Our learning methodology was built with a deep understanding of the creative industry and produces talent who have mastered the creative process in today’s complex digital landscape. A great example of this is an alumnus of our Design Lead program (formerly Interactive Art Director), Felipe Fiuza. We caught up with Felipe to get some insights into how Hyper Island accelerated his career in technology.

From advertising to product management

Felipe worked in advertising but wanted to move into the technology sector as a product designer. Instead of designing websites or apps, Felipe wanted to manage the creative process and team collaboration. After studying at Hyper Island, he landed a job as product designer at Spotify’s headquarters in Stockholm, Sweden.

Felipe: “When I worked with advertising, there was not much planning – just doing. There was a lot of pressure without any real structure. I was ready for change and for the next step in my career. Hyper Island has quite a good reputation in Brazil’s creative industry. I was impressed by the alumni I had met and their design processes.”

Choosing between Hyper Island and the School of Visual Arts in New York, Felipe had to assess the value of both programs.

“Programs like SVA focused on technical skills. Having been in advertising for almost a decade and operating within teams with chaotic structure, I wanted to improve both my teamwork and leadership. I heard that Hyper Island was a great place to improve that.”

His previous experience in digital design made the Design Lead program a natural choice.

“The program would give me the chance to experience and learn things I couldn’t at a traditional agency. I could reflect and experiment with ideation and design processes. I treated it as a lab to see if these processes delivered real results in my work and career – and they really did.”

Getting hired after Hyper Island

After Hyper, Felipe had internship offers from multiple companies, including major advertising agencies. He accepted the role of Senior Digital Designer at communication agency NORD DDB, and worked with major clients such as Elgiganten, Husqvarna, Klarna, Samsung, SEB, Volkswagen for the next two and a half years.

“My time at Hyper Island was a big draw to the hiring managers.”

Armed with such great experience of working with top brands, Felipe was keen to join a leading tech company as a product designer to explore other facets of his skillset. When he was approached by the Talent Acquisition team at Spotify, he was keen to learn more.

“Getting the job at Spotify was a process that took around four months. After being approached by the Talent Acquisition team, I had a few round of interviews and a day full of presentations with people from all the areas I was going to collaborate with. Besides my previous experience, I think they valued my beliefs about teamwork and processes that I had the chance to practice during my time at Hyper Island. They also seemed to appreciate my creative and communication skills.”

It was at Spotify that Felipe experienced first-hand the real value of the tools and methodologies he learned at Hyper Island.

“Joining Spotify helped me realize how valuable the tools I learned at Hyper Island were. For example, I’m now sharing a reflective process with my manager to track my career progress.”

Team is everything

In the advertising world, agencies tend to have their designers working in silos, whereas tech companies often place more emphasis on teamwork. Felipe noticed a huge shift in working cultures when he moved from traditional advertising model to a fast-paced tech company.

“Hyper helped me shift my mindset. I used to work alone most of the time and focus on myself and my craft. Now that I’ve improved in team collaboration and engagement, as well as giving and receiving feedback, I get the best out of my teammates and myself.”

Felipe’s insights throughout Hyper Island were critical in preparing him for the tech industry in addition to making him the strongest applicant for the role.

“I had learned many of the processes used at Spotify at Hyper Island. They have retrospectives and team development sessions, ideation methodologies, feedback sessions, design critiques, and more.”

He also found a lot of similarities between the culture at Hyper Island and Spotify. This put him ahead of the curve and facilitated a smooth integration with his team.

“The working culture at Spotify is collaborative, reflective, and innovative. I believe I and other Hyper Island alumni can bring a lot to the table.”

Life at Spotify

Today, Felipe is loving his life in Stockholm and really enjoying his position at Spotify.

“Working at Spotify is amazing. I work largely with research and product development. Before Hyper Island, I mainly produced visual designs, so this was a big shift. I’m really happy with it! It has been great to learn, understand, and experience the tech world.”

Check out some of Felipe’s work

Here’s an example of Felipe’s work as a designer for Klarna. You can find his personal website here.

“Working with Klarna was fun. Transforming a bank into something remarkable and with such a fun touch was an amazing experience. I was part of different parts of the development of the new identity for about eight months. We won two silver eggs for Identity Design and Integrated at the Guldagget awards and we were shortlisted in Cannes in the Industry Craft category.”

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Article updated on: 12 March 2024