Tuesday, September 30, 2008

What's it like working at Hyper Island?

I've been a shoe salesman, a programmer, a personal trainer. I've been an Internet guide, a team leader and a project manager. I've worked for small companies run by families and for large multinational companies run by guys who resemble G-man.

I've (almost) always been happy at my jobs, but I've never felt that I'm working at one of the best places in the world.

Until February 5th this year, that is. That's when I started working at Hyper Island.

Now you might be thinking that there's a difference between working as a clerk in a shoe store and working with digital media programs. You're right. But job description aside, there's a fundamental difference between Hyper Island and all the companies I've worked for before. This difference is the same thing that makes our students among the best in the world. We call it the Hyper Island way. It's no secret, but it can be hard to really understand if you're theoretically challenged (which I most certainly am - I need to experience stuff to really understand it). Now that I understand it, I can try to explain it.

Example one:
The other day, I was wondering whether I'm easy to read. My own opinion was that I wouldn't do very well in a poker game, but how did others perceive me? So I asked Roger (my boss). I don't think I've ever had a relationship with co-worker, let alone a leader, who I could ask for feedback on that level. (The answer was a little surprising: Roger perceived me as pretty good at keeping up appearances.)

Example two:
Speaking of keeping up appearances: I'm going through a pretty rough period right now. Breaking up with someone I really like made me a mess. On all my previous jobs, I'd wear a translucent mask in a situation like this. I would avoid talking to my colleagues, I wouldn't be laughing or telling jokes or eating lunch with them. Tons of stuff for their imagination to build windmills from, and fantasize about "what's his problem?". At Hyper Island, I could sit at the morning meeting and say "Guys, I went through a really rough patch yesterday, and I'm feeling really sad and broken. It's too hard to talk about it, and I'd prefer to be left alone today".

And so I got to be in my own little bubble, focusing hard on work. And once I was ready to talk about it, they listened and said smart stuff.

Example three:
Have you ever had an introduction with a new co-worker? "Hi, my name is so and so and I've been working there and there and I will be doing this and this". And then maybe a line about who s/he's married to, or living with and how many kids they have. Well, introductions here at Hyper Island are different. Instead of doing a live presentation of our resumés, we talk about who we are. I talked about how I grew up and about experiences and events that formed me as a human being. It's so much easier to understand each other when you see a person and not a walking CV.

Example four:
It's not only our students who practice learning by doing. We - I - do it all the time. We reflect about most things we do, what we can do different next time to do whatever it is even more effective. We ask for feedback from students, from each other, from lecturers and we consider all the feedback we get. There are two sides to each coin, and there's always something that can be tweaked or turned to make the machinery run even more smoothly the next time.

/Micke Kazarnowicz, Project Manager at Hyper Island

Thursday, September 25, 2008

What we also do at Hyper Island #2

To many people around the globe, Hyper Island is all about developing great, highly employable, creative talents - with a digital twist. And that's true. We are extremely proud of the nearly 300 students in training right now in our daytime programs in Karlskrona and Stockholm. But there is more to Hyper Island!

We are commited to support creative solutions, personal growth and great results by offering different concepts:

- Master classes (open and tailor made courses for - almost - everyone)
- A whole range of Leadership & Management courses
- Different possibilities for the industry to participate in and share the Hyper Island experience.

Here is today's Top Five List: Reasons To Sign Up For a Hyper Island Leadership & Management Course Today.

1. Many talk about the unique Hyper Island learning experience, a few have had the opportunity to actually experience it. This is your chance to get a close look at what 'learn how to learn' really can be about.
2. You will learn how to improve your effectiveness in your group, and all about group dynamics.
3. You will learn how to learn for the rest of your life by exploring yourself as an individual and a team member.
4. You will expand your professional network as a member of the Hyper Island family.
5. Tailor made or open course - Hyper Island always put all our effort into giving you a tailor made learning experience.

Sign up today! Find a Hyper Island Leadership & Management course that suits your needs here.

And please feel free to tell us about a Leadership & Management course that you would like us to create and offer. We look forward to interact with you!

/Mattias Hansson, CEO Hyper Island

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

New York, New york!

As I have mentioned earlier on this blog, Hyper island CEO Mattias Hansson has been invited to participate in the New York based seminar Cutting-Edge Creative this week. This year Cutting Edge Creative will examine the growing influence and impact of Swedish creative agencies on the New York market.

