Please give a brief description of yourself.

I’m the Head of the Digital Team at Archetype Singapore – an integrated marketing agency – with about 50 people. In my role, my broader remit covers the digitization of the agency’s consulting services, and the driving of innovation in terms of service development. I am part of the agency’s management team as well.

Tell us about your journey to Hyper Island.

Before I undertook the Master’s Programme with Hyper Island, I had joined one of their short courses. It was a digital marketing course and my first exposure to the Hyper Island methodology and unique way of learning. 

The entire learning experience left a big impression on me. It was definitely a very different way of learning, but really beneficial. Instead of a traditional theory-heavy lecture with a teacher reading off slides, the Hyper Island emphasis on learning by doing was both really powerful and refreshing.

“At Hyper Island you feel, you are exploring the different way of learning “

First, you start off with theory before you are grouped into teams, and then plunged right in to work on a project using a combination of theory, skills, and tools that were shared as we progressed.

On the last day, we presented our ideas to a client and received immediate feedback which was nice and dynamic. The whole experience was very satisfying and I remember having a “wow” moment when I realised that I could actually take what I learnt and apply it right away at work. In fact, I applied my learnings from that one-week workshop immediately to some of the proposals I was working on then!

I had such a great learning experience at Hyper Island and I wanted my company to experience something similar, so fast-forward a few months, my boss and I met with the Hyper Island team and in that conversation, then-MD Christina Andersson mentioned the Hyper Island Masters Degree Programme.

My interest and curiosity were piqued. I took some time to research potential Masters Programmes before eventually deciding to apply to the Hyper Island programme.

Compared to other programmes, having had a first-hand taste of their learning methodology, I was confident that the Hyper Island Masters addressed what I wanted out of a graduate programme, instant applicability of learning to my work and the value received relative to the financial investment.

Tell us about your biggest takeaway or the thing that had the biggest impact on you from your time with Hyper Island

Of the modules we took, the Design Thinking and Agile ones were the ones that have had the greatest impact on my work and are still making an impact now. I use and apply the principles and ideas on a regular basis at work. For example, from Design Thinking, I introduced the cyclical approach learned of prototyping, testing, iterating to my work, and led my teams to think creatively about the services we provide to our clients as an agency. In one instance, we were pitching to a pharmaceutical company and instead of the standard marketing pitch where we present a creative idea and how it can help their brand, we went through the design thinking process and realized that the client needed a different thing from what they were asking for.

“I carried Broad thinking on all aspects”

On a more personal front, the mindset around learning was a huge area of growth. Specifically, not being afraid to learn and not being dismissive of learning things from other domains has been the biggest lesson for me. That’s something that Professor Jonathan Briggs (co-founder of Hyper Island) always emphasized; taking examples from other fields, distilling the concept, and exploring how it may be applicable. This broad view of learning and being able to connect concepts from different disciplines has helped me progress in my work. Before Hyper Island, I would have never thought of breaking out of the box in my thinking. I would have stayed and worked within the sandbox environment. But after Hyper Island, I no longer assume the sandbox is the only relevant environment to explore. Now, I regularly test the limits, assumptions, and ideas and am no longer confined to a pre-defined sandbox but am on the lookout to explore other opportunities.

If you were going to advise anybody on furthering their education, what advice would you give?

 In some quarters, the ROI of undertaking a Masters Degree program is around how much of a salary increase will it give and how quickly one can recoup the financial outlay. While that may be a valid consideration, it is a short-term consideration and it certainly shouldn’t be their only consideration. My suggestion would be that they consider a graduate education that would offer long term benefits, especially around how it promises to change the way you think, change the way you perceive problems, and change the way you approach solutions. The Hyper Island Masters Degree Programme certainly did that for me. I would also suggest that they should assess how ready and open they are to change because I think the people who are more open in terms of unlearning and relearning will experience the most benefits. Are you willing to be challenged? And are you willing to change your frame of reference? Because I think that that’s how you get the most out of any course.

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Article updated on: 11 March 2024