My Final SCAB, by @joelpbuckley

Joel Buckley

By Joel Buckley


My Final SCAB


This is my final SCAB, so this is my story of my time at the SCA from start to finish….


I found out about the school while contemplating my future.


At the time I was 35, married, with three children and another one on the way.


We were living in New Zealand where we’d emigrated to only a year earlier, and everything was going wrong.


I owned a business, but it was going down the pan, and I was facing losing it all.


We had just enough cash left to return to the UK with all our stuff and start again.


But I didn’t have enough money to start another business, and I didn’t really want to either.


I thought about what I really wanted to do, what I thought I could love doing, and do well.


I looked at a few MA courses in Advertising, and then came across this crazy little website for the SCA, and I knew this was where I wanted to be.


I left NZ a few months later with my tail between my legs; gutted, disappointed our dream hadn’t worked out, sad for the kids taking them out of schools they loved into an unknown future.


But I had a belief that the right thing was happening.


We had baby number 4 and moved to Costa Del Dartford and I did any work I could get.


I got my interview at school and I went all out, getting Teddy to sit in a box for me while I danced around in a 7ft mascot outfit. My comfort zone was shattered irreparably on that autumn afternoon.


I got away with it though, and Marc let me in.


I knew all this was in vane if I didn’t get a scholarship, so I went all out on that too.


Thanks to amazing partners of the school I was able to get the scholarship, and that was it, the challenge was set.


Nothing else mattered until I’d got through the year with as much from it as possible.


I said goodbye to the kids in September (figuratively), and went to work to rinse the SCA dry.


I got the chance to work with some great partners.


Build stuff.










Remember what I love to do, but had gone so far from.


Make great mates.


Share tough times.


And learn from some truly inspirational people.


And I’ve loved every minute of it.


And that is all very nice, but I needed to get results out of my time at school.


I’m not at a stage in life where it’s about having lots of fun anymore.


Only one thing mattered, and that was getting a job at the end.


Two weeks ago I said an emotional goodbye to the SCA.


I never got to finish my year.


Four weeks ago I got an offer of employment as a full time creative starting in august, so I’ve been freelancing to build some agency experience quickly.


I haven’t had a job since I was 19, and I’m genuinely terrified.


I’m now 37 and soon to be a creative at Colenso BBDO, Auckland.


Going right back in the country it all started.


This would have never been possible without school, and without the effort that is put in by the team there to make it what it is. To ensure we have opportunities to do what we want to do, to help us define our goals and then go get them.


Being around people that can make shit happen is the only way to make shit happen.


If you are lucky enough to be starting school in September I have some advice. Trust Marc, he knows exactly what he’s doing. Milk it, and hold on tight, it’s gonna be nuts.


Over and out.

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