What I haven´t mentioned is that Mattias will participate in another New York event next week. Click is a one-day digital advertising conference, aimed specifically at anyone involved in producing creative work online. Launched in 2005 in London, Click has established a world-class reputation in bringing together leading creatives and their clients from around the globe to discuss the current state of digital creativity. The focus is on great work and the people that do it. During the day they will showcase campaigns from the best in the business and bring together top creative talent, digital gurus, leading brands and the most popular media owners to discuss the hot topics facing everyone working in advertising today.

This year Click will take place in New York City and Hyper Island has been invited to discuss the reasons behind the fact that Hyper Island has been sending students for internship and work at US top agencies for more than thirteen years now.

Before Mattias jumpes on the plane, I decided to ask him a couple of questions about the event:

Mattias, what will you talk about?
- What we do to attract, educate and offer world class talent. And how we do it.

What else are you looking forward to during Click 2008?
- To meet the great talent already there. I had a great time at the Click event in London last year and many of the people I met there have become my friends. You can always add another friend in your life.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Acting classes at Hyper Island

Getting in control of your body language and real clients - That's what's happening in Karlskrona right now!

The new Business Management and Digital Media classes are right now doing a module called Communication Skills. This week they spend 4 days with an actor and theatre director, Johan Westermark. They practice presentation technique by getting to know their own body language and body status.

Today they are presenting various subjects in groups and Johan is filming them :)! Tomorrow they will all look at their filmed presentations and Johan will give them feedback on their technique. I think that's a brilliant example of learning by doing! A Business Management student, Erik Rosvall, summarise the week like this "One week together with Johan is like walking hand in hand with a lunatic - you never know what's going to happen next, BUT you know you'll have a hilarious and great time!"

New for this year and this module is that Business Management and Digital Media are working much more together. They are now sitting 4 persons, mixed groups, in each cell (as you might now the students have their work spaces in an old prison). This results in better understanding for each other, a bigger network and of course more than twice as many people to ask and have fun with!

Business Management 2009 started their second year with a challenging module called The Digital Industry Project. They have been divided in 6 groups and each group is working with two real clients - so at the moment 6 notable companies within the field of digital and interactive media and 6 NGO's receives help and inspiration regarding future strategies from our Business Management students.

They find the module really fun, challenging and worthwhile and the clients I've talked to are really pleased about the co-operation.

As a co-worker at Hyper Island I find it really inspiring, fun and worthwhile to work with all these creative, brilliant and eager students! I like it! :)

/Sofie Andersson, Project Manager at Hyper Island.

An island of hope!

Many guys don't wanna go to university these days. They want an education that leads straight to work. And a good place for that is Hyper Island. This is what the Stockholm based daily newspaper Stocholm City wrote yesterday. Have a look at the article called "An island of hope" here! Only in Swedish though!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Motion graphics is the new black!

One of the first modules at Hyper Island is a very practical course in motion graphics. This year in Stockholm, we let our Digital Media students and Interactive Art Director students take the course together. The teachers are former Hyper Island students Henrik Gårnheim, Rasmus Sjöborg and Kristoffer Övergaard and I asked them what the module is about.

- The students get two assignements during this week, one individual where they work with motion graphics in Flash, and one group assignement where they work with After Effect, a program for special effects. And since all three of us work with motion graphics we show them what kind of work we are doing where we are working, says Henrik and Rasmus.

How are the students doing?
- Great. They surprise us. There is a really good energy in these classes, says Henrik.

Why are motion graphics skills so important?
- Because many campaigns are made up by motion graphics. So you have to know how it works.

Which bureau does the best motion graphics campaigns right now?
- The people at the London based Hi-res make some really cool websites, says Rasmus.

Where are you guys working now?
- I work for B-reel, Rasmus works for Acne Digital and Kristoffer works for Perfect Fools, says Henrik.

What did you think of your own time at Hyper Island?
- It was really good. We went straight from school to the jobs we have now. The internship is what gave us the most, says Rasmus.

After interviewing the teachers, I talked to some of the students. They seem very pleased with this course.

- It has been really great. Time consuming but a lot of fun. And a good introduction to these programs, says Ola Lissbrandt.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Master Class for She Creatives - Join now!

Jessica Olander and Karin Ernerot from She Creatives.

As I have mentioned earlier on this blog, Hyper Island have developed a Master Class for women creatives, in cooperation with the Swedish network for female creatives: She Creatives, and the british dito She Says.

The first course will be held in november on Stumholmen in Karlskrona, and since it is time to apply, I decided to ask Annika Grundfors, our Marketing Manager who is responsible for this event, some questions about it.

