By Fenton Saward





Recently we have had alumni in to give us some words of wisdom. I could write about my time at SCA but I think it’s also good to get the perspective of people who know a lot more than me.


First we had Tom & Greg who are currently at Grey. Here’s some pointers from them:


  • You can’t fail if you never give up.
  • When creating work talk to people in the right tone of voice and explore others that people aren’t talking in.
  • Imagine what celebrity/artist a brand would be and write in their tone of voice; tell the jokes they’d tell, would they be funny or dry?
  • When making a poster campaign think about how it can be passed on, would it be executed on well by future teams? A big thought that could last forever.
  • Show your work to people who don’t work in advertising, as they’re the people who will be seeing the work if it was to be made – don’t be precious with who you show your work to.
  • Every element should work alone. “Every element must be great.” – Walter Campbell
  • Some advice from Chris & John who are ECDs at C4: “Turn the brands darkest secret into something positive” – Great challenge/technique.
  • People don’t care about awards.
  • When it comes to awards, your aim should be to create the best thing in your portfolio so then if you don’t win an award at least you know you have the best thing in your book.
  • Do great work and people will like you, it’s as simple as that.


We also had ex SCA student Tom Bender in who is currently at Wieden + Kennedy. Here’s a few things I took from that:


  • As much as it’s about the idea and problem solving craft goes along way, practice scamping and learn the adobe software, it will only help.
  • Write scripts and understand their formats the best you can.
  • If you don’t have one already then start a library of artists, producers, directors, anyone who’s work you appreciate.
  • One day you may need to contact these people, part of our job is bringing people together to create a vision.
  • Finding interesting/relevant people makes your idea more credible.
  • If you can’t paint like an artist then reference them in the work, it shows you know your stuff and what works well.
  • If you see work that you like then let the person who made it know you appreciate it. Who knows what could come out of it.
  • Try and make a storyboard into 3 or 4 images.
  • When applying for jobs/placements, what do you have that they might not do? What passion projects are you doing that separates you?
  • No one that matters cares about awards.
  • If you want to contact someone at an agency and don’t know their email it’s probably not hard to guess what it is, people’s emails are not a secret and most like a combination of their first and last name followed by @ whatever agency they work for.


We have such a diverse number of people through the door every week that all the information we receive can be overbearing at times. I think hearing from alumni that have jobs and their experience at SCA is very reassuring.

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