. Dec 09, 2022 . 3 minutes read
School Of Thought is an intensive 12-week training programme for those who want to flex their creative muscles by learning how to develop and pitch big ideas. It's not just a course... it's a competition. In the end, there is one winner who wins a trip to Cannes Lions - a career changing trip worth thousands of pounds. School Of Thought is industry run and supported, with sessions hosted by the hottest agencies in the North.
Having returned from Maternity Leave in January this year, I really wanted to do something that was;
A: Outside of my comfort zone
B. Just for me
I knew of this course through a friend who had previously won it, and I thought - this course ticks both of my boxes, and so I applied (Not even remotely entertaining the idea that I’d be given a place)
Having been in agency 10 years but always in Client Services, I’ve worked with some amazing creatives over the years, and have always had such an interest into how the creative mind works. How you can get from a brief, to so many different interpretations of it, and how the simplest ideas are ALWAYS the best.
For me, it was always about my personal goal - I wanted to create a Portfolio of 13 ideas at the end, that someone could look at - and not know that my day job was Client Services - I wanted them to look at my ideas without that stigma of not being a ‘creative’ attached.
Once I got started I very quickly realised why it’s described as an ‘Intense’ programme 😰 I did worry about the time commitment required with a demanding full time job, and an even more demanding 18 month old. But as with most things in life, you just create a new temporary routine (with a lot of support at home from my husband!)
Monday evenings were when we received the brief, after the brief, I'd usually write down a few top level ideas/words and then leave it until the next day.
Once I'd slept on it, that Tuesday evening I'd either scrap everything I'd written and start again - or I'd pick a favourite and start building it out. Wednesday evenings were for finalising my idea and scamps - and then Thursday evenings I’d finish work and drive into Manchester to present to the agency.
I must say though, as intense as it is - I have enjoyed every.single.minute 🤩
I always looked forward to the Thursdays, presenting with such a cool bunch of talented individuals from all kinds of backgrounds was so fun, and always made up for the insanely busy 3 days prior.
If you are ever thinking of applying in the future, please do. I put it off for years, and I am so glad that I finally got the chance to experience it.
The effort that goes into the organising and running of the course by Phil Cookson, and the agencies that so kindly give up their Mondays & Thursdays to prepare briefs and give feedback is amazing, and is just testament to the wonderful creative community in Manchester.
I came second overall in the competition, some of my ideas are below 😊👇🏻