The life of a School of Thought student

“The fact that the course celebrates ideas over execution is hugely inspiring…”

School of Thought – a part-time intensive course that focuses on creative ideas over craft – has well and truly hit the ground running, and with the students settling into the third week of the twelve week course, we were excited to hear their thoughts on the brand new initiative to the creative industry.

This week, Alice – one of the twelve students taking part in the intensive course – shared her thoughts on School of Thought. From what she has experienced so far to what she expects to come, this insight into the newly introduced course is well worth a read, for anyone in the creative industry or for those looking to break into it.

For the last couple of weeks, School of Thought has focused on the print ad format for our ideas. As we move into week 3, we have our hands on an experiential brief, which is testing other areas of the brain and forcing us to think more about the overarching idea which could connect various platforms.

A real benefit of being on the School of Thought course is the invaluable insight from some of Manchester’s top names in creative. By attending a different agency each week, we have the rare opportunity to see the industry in action, and to be mentored each week by a different creative director provides a new approach and versatility in the teaching, bringing new insight and techniques to the table.

The variety of briefs gives us the chance to get stuck into a range of media platforms, from the beauty of a simple idea captured for a print ad to the ambitious and guerrilla tactics of experiential and ambient advertising.

The connection between the course and the industry is always at the forefront of each session, and the fact that the course celebrates ideas over execution is hugely inspiring to the majority of us who felt petrified to show our own scribbles to each other in the first session. The idea is always king, no matter whether you can draw beautifully or not. The Thursday pitch is also something that can be daunting, especially as it’s given to a new panel of creatives each week. However this gives insight into the unexpected and pressured environment of advertising, and teaches us to focus on our ideas so that we present only good work and produce work we really believe in.

There seems to be a brief for everyone on this course – the main challenge being the ability to successfully bring the ideas every week. The main challenge for me is maintaining the day job whilst having a brief rattling around my head. However, the three-day turnaround for ideas is plenty of time to get to the heart of a brief – and even enough time to get sick of it! By Thursday, I am always keen to get the idea pitched and be done with it. Then we have a well-deserved rest over the weekend, to digest the feedback given and let our minds refresh, to begin another week of the course the following Monday. The format works well….just ask me how I’m feeling in week 12…hopefully I’ll still be feeling just as positive!

We’d like to thank Alice for taking the time to share her thoughts on School of Thought, and we wish her all the best with the rest of the course!


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