My name is Gonzalo Escudero, I’m studying Data Analysis at Hyper Island in Stockholm and I’m also the Business representative of the Student Association.
Hyper Island is a school that operates at university-level, teaching students the skills that are required in the emerging industry while helping companies in their digital transformation all over the world. In my class there are forty-two students from many different backgrounds. From nuclear engineers to singers and everything in between! Since we all come from unique backgrounds, we often find ourselves following our own learning path.
The pandemic had a huge impact on our learning experiences as students. Before the restrictions, we were meeting at school everyday and we had Industry Leaders physically teaching the different modules. Happily, the school had everything in place in order to move digitally so the impact was not on the classes itself but for us as students. The social interaction that we once had on a daily basis was abruptly interrupted and suddenly we were faced with the cruel reality of connecting to Zoom everyday to attend lectures. Those Zoom meetings are not meant to catch up with each other or to talk about anything besides what the meeting is about. So our social interaction was hit worst with the pandemic.
Having a virtual office has really shaped how we are able to interact together as a team. I would say that we have taken back something we lost due the pandemic. We have created different rooms and tables with the name of the different “paths” that we need to learn. This may involve programming, math, statistics and sometimes everything at the same time. We have also included a “crying room” and morning check-in. So every day we meet in the morning check in, we talk about how we are feeling and our individual goals for the day. At the end of the Zoom meetings we meet in our crying room to share feedback, questions, frustrations, etc. Overall this has given us back the feeling that we are not alone in the struggle and that others are feeling the same as you. Before Teemyco, it was like we were alone in a space station with no connection to the earth.
Learning online has taught me some things I did not expect. Very often you can “read the room”, in the sense that you can see your classmates faces and realise if whatever it is you are learning is making sense, if the rest of the class is following, and maybe if someone is a little bit lost and so on. However, on a remote setup this is much more difficult. You lose the ability to “connect” in a more empathetic way with the rest of the class and pretty soon you end up wondering… am I the only one who doesn’t understand this? That can feel isolating if you don’t share a connection with your classmates.
In my class we have students from all over the world and after the restrictions many of them traveled home to see their families. As of today we have mates connecting from the USA, Poland, Vietnam, Brazil, among other countries! We have the chance to work with clients and solve real problems that would actually make an impact. At the same time there is a huge network where you will be able to connect with ex-alumni and companies that have a close relationship with Hyper. On the other hand there is a big focus on soft skills and for us, as data analysts they are much required. It is not only about how to get the data but also how to present it properly in order to create an accurate awareness of what you are trying to say.
One of the features we like the most is the ability to share the screen at the same time so we can easily compare code when things are not working. We have also pinned a lot of links and documents to the different rooms/tables to quickly access them when we need to. As of feedback, it would be great to be able to login to different “virtual offices”. Since we often work with other classes It would be great to have the whole school in an office so we can share thoughts and tips throughout the school.