Last SCAB/Last full week/Last list of advice – By @hollygordonn

By Holly Gordan


Last SCAB/Last full week/Last list of advice


This is my last SCAB for now (who knows, I might wake up with the sudden urge to write one from the perspective of an alumnus). It is also the last full week for everyone at SCA and we are coming up to the first portfolio day. It’s easy to think you are the only person feeling anxious, but you’re not and that’s the great thing about having a support system at SCA. You can talk to your creative partner, the staff and your friends. I’ve given up being embarrassed about crying in front of the office staff, and I think we all need to leave our pride at the door sometimes and just let ourselves feel whatever we feel.


On the topic of reflection, it’s something that we are introduced very early on. Now I am at the end of the course, I’ve realised that as boring as you think you sound, it probably good to do it. For the last month, I have had to do it everyday and I find it really difficult, but I force my self to write something each evening. I will say, if you feel embarrassed about what you are writing then… just don’t (???). Realistically, no one except you is going to read it and it’s for your own benefit. If you are like me, and struggle to get thoughts onto paper in a way that makes sense, then find a way to conquer that and let me know your method!


However, as I reflect on the last 11 months, I will make one last list on things I think are beneficial to the next intake.


  • Go out and collect dots – It feels impossible to do this, but don’t work on the weekends. You have so much time, especially in the first term, to see friends and go to galleries/museums. I wish I had made the most of the time and not worried about working.
  • Opportunity is now here – Talk to alumni, go to events, and meet people. Make a list of agencies you want to work for before the start to the course. Find work you like and then find the people who worked on it. A lot of the course is built on the relationships you make with people in SCA and outside of it.
  • Obsess about things – Passionate people are the best people. They are fun to be around and its celebrated here. You are at SCA to learn to made adverts but what you do outside of SCA is just as important. You also never know how useful you’re knowledge will be for others at the school, so it also builds that skill of collaboration. On the flip side, don’t be a dick and make fun of people for what they like.
  • Dedicate your time to Adobe – If you find yourself bored during the summer, get Adobe creative cloud and learn it. Make it your best friend. You will begin to hate it but we all depend on it here. You will not have specific software lessons at SCA and the industry values people who can use it. I came to the course already knowing it so I was okay, but a lot of people came in knowing nothing and its been a tough journey for them having to learn it. Software is boring and annoying to learn but it’s too much of a risk not knowing it.
  • Be open to teamwork – As an intake, you are a support system for each other. We are competing for the same jobs and placements, but we also want everyone to do well and be better. Sharing skills, agency contacts and general knowledge is really important in building relationships at SCA. You will also have the responsibility to keep Notes of the Year up to date and organise group SCABs. Any successes are celebrated together, but every failure is also experience together. This year, we have experience both highs and lows and we have stuck by each other when things have gone wrong. It is also about taking one for the team and doing it even if others aren’t. Keep Notes of the Year updated! Please!
  • You will learn to listen – Sounds ridiculous, I know! Listening is a massive part of the creative process and being a great partner. If you aren’t listening to people you will not only miss opportunities, but you will make yourself harder to work with. Really listen to people, even when they aren’t specifically saying what they need. You can’t be expected to read minds, but as you get to know people, you will know how important it is to listen to them before you move forward with ideas.
  • Earlier the better – Get on things early. You won’t ever feel ready but go to crits and build relationships up early with alumni. Get in early and get out a campaign before 9.30am. I get in between 8-8.30am because I work better in the morning. These things all come under opportunities that are yours for the taking. If you are in early, you get your name on the mentor board early.




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