Tips to Survive the Simulation

The SCA is like a simulation room of the ad world. It recreates a situation of collaborating with a wide range of creatives…and being snowed under by briefs. Here’s a few lessons I’ve learnt so far:

  1. Let go of being a perfectionist
    The point of the simulation room is to help your find your creative style by failing over and over again until you finally succeed. As a perfectionist I initially beat myself up for not winning every brief, but actually learning from your mistakes will only help you develop.
  2. Enjoy yourself
    It’s a lot easier to say than it is to do (especially when you are stressed by the workload) – but it’s the best advice I have been given so far. When I have taken the brief very seriously without any playfulness, the campaigns have been dry. I’m trying currently working on switching between gears of strategist, creative, critic, etcetera.
  3. Switch gears
    In the simulation, you can chose your fighter (in the form of Six Hats). I started the course as a natural Green and Red hatted fighter (with creativity and gut instinct). Just those don’t serve me enough at this point in the course, so I am now actively choosing to use the Blue hat (planning) as much as possible. Although switching gears is hard at first, as they all feel so different, it starts to become muscle memory – and it will ultimately take you much further.
  4. Let go of old ideas
    Although keeping a record of (good) unused ideas is important, I have found it just as helpful to chuck all unhelpful notes. When entering a new week with totally new briefs, it’s good to have a clean slate. Having
    a workspace which is solely for working on the course is also important to symbolically demarcate when you are and aren’t at work. Switching off from the simulation is just as important as turning up, if you are to
    sustain enough stamina for the year.
  5. Take a good look at your peers
    Everyone chosen for this simulation is unique and has something to offer. In the simulation, you will only progress if you work together, and learn from each other.
  6. Bite the bullet and learn the tech
    With my comfort zone being curation and art studios, Adobe is not my strong point. Learning new skills can be demoralising at first because of the overwhelming amount to take in. But now I have learnt the basics, I
    am starting to challenge myself with what I can achieve there – trying to make it better each time.
  7. Finally: Respect your boundaries
    The simulation room can be an intense and surreal place! At first you will be thrown in the deep end, and you will slowly start to navigate it at your own pace, carving out your boundaries. These have been crucial for my mental health, even if that means catching up on a masterclass later on in the day instead. If you respect your limits, and of others – the work you make together will only be stronger.


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