25 things to tell friends over Christmas beer – By @rubyq

By Ruby Quince


25 things to tell friends over Christmas beer


It’s Christmas time, which means meeting up with old colleagues and summing up the year. Having stepped out of industry and gone back to school as a mature student, my story is quite a bit different to my peers. I get a lot of questions about the experience, most of which fall into two camps: “what’s it like?” and “what have you learnt?”.


  1. Get over yourself
  2. Selling is the most important thing in the world
  3. ‘Simple’ is the most important thing in the world
  4. About 15 other things the mentors have said we should do are the most important thing in the world. Somebody is wrong
  5. Working on briefs without clients, hard boundaries, career-threatening deadlines is an utter luxury that’s easy to forget. I have to keep reminding myself of that
  6. It’s more like school than work. For many it’s an extension of the education system, an extra year post-uni, so it’s not that strange that people aren’t always treated as adults. Adult isn’t really the vibe
  7. Partnering is a seriously emotional business. It’s complicated and I have a horrible feeling that it could become toxic
  8. A lot of people think that ‘having fun’ is the crucial component of partnering. Some think it’s solely about the work or similar ambition and work ethic. It’s probably a mixture of all of these and a bunch of other things
  9. There is a method to the madness
  10. The madness is infectious
  11. People want to shag each other. Sometimes they do
  12. You learn as much about yourself as you do about advertising
  13. A lot of people don’t know what tidy is, some don’t really know what clean is
  14. You don’t need to do anything to stand out. It’s full of lunatics in their own special way and even the quiet ones fizz with personality. You absolutely couldn’t pull off a character for long, it’s obvious
  15. Creatives are incredibly narcissistic. Everything is about them
  16. Every single person in the room has the potential to have the best idea; nobody consistently does
  17. The school really cares about everyone – even if it’s mainly because they share your success and bank on it. That’s strangely satisfying
  18. The mentors are generally a bit weird, clearly talented, sometimes a pain in the ass, virtually always contradictory. Working out how to harness their talent is one of the most powerful things we learn
  19. SCA is not the real world: you need to work out what’s real and what’s make-believe for yourself
  20. Marc can’t give you a job, and it’s unlikely that any of the main mentors can or would
  21. Being ‘creative’ is a very far cry from being ‘a creative’, and I’ll refer you back to #1
  22. You find yourself learning so many little things through necessity that are incredibly useful – better use of photoshop, premier, the whole Adobe suite in fact, including After Effects, which is a joy. My writing still sucks but I’m sure it’s getting better
  23. Art directors realise they’re copywriters, and visa versa, some realise they’re both/ neither, but it’s not such a bad thing as long as the idea is sold and the job is done
  24. Writing your SCA blog posts always seems to come at the worst time, which is a sign of bad time management. But still a pain in the ass. (six minutes to go until deadline)
  25. Everyone knew about copy and art from the get-go. Few realised that strategy is probably the most important thing we’re taught, and everything falls out of that


As I reach into my bank account to take another big chunk of money out to give to the school, my brain jumped to taking stock of what I have got for my money, and how  good a deal in getting in this next commercial exchange. For many of my peers at the Xmas beer meet-ups it’s often a case of moaning about the year. I paid for this, so I can’t really grumble.


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