Monday, June 23, 2008

Ukranian students at Hyper Island

Our students come from different parts of the world. Two weeks ago two Ukrainian students, Julia Demchenko (24 years old) and Anton Dubina (23 years old), graduated from the Digital Media program in Karlskrona. I took them aside to ask some questions about how they made their way to Hyper Island and what the digital media industry is like in Ukraine.

Where in Ukraine are you from?
Anton: Kharkov in the eastern part of the country.

How did you find Hyper Island?
Julia: We were looking for a web design school outside of Ukraine on the Internet and found Hyper Island. In ukraine I studied economy and Anton studied computer science, but we wanted to learn and do things on our own. We liked that at Hyper Island you learn by doing. In other schools you learn things in theory.

And how did you like the time at Hyper Island?

Anton: It has been a great experience. We learned about teamwork, about the industry and how to work with clients. It is a very creative surrounding and here you don’t have to be afraid to do mistakes. In fact they encourage us to do mistakes, becuase that’s how you learn things.

What were you doing before you came here?
Julia: We worked with these things and we always wanted to start a company of our own. But to start a company you need a network of people and possible clients and Hyper Island gave us that.

Where did you do your internship?

Anton: We worked for a small company based in San Fransisco but we did it from Sweden and communicated with the people there on skype.

Would you recommend other foreigners to apply to Hyper Island?

Julia: Yes we recommend it all the time. A lot of people, especially from Russia, contact us and ask for our opinion on weather they should apply or not.

The program is free for Swedish students but foreign students might need to find other ways to finance it. How did you solve that?
Anton: We worked really hard to save money.

Do you like living in Sweden?
Julia: Yes very much. We even studied some Swedish to be able to apply to Hyper Island.

Are you going back to Ukraine now that you graduate?
Anton: No we are starting up a company here in Sweden where we will design and develop different services. We will also look at selling our Final project that we did here at Hyper Island.

What was your final project about?
Julia: SugaRSS is a non-obtrusive smart service that sits behind your RSS reader and filters out news for you. It “understands” topics of your interest by looking at your reading habits and tracking things you like and dislike. Finally, it applies some clever algorithms and voilà — you're spending less time reading what's going on in Intertubes.

What is the web design industry like in Ukraine?
Anton: It is not developed like here, but it is starting to happen. I think it is better developed n Russia.

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