Preparing to prepare – By @PhilipLeBrun

By Phil Le Brun



Preparing to prepare

With less than 2 months until the start of term, I am sat at a desk in front of a computer for the first time in 6 months.

It feels uncomfortably familiar and uncannily recent. Like nothing has changed. Like I haven’t been away at all. Like the places, people and experiences I’ve had travelling are a distant memory, or a half forgotten dream… Shit.

*Takes 20 minutes to review photos and to reaffirm it was ‘worth it’ and I had the time of my life. Yes. Yes I did. I am very lucky.

And I am lucky. I’ve come back to London enrolled in the best advertising school in the world alongside intimidatingly impressive students, legendary mentors and industry juggernauts ready to to blow our minds.

I’m finally back on home turf with a depleted balance, more Facebook friends I’ll probably never speak to again and a genuine concern that I’ve forgotten how to use my brain for anything other than booking night-buses and attempting to translate Spanish.

My detachment from the ‘real world’ has been recklessly carefree and easy, but as September looms, it would seem now is a good a time as any to get down to some *business (*panicking).

The assignments and reading list brought the haze of travel nostalgia and ‘ah good to be back in London’ whimsy into sharp focus and the internal reflex I developed in my formative years for last minute exam prep and later honed in my professional life kicked in.

Fight or flight… or write.


Write a list. Lists. Then write a list of the lists.

Ok enough lists. It was time to get Winston Wolfe on the assignments. Time to actually plan the approach and visualise their completion.

First, the scholarship entry. I came, I saw, I entered… The conquering heroes of these scholarships however, were of course the killer submissions from Ben, Rita, Rachel & Joe. They got out there and made things different. Congrats all round.

The next item on the list of lists was the reading list. Fortunately I had some of these books already as I had pretended to read them when I first interviewed for advertising agencies. But there was no pretending this time. The rest have been ordered. My dearest Kindle, I’m afraid we will be seeing other people for the next few weeks.

The software was next. A good workman never blames his tools. But with limited Adobe Creative suite expertise I was the tool and I was blaming myself. Now installed, locked and loaded I have set my sites on rinsing through more YouTube tutorials than an angry American teenager trying to teach himself ‘self-defence’.  By September just call me ‘Adobe Wan Kenobi’ / ‘student with a basic understanding of the software kindly shared by Ian’. Either way is fine.

Finally the ‘This is Me’ task. A self-indulgent travel video montage will have to wait for another time. No one wants to see that. But I actually do have some passions I’d like to share, that people may want to see. No, not that. Either way, it’s time to get cracking.

And there it is. Lists made, the approach mapped out and the pieces now in motion, sort of.

Of course it’s great to be prepared, but mostly I hope to come to SCA relaxed, rebooted and falling back in love with something I had set aside for a while. I approach this reunion hopefully a fraction wiser, hungrier and better prepared for the unfamiliar. Only time will tell.

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