School’s Out for School of Thought

Why should you get involved with School of Thought?

After ten excitingly challenging weeks of brilliant briefs, creative crafting and pitch presentations, the very first School of Thought has come to an end. On Monday 18th April, we joined the course’s tutors and students, along with many fantastic professionals from Manchester’s creative industry, to celebrate the journey the 12 students embarked upon and the brilliant work they produced along the way.

As sponsors of School of Thought, our director, Phil, took to the stage on the night, to talk about what drove Creative Resource to support the course. Read on to find out more about School of Thought itself and its appeal to creative businesses in Manchester.

In case you didn’t know…

School of Thought is a brand new initiative, brought to the UK by David Campbell, Creative Director of SLG. Originally from Adelaide, David had previously been involved with Award School, a popular course in which creative idea generation skills are developed. The huge success of Award School persuaded David to introduce its British relative, School of Thought, to the North West.

Similarly to Award School, School of Thought brings industry tutors together with 12 students, eager to learn about advertising and grow their skills within it. Week after week, these students are presented with a challenging brief, which they must then develop and prepare their own ideas for, to then present to the tutors, much like real-life pitches and the competition within them.

Not only that, but the student who presents the most compelling and creative ideas through and through, is rewarded with a free ticket and trip to Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity. On Monday evening, the very first School of Thought winner was announced, and Mike Emerson (@mk_mrsn) proved his creative flair for idea generation, as he was named the winner.

Why did we choose to get involved?

As a North West recruitment agency specialising in pairing candidates with roles in marketing, PR, creative and digital sectors, we are intrinsically linked to the Manchester creative industry and the ups and downs it faces. As such, the success of the industry and the Manchester economy is extremely important to us, so much so that we’re eager to support any initiative that can aid this success. Now part of a global economy, Manchester is competing in a much bigger pool than it once was a few years ago, and when considering what will continue the growth and success of this fantastic city, the value of ideas plays a significant part in driving Manchester’s future.

Not only that, but at the Awards Evening, Phil expressed how his motivation to provide the industry with further skills development, comes from the current lack of support that Manchester’s creatives are missing out on. While there is the potential to self-learn and develop new skills individually (or even in some cases, learn new things from a talented Creative Director), there still remains a gap in the industry that others, such as marketing, have filled. The CIM, IPA, IPM and various other industry bodies offer training and development to marketers, so rather than leaving it to chance that creatives will develop the skills that the industry needs to succeed, School of Thought could potentially make the first step towards helping creative skills development in Manchester.

So what next?

Firstly, we would like to congratulate each of the students that took part in the first School of Thought, as well as thank the agencies and tutors that took time out of their busy schedules to volunteer their time and knowledge to the course. Looking back over the past few months and the outcome at the end of the course, we are thrilled to have been a part of School of Thought and are looking forward to what the next term will bring!

School of Thought begins again on Monday 5th September 2016 and applications are already open! If you are interested in finding out more about what the application process involves, head over to the website, where you can find plenty of information.

We would love for more agencies to get involved, whether it’s volunteering time to take part as an industry tutor, or alternatively to sponsor the running of the course itself. Without sponsorship, the cost for students to take part is set at £500, however with the help of the industry in supporting School of Thought, this cost can be kept as little as possible for students.

If you are interested in collaborating with the next School of Thought course, take a look at our interview with James Cross of McCann Manchester, who shared his thoughts on his time as a School of Thought Tutor.

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Written by Rachel Campbell


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