Taking advice from Adah – By @McfadzeanSusan

By Susan Mcfadzean

Taking advice from Adah

It feels like I start every other SCAB off with a revelation about the valuable and inspiring advice we receive from mentors and masterclasses. But it’s true. We are spoilt at SCA. And, recently, we were lucky enough to meet Adah Parris, an old friend of the school. 

Adah spoke to us about the importance of finding ourselves. She detailed how we can all be guilty of wasting energy trying to be people we are not. Trying to conform or subdue certain aspects of our personality, and of skimming over self-expression. She was explicit that we must strive to understand why we hide parts of ourselves in front of certain people and she offered us techniques with which to start the journey of self-discovery. It’s a necessary thought, but also a scary one.  

But entering the final weeks of our time at SCA, we have been set the task of building our own websites, designing our business cards and selecting key work to advertise ourselves for portfolio day. With this homework comes decisions of personal branding and the mammoth task of really committing to how we see ourselves contributing to Adland. 

As one part of a creative team, the task is made slightly harder to finesse considering there are two personalities to consider. As ever though, eager to get going, Helena and I sat down and decided to start a word map in an attempt to find our North Star. Searching for one word that wraps us up as a duo and nods to the work that we make is a really tricky feat and we only managed to get it down to a long sentence for the time being. But together I’d say we even learned a little bit more about ourselves as a team. We are very similar in loads of ways including our levels of energy and dedication, but of course, we have our own tendencies and tone of voice. Helena’s the funnier one, I’ll definitely give her that. And it would seem skimming over our past work I gravitate towards trying to save the world more often. We quickly realised that committing to ideas of selling ourselves is just as difficult as selling bread of chocolate so, after an hour of thinking and some scamping, we moved on for the rest of the day. Smashing out 7 hours of really solid and rewarding work finished with a plan for tomorrow and a beer in the sunshine felt great. And, cycling home a slightly shorter sentence hit me. I got stuck thinking how great it would be if we could save the world without boring anyone to death. It’s still not one word but it makes me excited about work that could follow. Work with depth and reason but intrinsically fun, full of energy and hopefully added sass. 

Last week was a sticky one and we recognised that we had been slipping into old habits of failing to commit to ideas. But tonight, as I fill out my Life Journal and note down my three gratitudes for the day I realise how even for a slow week we learned a lot. Our time at SCA is coming to a rapid close, but our career is only just starting. Whilst it can seem a daunting task to prepare for portfolio day, I’m lucky to have Helena remind me that we are in our own lane and traveling at our own speed. So with lots of decisions to still to be made, I can say with confidence that I really look forward to trying to decide on a colour palette and battle with the website restrictions to get it looking just like us.  

Thank you, 


(Apparently, I sign off SCAB’s with a Thank you now.)

Related SCABs

Go back

Student Application

  • Fill out the Application Form below to be a part of our next Award-Winning intake.

  • MM slash DD slash YYYY