What is the Master Class for She Creatives?
- The Master Class for She Creatives is an intensive crash course for five days in our own premises in what used to be a jail in Karlskrona. The old custody is located on Stumholmen, an island where the general public weren’t even allowed since it was used as a military area.

Who will attend?
- The Master Class will not only be attended by participants from She Creative but also from the UK based equivalence She Says and other female creatives from around the globe. This will be the perfect opportunity to boost your digital skills and work on your network!

What will happen during the course?
- The week will be filled with inspiration, networking and most of all: amazing lectures and workshops.

What do the patricipants get out of it?
- They will learn how to face clients in a better way, and be more convincing when presenting ideas and creative solutions. They boost their self-esteem and become a more edgy creative. They will get a greater toolbox when processing ideas for advertising, digital media and communication. They will broaden their knowledge about group dynamics and get the power to make a difference. They will get a better knowledge of the advantages and possibilities of being a she creative. And not to forget - they will create a strong sustainable network of other female creatives.

Read more about the Master Class for She Creatives here! You can also read an interview with Karin Ernerot from She Creatives and Laura Jordan Bambach from She says here. And to apply, click here!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Hyper Island nominated to the Innovation Award 2008

Hooray! We are proud to announce that the Swedish Chamber of Commerce for the UK has nominated Hyper Island for the Innovation Award 2008.

In 2006 they introduced a Life Time Achivement Award which was presented to Ingvar Kamprad at IKEA and an Innovation Award which was given to Niklas Zennström at Skype. Now The Swedish Chamber of Commerce is preparing a new profile launch today and in connection with this event the Chamber network has selected and put forward a list of nominees from which the winner will be announced at the Chamber profile launch tonight. The nominees are besides Hyper Island the construction company Skanska and Nordic Marine Living AB in cooperation with Jonas Wagell Architecture.

Hyper Island has been nominated for its unique education methods which seek to stimulate creativity and enable the students’ individual development. ”For more than thirteen years, the learning method at Hyper Island has been a global success story”.

- We are happy to be nominated for something that we know and do well. Innovatie education is the core business of Hyper Island. We have been sending our students for internships and work in the UK for thirteen years now, so it is great to be recognized for our work as a interactive bridge between the UK and Sweden. There will be more, says Mattias Hansson, CEO, Hyper Island.

Monday, September 8, 2008

One month at Hyper Island

Our new students have now finished their first month. What do they think so far? I asked two of our students in Karlskrona to answer some questions for our blog!

Hi Ole and Tine! You are both from Norway, how did you find Hyper Island?
Ole Martin: I found Hyper Island when I was 13-14 years old. I had a lot of interest in web design, and I got to know a guy that went to Hyper Island crew 7 or something. He told me about the school, and it's been sort of a dream ever since.
Tine: I was looking for some sort of leadership/management education in Sweden - something that would be different from a normal MBA. When I realised that Hyper Island had a course called Business Management I instantly checked it out. I applied because I felt that two years here would be a good start.

What do you think of your first weeks at Hyper Island?
Both: It's really been great! We started off with two intensive weeks of UGL and team building courses, a perfect way to start this experience. We've just finished our first module and starting to get used to Hyper Island's different learning methods. Which by the way is nothing like what we are used to – in a good way, that is!

You are also writing a blog on your own about your time at Hyper Island. Why did you set up that blog?
Both: We made the blog to have some sort of two way communication with our friends and family in Norway. It's been a huge success, the design has gotten a lot of recognition and we have readers that we don't even know!

And what do you think of Karlskrona?
Both: The town is really cute! Small, peaceful and with a constant seabreeze that makes sure our hair never looks the same. It's a great place to study, because there's nothing else to do here! (That's not completely true, but let's keep the illusion alive).

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Hurry up, if you want to attend a UGL-course!

Beside the long term programs, Hyper Island performs UGL-courses (Understanding Group and Leader) and team development. Hyper Island runs UGL with the aim to support companies and organisations to create, manage and to increase well-being, quality and profitability. More than 20 years of experience of UGL shows that the concept offers people the tools, the process awareness and the self-knowledge they need to be efficient co-workers and leaders.

The participants come from the industry, the public sector, municipal goverments, county councils or professional- and industrial organisations.

UGL is a course that is aimed towards people at all levels in an organisation. All our students participate in UGL, as a part of their education, and we belive that this is one of the reasons to their success story.

UGL has become one of the most popular and widespread leadership courses in Sweden, we offer the course in swedish or english. Check it out here!

There are now twelve more possibilitys to attend a UGL-course during 2008. But hurry up, new people are applying everyday, at some of the courses there are only a few places left!

/Petra Charlotte Arrenäs