Let’s face it, 2020 has been insane—for everybody. Closer to home, our current students are entering the final part of their education at Hyper Island. Rubi Antognini is one of them and is on our UX Designer program. She grew up in Switzerland before moving to Copenhagen to forge her creative skills working for multiple start-ups and agencies. Here, we discover what life’s been like for Rubi as a Hyper Island student in the tumultuous year of 2020 so far.

How would you describe your Hyper Island journey so far?

Hyper Island is a healthy chaos. It’s an environment that will push you out of your comfort zone while supporting your professional and personal development. During the program, we not only receive lectures from experienced industry leaders and opportunities to explore new skills, but we also get to expand an important network and develop true connections.

You’re entering the final part of your education. Tell us about your industrial placements.

This education gives us a broad knowledge of the UX field and opportunities to specialize. I haven’t decided yet where exactly this is taking me but that’s why this program is so interesting for someone like me.

That said I will probably look for a job as a UX researcher or UX strategist. I find the art of collecting data fascinating; no research is ever the same. Asking the right question or looking in the right place can be a challenge and the results are always surprising. What also interests me in the broad field of UX is what comes right after the research; when you have the data, and you have to translate these insights into tangible solutions to develop the perfect product/service for the users.

2020 has been challenging in many ways. How have you found the job-seeking landscape this year? Any stand-out experiences so far?

Now that my classmates and I are looking for internships, we clearly have the recurring problem of companies not having the time or the resources to take in an intern while working remotely.

But the biggest problem of the creative industry regarding job-seeking is the infamous ‘X years of experience’

I recently saw a post from a developer who created a web framework and ironically, couldn’t apply to a job position because the years of experience required in the program, he’d built himself exceeded the number of years it was on the market. That was a big eye opener for me to see how these years of experience are often unrealistic. It makes it quite hard for freshly educated creatives to find a job when most positions are for seniors, and it can be quite demotivating.

Have you thought about starting your own company? If yes, what will be your initial steps into self-employment post Hyper Island?

Of course, the idea of starting my own company has crossed my mind. It isn’t a new thought and Hyper Island is for sure a nurturing space for this kind of reflection. I do see this to be more of a future possibility, but Hyper Island did teach me two important lessons that will impact how I will proceed. First is to not rush into it! We are UX designers after all; it isn’t about developing what I believe is needed, but rather knowing what users need. Therefore, the first obvious step is to ensure the concept is tangible and useful in today’s society. The second is that “Team is Everything”.

Together, we are much more impactful.

What is the employment outlook for your respective industries?

Competition for users’ attention is getting stronger, which means that the demand for UX Designer is on the rise. The UX industry isn’t new; it’s been around for more than two decades. But the importance of user experience is somewhat recent. More agencies and companies, both service and product focused, see the need of UX designers in their team and the job opportunities in our field increase undeniably.

Do you think your Hyper Island education is giving you a competitive advantage?

Indeed. The reputation of the school is a great advantage in the creative and innovation industries. Recruiters know the quality of Hyper Island alumni. Additionally, we learn by doing, so it’s not only theoretical knowledge. It is an advantage for us as well as the company hiring educated creatives.

One of our values is “Lead the change”. How are you planning to do this in these times of change?

My answer is again about network. In order to lead change, it’s important to collaborate and to connect with people that complete you. I will not do it alone, and I don’t want to do it alone. For the rest, I will trust the process and grab any opportunities to inspire social changes.

What would you advise students who are interested in your chosen Hyper Island programs?

Hyper Island gives you all the tools to succeed, but the outcome of the study is what you make of it. Be eager to learn and be ready to push your limits, that’s how you learn the best and how you will reach your full potential. Also, trust the process—it will all make sense!

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Article updated on: 11 March 2024