a great way for me to make use of both my previous academic background and all the skills I learned and developed at Hyper Island. It really helps me get the most out of clients. The decision very much empowered me professionally.”
Even though Miles has only been in Sweden for one Winter, he is determined to stay for his internship.
“I was visiting family in New York this year and I realized I was super excited to go back to Sweden. That’s how I knew I had to stay.”
Miles explains that the agency scape in Sweden is difficult to get into, however, Hyper Island equips you with a great network that is very helpful in navigating the current industry climate.
“Probably one of the best things you get from Hyper Island is the network. It’s full of extremely passionate, well-educated people in multiple industries. Anything you’re interested in there’s probably someone that has already been doing it. It gives you limitless possibilities”
Every Experience is the best Experience
Miles can’t pinpoint his favorite learning experience, for him the combination of things is what makes the school special.
“We have a shared language, we have a common understanding and a lot of trust. Because of that, we have the opportunity to say things that in any other environment would come out wrong. Watching people grow, it’s addicting, it’s magical. It’s amazing to see people have epiphanies and change the way they think in front of your eyes. This comes with immersive growth.” Another thing that impressed Miles was how motivated every single student was.
“I was used to taking responsibility for a lot of projects myself because many students just weren’t so motivated during my previous school life. But at Hyper Island everyone was involved and motivated. Suddenly I really started learning from other people. The same also goes for the projects. Previously I had been used to not enjoying working on most of my school projects, but at Hyper Island everything made sense and was fun to work on. This combination of trusting in others and trusting the work was very special to me.”
I asked Miles, if he could say one thing to a student considering studying a full-time program at Hyper Island, what would it be? He replied:
“Do it. Don’t look back, it’s worth it. Whether you want to stay in Sweden or go anywhere else in the world, you can from here. Hyper Island will show you amazing opportunities and teach you that anything is possible.
One of our early Industry leaders had us make a one minute video and send it out to agencies. We had only been studying the program for about 5 weeks. We got an overwhelming response! That built great confidence and trust in our qualifications and abilities. Just the idea that you can do that, and why not do it, makes a great difference.”