Learn your dues

Hyper Island’s Melanie Cook Makes A Case For The Master’s Degree

Don’t deride it as a waste of time- the digital business school’s managing director for APAC is all for the renewal of knowledge.

Hyper Island’s Melanie Cook Makes A Case For The Master’s Degree
Melanie Cook, managing director for APAC of Hyper Island

If there’s one thing that you can never have too much of in life, it is knowledge. There are different kinds of knowledge you can pursue, and while a master’s degree might seem like you’re going down an academic route, Hyper Island’s managing director for APAC Melanie Cook sees it differently.

“The most important thing, especially at this time, is options. When you’re unclear about what your possible career outcomes could be, then your safest bet is to have options. Master’s journeys and further education are meant to take you out of your comfort zone and into your growth zone,” Cook explains.

It’s in this growth zone that lifelong learning begins as it builds capabilities in “learning to learn”, where in any given scenario, you’re able to turn everything, good or bad, into a learning experience instead of a dead end.

Learning by doing forms the ethos of Hyper Island’s methodology, where a majority of the course work is about doing, making, experimenting, bonding, failing and succeeding — it’s about going through a gamut of hands-on experiences that teach more efficiently than simply lecturing. As a course that features heavily on hands-on experience, Cook says they’ve also had to be very purposeful with student engagement in the past two years.

In a sense, it was also a renewal of knowledge for the company to make sure they could achieve a level of interactivity and keep the learning experience for the students.

“We’re so student-centric that it was just not an option to stagnate and wait it out. So we’re very grateful that we had the technology to support this evolution, and during that time, we had to make sure we were having fun purposefully. We created teams and games that could be played virtually and that added to the holistic experience.”

For those who are interested in pursuing further knowledge, whether it’s a master’s programme or short courses, Cook says: “You should always look at the things you’ve been putting off in terms of learning, and whether you need new perspectives for the work that you’ve been doing.

“Armed with all this, you will surely be on a path of knowledge at any stage of your life.”

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