To SCA or not to SCA? That was the question… – By @aliceburden1

By Alice Burden


To SCA or not to SCA? That was the question…


I am not an impulsive person. I find making decisions incredibly difficult. If I’m given too much choice, I’m paralysed. Take this blog post for example, I’ve written at least six different posts on varying topics before deciding on this one. And I’m still not sure I’ve made the right choice. There is one thing I have decided however, and it is that I want to be an art director.


Sometimes, decisions are made for me. While studying for my graphic design diploma, my tutor organised work experience for myself and another student at adam&eve. I didn’t get to choose where I went, when I went or who I went with, in fact I didn’t really know enough about advertising to understand what was being offered to me. The work experience was insightful; the agency was madly busy, organising an absurd amount of adverts for a new client. I felt quite out of my depth, but I absolutely wasn’t put off. What I learnt from that experience was that I needed more experience.


A few weeks later I exhibited a piece of work at the D&AD New Blood Festival (the design festival sister of the awards). As fate would have it, a power cut occurred during the judging period, which meant my screen based work wasn’t seen. They didn’t tell us. I didn’t know anything about it, until an altruistic stranger contacted me to let me know. It turned out he worked at Mother, and as a consolation invited me in to meet him. 


Between work experience and the D&AD New Blood Festival, I did make one decision. I applied to SCA. The men who’d mentored me at adam&eve had attended and they were very good at what they did. I spoke to Marc, and I loved the sound of the course. Alas! I wasn’t able to make any of the interview days left. He invited me to come in on my own the next week and have a solo interview day. I didn’t have a choice, I couldn’t refuse. I have to admit that I was worried about how I’d get my presentation ready. I had D&AD that week! And then a trip to Dorset over the weekend! I had no free time! I decided to take a day off D&AD and work on my presentation, and I got it all done. PHEW!


The interview went really well and I loved the school, the staff and students but nonetheless, I still couldn’t decide. Even though, deep down I knew it was what I wanted to do, I still felt I needed time to mull it over. Two days later was my meeting with Matt from Mother. We talked about my plans for the future, I said I wanted to be a creative and that I’d applied to SCA. He told me a junior team who worked there had gone to SCA. Later that day they got in touch with me and offered to meet up to help me make a decision. It made me feel very positive about SCA that their former students would go out of their way like that.


That very day was the SCA Summer Party, which was great fun. I got to meet so many of September’s intake, and I felt very at home with them. My mind was almost made up… but I did want to hear what Sophie and James had to say. They told me they had a great time at SCA and that they were loving working in advertising as well. They also offered me to come back later in the year to show them my work. I was sold. 


So here I am, after my convoluted journey, coming to SCA in September and very much looking forward to it! 


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