Tips for Next Year’s Intake – By @MadStandish

By Maddy Standish


Tips for Next Year’s Intake


In a matter of mere months, we’ll be set loose on the industry like a flock of battery-farmed chickens. Anaemic, unable to walk and missing feathers.
More importantly, we’ll be ready-ish to work. 
The time’s creepin’ up and there’s nought you can do to cure the sickening dread wallowing in your stomach, except work your hardest. 

As always, hindsight is a wonderful thing, so I’m putting together some tips for next year’s intake – or any that follow – that they may take or leave at their pleasure.

1. Start getting in early ASAP. Don’t take 9:30am as the start time. Aim for 8:30 or 9. It will change your life, and this is coming from someone who used to be chronically late for everything. You’ll have to do it to get shit done throughout the year, the sooner it feels regular, the more productive your time will be. Swear.

2. Write your scabs sooner rather than later. Set those reminders before the deadline. You’ll probably forget throughout the day, or something else will pop up. They’re super easy (read this one, for example) and you’ll avoid bollockings from Father Lewis. They’re a real dampener.

3. Never miss a deadline. Things will pile up pretty quickly but you’ll learn time management. Do it! It’s quite grim at first but you’ll need to master it to keep up. Be honest with yourself and what’s possible in timeframes. Don’t let yourself be surprised by deadlines – they very rarely move. 

4. Find your favourite places to work. We’re encouraged to get out and if the studio feels too noisy, messy or distracting, you’ll want to leave. Doesn’t matter if it’s cafes, home, museums, farms, strip clubs, just have a couple go-to places. The wifi will undoubtedly fail during key moments in the year.

5. Print your shit. Figure out the printer, leave a USB somewhere safe, make sure you have credits. Like all machines, when you need it most, is when the problems come. You won’t need it much in the first term but you will rinse it more and more each day that goes by.

6. Slut it up then settle it down. Try new partners. Move out of your friendship group. Get experimental. As soon as something feels alright, commit to it. Give it a couple weeks of full attention and if it works, hurrah! If not, sack it off. 

7. Be a team worker. There’s no I in SCA. Unless you’re a Single. Even then, it’s a collaborative industry. You’ll build a brilliant environment where if you need proofreading, design tips, a specific typeface, opinions, shoulders to cry on, tampons, market research, etc. Whatever you need, there will be someone in your fantastic cohort who can help you. Just remember, it’s a two-way street.

8. Feelings are cool. If you’re like me, or many others in my year, you have feelings. We’re a beautiful bunch of anxious creatures. I struggled in the first term because it’s intense. I imagine you will too. You’ve probably never done anything like this before in your life and it will feel like a rollercoaster. This doesn’t really stop (sorry) but you do get used to it. Understand where things have gone wrong, what to do next time, and that it’s never the end of the world. Talk to Max, Marcia and Amy – they’re great. Talk to Marc (he’s OK). Talk to your cohort. Everyone gets it and we’ve all felt it. 

9. You can collect dots anywhere. Marc will explain collecting dots. It’s basically soaking up the culture like a sponge and tasting the variety of life so that you actually have relevant and interesting stuff to communicate in your work. 
Things that count that I don’t really do (judgement free zone, please): stuffy art galleries, rare indie movies, podcasts.
Things that also count that I do like: reality TV, Radio 6, Natural History Museum, Instagram/Twitter/Reddit.
Everything in moderation and the more you see, smell, taste, hear, the better. 

10. Have fun!!1! We’re blessed to get to chat and laugh as much as we do. Make things with your hands. It looks better and it’s way more exciting than spending all your time on your Mac.

Bonus: Learn how to use Adobe ASAP. Even if you’re not an Art Director, you will help your partner out 10,000,000% more if you can ease the workload. You’ll use Premier for Case Studies, and Photoshop and Illustrator frequently. 

Hope you have fun next year – I’m jealous already. Looking forward to seeing you all at the Summer Party. 
Drinks on you.

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