Marc, who originally is from The Netherlands, had already lived in France and Morocco before moving to Sweden. We talked to him about his journey to Hyper Island.
The 25-year-old has a Bachelor in History and minors in Journalism, Politics, Governance and International Relations.
“I’ve both studied and worked in many different fields. I was always very interested in History, which is why I chose to study that as my major. However, I was still interested in a wide array of other things as well, like for example International Relations. That’s how I ended up working for the Dutch embassy in Morocco.”
After coming back from Morocco, Marc worked for a high-end clothing retailer in Utrecht. During that time, he helped out hosting a Design Event. In the course of that, he was able to learn many new things and claims that that was the point when he realized he wanted to learn more, but not from books.
“By that time I had spent almost 3 years working. I was trying to figure out how to best invest in myself instead of staying in the job market and not having the opportunities I could have if I continued studying. But before making a decision, I really wanted to be sure about it. While working and figuring out which direction to take, I learned a lot about myself and found out what I do and don’t want to work with. And I also felt that learning from books didn’t make me feel ready for the real world. All my experiences outside of uni had taught me so much more than my formal education.”
It was during a night out with a friend, that Marc first heard about Hyper Island.
“I was explaining to my friend how I wanted to learn more, but didn’t feel like going back to university was the right thing to do. That’s when he recommended me to check out Hyper Island. I had never heard about it before.”
Marc did his research on Hyper Island and pretty quickly felt like it was a perfect match for him.
“I started contacting people who knew more about Hyper Island. For example, I had coffee with Wout Arets, one of the founders of The Pop Up Agency. I asked a lot of questions about Hyper Island - and everyone I spoke to recommended it to me.”
Marc says he was attracted to several aspects of the school: the entrepreneurial vibe, emphasis on working in teams, learning how to represent a brand - the whole combination made sense to him.
“Of course I was all for the learning by doing approach and the direct work with clients. From what I got from everyone I talked to, it sounded awesome.”
Marc decided against a Master’s degree and for studying a full-time program at Hyper Island in Stockholm. He decided to study Digital Business, a more conceptual focused program.
“I’m not a designer and don’t aim to be one. I really want to focus more on strategy. Digital Business is perfect for me!”
He went to Stockholm 6 months before starting Hyper Island to get in touch with current students and to have a look around. It made him feel even more secure about his decision to take the leap.
“I haven’t regretted coming here. The program feels right for me. It’s defined by everyone pushing each other to work harder. We focus a lot on creating something that is feasible and making business that works. It’s great!”
For Marc, getting settled in Stockholm was easy. He was looking forward to a new environment and enjoyed the onboarding experience at Hyper Island.
“We had an extra International Day before school started. There I met this guy who was wearing a shirt I liked. I asked him where he got it from and the next day we moved in together. We’re still living together now.”
Marc found figuring out housing, meeting people and making friends equally easy.
“Being at Hyper Island makes these things easy. You work with the same people 24/7 and you get to meet new people all the time. I think Stockholm would feel very different for me without Hyper Island.”
When it comes to Hyper Island, two aspects make the school very special for Marc: the people - staff, students and collaborators - and the personal growth experience.
“I’ve been in kind of an existential crisis during my time at Hyper Island. I’ve really been trying to figure out what I want to do and where I want to go. Hyper Island gave me the tools I needed to get to know myself better and figure these things out. I believe this really is unique to Hyper Island. Then, of course, working on exciting briefs is super fun as well. Just the whole way of learning. I tend to forget how much I learn. I’ve experienced so many great things here, I can’t even remember all the stuff that has happened.”
When Marc finishes his studies, he wants to move somewhere new again. He aims to work with societal and environmental issues and is looking for an employer who aligns with those values. He’s open to exploring business, as well as politics.
“For me, the most important thing really is to find a place where I can learn a lot and where the values of the organization correspond with my own. In the future, I definitely want to start something for myself. It could be anything - from starting a fashion label to founding a political party.”
If he could give one piece of advice to someone considering to study at Hyper Island, it would be to just do it.
“I think the methodology works for everyone. I’d even recommend it to my parents! It’s difficult to understand Hyper Island before you get here, so I’d recommend you to talk to as many people as possible that have been experienced it to get a good understanding. Usually, the alumni are super open to sharing.”
Check out Marc's portfolio if you want to know more or get in touch with him.
* EU residents can still apply to all full-time programs in Sweden