How Naira-Abdel Halim discovered that team is everything

Naira-Abdel Halim is a born and raised Stockholmer, currently studying to be a Digital Media Creative at Hyper Island Stockholm. We caught up with her to gain insight into the program’s annual exhibition.

Hi! Tell us a bit about yourself.
Naira-Abdel: “I worked in fashion marketing before going on to study the Digital Media Creative program here in Stockholm. I’m a super social introvert who enjoys filling up my schedule one week and running around for hours to then be in the moment and do absolutely nothing the week after that. But, I guess my most characteristic is super bad dad jokes. I love them!”

Naira Abdel-Halim

What is this year’s exhibition about?
“’For those that don’t know, every year Hyper Island Stockholm creates a physical exhibition to showcase digital, motion and design-oriented installations made by the students from scratch. The 2018 edition featured students from three classes: Design Lead, Motion Creative and Digital Media Creative. The three classes came together to collaborate and tackle the theme ‘Utopias vs Dystopias’. We were challenged to ask ourselves, can a pure utopia be dystopian and vice-versa?”

What were your expectations going into the project?
“As a member of the team that produced the whole exhibition from a project management perspective, our overarching purpose was to create a meaningful exhibition but also facilitate for the other 120 students that were creating installations for the exhibition. My role inside the team included being a project manager and head of finance, meaning that I was the facilitator inside of the exhibition team. As I entered the project with a future vision of working with production, I wanted the truest experience of production as possible. I had super high expectations for this project. I actually wanted struggles and hardships as I felt like I needed them to strive and grow inside of my role.”

What were your biggest challenges?
“As both a project manager and facilitator inside of the team as well as being responsible for finance and sponsorships, my biggest challenge was to both make sure that my teammates were focused and task-oriented and feeling mentally okay as well as my own designated tasks of coordinating and financing the whole exhibition. That balance really got to me in the end.

I realized that I was surrounded by amazing doers and asked my teammates for help. So, we sat down one afternoon and merged our amazing minds and got one of our most time-consuming tasks out of the way: emailing potential sponsors. And, with that out of the way, it was easier for me to focus on the team and their needs.”

What were your biggest takeaways?
“For as long as I can remember, I’ve had the perception that if I do it myself, it’s going to get done faster and better. I went into creating this exhibition with that exact mindset. I took on too many tasks and was way too confident. During this project, as cliché as it might sound, I learned that the Hyper Island mantra is true. Team is everything! This exhibition would never have come together if it wasn’t for all of the amazing girls in my team.”

How did the exhibition go?
“It was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever been part of creating. It was a quite short and fast project so there was always a fear in the back of our heads of “Are we going to be able to make it?”, but pulling together and showing what we can do was a truly rewarding feeling. My greatest reflection is being able to see how much we all grew during this short time. In the end, the journey was super rewarding.”

“If you get a chance to attend Hyper Island do it! You won’t regret it for a second. It’s a valuable lesson that you will take with you for life.”

Naira-Abdel Halim
Digital Media Creative student