Meet Polina, a Masters Student in Singapore

Meet Polina Kadkina, currently pursuing the Master of Arts in Digital Media Management in Singapore. We caught up with her to find out what makes her tick, at Hyper Island.

Hej Polina, thank you for taking the time for this. As a start, tell us a bit about your background prior to Hyper Island. I've been to a few different places: St.petersburg, Russia - Taunton, UK - Cambridge, UK - New York, USA - Hyper Island, Singapore

I have been travelling for a while now to various countries, cities and have been involved in creative education as well. My last one was Parsons, where I studied Communication Design.

How has your experience at Hyper Island been so far? Like a mountain river that leads to a valley, except that I haven't reached the valley stage!

It is very different from all of the previous learning experiences of mine. Studying here demands a lot of self-discipline, curiosity and a will to study. As our programme manager Jakob advised us, "Nobody is going spoon feed you." In the first couple of months, I was craving for that magical spoon to appear, and then it actually did. But I created my own spoon and was able to feed my curiosity, passion and fuelled my education.

The education at Hyper Island is not only about digital, media and/or management. It is not only about group work methods and ideation processes. Nor it is about effective presentation skill-set. There is an immense amount of personal development. I have started looking inside myself a lot. Self knowledge and self growth has long been on my mind before, but as a lazy human being i was always postponing the moment of truth. In the Masters programme, there is a large amount of self-innovation, surrounded by a team of like-minded and individuals, there is no way you would not want to become a better person.

How does it feel to study and live in Singapore? I tend to make decisions heavily based on assumptions. It happened in Hyper Island journey as well. I had actually made the assumption that I might not like it in Singapore even before arriving. I have never been so wrong! My plan was to head to Berlin for good after the taught portion of the Masters, but this amazing city has ruined that plan :)

Why Hyper Island? I was choosing between Hyper Island, VCU and Miami Ad School. Since VCU and Miami Ad School offered Master programmes only in the States (well and Doha for VCU, but i am not even going to start a discussion here..) the decision was extremely easy.

What’s the biggest lesson you've learned so far? I hacked myself! Through self growth at Hyper Island and thanks to other curator of ours including Maria Eriksson, experience of self hacking and self growth was not as painful as I would imagine. It is still painful to some extent: stepping out of the comfort zone and all that buzz is not for nothing, but it oh feels so good now. Moreover, while having some myself time without people and technology (hint for self growth #1) i was thinking that innovation, effective management, start up etc are not going to be any good with a void in a personal development.

What advice would you give future Hyper Island students? Embrace yourself! Buy spoons beforehand and be ready for some mental rafting.