Tips for getting a place at SCA
So you’ve decided you want to be creative. You’re dying to get out of your job , free yourself from the shackles of shift work, but now what? Have you worked out which industry you’d like to go into? Do you know what type of creative you want to be? What kind of work do you want to create?
If advertising is what you land on, then the next steps are simple. Apply to the School of Communication Arts. Obviously.
Here I’ll try to outline what helped me get a scholarship to the school, and some general tips on the process.
During the process of applying, it’s a good idea to think about what it is you’d like to make during the course, and more importantly try to zero in on what exactly you want to take from the course. Is it a case of getting into a specific agency? Maybe you have a medium you’ve always wanted to work with? Are there creative heroes of yours you’d want to work with, or learn from?
Then think about how you want to hit those goals. Is it something that you can start doing now before you even apply? Writing poems? Doing sketches? Making memes? Researching the greats? Whatever it is that’s your outlet, make it your main means of escapism. Bask in all things that make your creative heart sing, and see what comes out of it.
My other main piece of advice to focus on for anyone thinking of applying is just to be yourself. There’s no one else on earth that can do what you do quite like you, so do it. Show it on selection day , and carry it with you through the course. You should be doing you at every stage of the journey. In my opinion that’s what’s allowed me to get into the school, and to produce some decent work. Because its output that’s tied so closely to my life and my personal experiences, it couldn’t possibly be imitated. If your presentation could be given by anyone else then it’s not saying enough about you.
Pre selection day
When applying you will need to have one short chat with Marc (our supreme leader) so he can assess if you’re decent enough industry fodder. Mine took around 15 minutes, was super direct , informal and felt like a way for him to get a sense of who you are as a person. If you know yourself, your goals and what you hope to gain from the course, flying through this shouldn’t be too much of an issue. If you need a scholarship to attend the school, make this known as early as possible, so Marc can start working out if he’ll be able to give you one of the allotted slots. Until the school is able to get more sponsorship, paid for places are relatively limited, so don’t fail to mention you’ll be needing financial support. Closed mouths don’t get fed.
Following this meeting you’ll get invited (or not ☹️) to a selection day to pitch yourself to a few more people, and then get grilled in bit more detail about the makeup of your personality. Eeek.
Although it can be a nerve wracking experience, see it as your gateway to a better future for yourself. That’s how I saw it. I knew if I was able to get onto the course, and get a scholarship, then everything from that point onward in my life would be different. Use this to motivate you. My other main pointer for selection day, don’t be intimidated. It’s very easy to feel lost at sea when you’re surrounded by immense talent. During some of the presentations on my selection day, I was sure I’d lost it, but I got in! The fact that I simply read a poem into my phone was no less appealing to the mentors than someone who had created a whole video with special effects and all the other bells and whistles. Even if your presentation is ‘simple’ don’t worry, this could be a huge asset. Just stay true to you, add in a bit of creativity, and you should be fine.
The day will also involve a bit of Improv with comedy mentor Mr Cee. This is the best bit of the day. You get to be silly, cut loose and act ridiculous. Improv may appeal more to the extroverts than introverts out there but both get a chance to shine with the way it’s organised, just remember to try and have fun with it. It’s not heart surgery.
The part of selection day I was most nervous about was the mini interviews with mentors from the school. The best bit of advice I can give for this is to be honest, build rapport as best you can, and try not to crack under the pressure (easier said than done).
After selection day
You’ll get told during the day how long Marc expects it to take to get your feedback from all the mentors collates and given back to you, for me it was just a few days. Once this has been done Marc will invite you onto another call to share that feedback with you, and let you know a decision. If you get in amazing, but even if you don’t, it’s not the end of the road. Marc values resilience and people that continue to push for their goals, if you’re knocked back, pick yourself up and hit apply again. If you want the course, the course wants you on it. Just keep pushing.
All in though , it’s the best and most fucked up interview you’ll have in your life, and I recon you’ll love it.
Apply now you beautiful weirdo.