Course remix – By @rubyq
By Ruby Quince
Marc told me he was a fair way through rewriting the course for the new intake. Not just a bit of a tweak but a chunky remix of the curriculum. I’ve spoken with alumni and it seems that there really is a significant change from year to year. How many courses genuinely refresh their curriculum? Isn’t it a bit crazy to tinker with a formula that works? As ever with Marc, there will be method to the madness.
I’m sure there are a bunch of staples that remain constant. A huge amount was crammed into us in the first term and I’m guessing that the quick on-boarding and throwing into the relative deep is likely the same. I hope so.
Many things didn’t feel very important at first. I was dubious about poetry sessions, but quickly saw how powerful and relevant it was. Likewise, life drawing seemed frivolous, but what we learned there formed a cornerstone of the scamping madness that followed.
We also benefited from superb specialist sessions that opened our eyes to things we may not have given enough regard too. For example, learning how fonts work and how to apply them opened a door I didn’t really know was there.
Getting hands-on with the Adobe suite gave us some new hard skills and was utterly essential. Even if you’ve dabbled, having to quickly output in something like After Effects got people game-ready for the portfolio briefs. I think that people who went the extra mile and learned more probably benefited the most. Perhaps there would be a benefit in increasing the time with Adobe. I appreciate that it’s hard to teach in groups and they’re pretty clear this it’s not what the course is about.
I get the feeling that a fair chunk of the course is designed to get people used to working in an agency and being efficient in one. A lot of people haven’t really experienced the office and little things like hitting deadlines, doing what has been asked for and simply getting up on time isn’t already familiar. Basics, really, but important. I’ve been doing that stuff for decades, so it’s not new, but it’s extremely valuable to some. Oh, and people could do with some lessons in basic kitchen etiquette, but again, not really SCA’s job.
OK, there were a few masterclasses that felt like duds at the time, but who knows when they may spark something that we benefit from. The team are good enough to ask for our feedback on sessions and it feels like they care what we think.
We’re only a few weeks into the third term and I hope that there’s still a lot of learning to do. I have a feeling that it’s largely about refining and practising and perfecting. Taking what we learned and applying it properly. Embedding the techniques into our natural processes, working out what works best for us, making it habit.
Marc also mentioned that the last term was about being able to spot, critique and develop ideas more quickly. This is hugely valuable and important when thinking about operating in the real world. I wonder if there is a process for it, or it’s just practice?
I think that we could do with more on the day-to-day jobs of some of the people we’d likely work with. Media planners, producers, client directors. I’d like to have got my hands on some of the technology and systems that planners use, and I believe that people would benefit from using agency 3rd party software. Of course, some of it we can explore ourselves, and some if just too clunky or expensive to invest must time in.
I know some courses embed people into agencies early on, and I feel like that connection with the real world would help us greatly.
It’s warming to know that Marc and the team are always kicking the tires. Something will have to have gone terribly wrong if I’m to find out what shape the course will be next year, but I’m confident it will be new and improved.