What did you learn in the first term? – By KRAK intake

By KRAK intake 2019/20


What did you learn in the first term?


What did you learn in the first term? Unlock the wisdom that you learned in the categories of 


  • Strategy (e.g. brief, insight, SMP’s)
  • Craft (e.g. grid, semiotics, editing, sound, straplines)
  • Self (e.g. playful child, time management, listening, confidence)



JAY: I learned in my first term at SCA that you can’t polish a turd. Your thinking has to be spot on and backed up by research insight and many other things as seen Uri’s powerpoint that I have now forgotten. I sometimes find it hard to see myself progressing. Then I look back on work I made in first term and see the evolution in craft. I’ve also learnt that to truly make improvement in myself, I have to commit physically, be it by buying a yearly planner to stay organised.  


Alfie: Listening is the most important part of the creative process. 


Chris Medford: The first term of sca has taught me, everything I thought I knew about advertising is wrong and how much more difficult it is to control all the insane initial thoughts that we have as creative individuals. SCA has given me the foundations on how to make great work, and the tools to keep consistency in idea generation. Teaching us how to reconstruct briefs from clients and challenging them, as well as the importance of good strategy, and how even the best of agencies fail at this – something that will stay with me long after after the course is over.

(He who knows not, and knows that he knows not,should be at the SCA….)


Scarlet: The first term of SCA. I’ve never learnt so much in such a short period of time. When I was at uni I didn’t really know strategy existed. I would kind of pluck an idea out of nowhere and hope it was good. So I have to thank Uri for teaching me not only what a strategy is but also to keep pushing until I have a good one. The course has taught me a lot about myself, especially the first term, I feel like I had some real highs and lows. I think one of the most valuable techniques I’ve learnt is six hatting. I have also had the pleasure of meeting so many amazing people and learning from them has been invaluable.


Marley: The first term at SCA was the most educational gut-punch I think I’ve had in my life. It taught me that the creative work that has really spoken to me has done so because of great strategy. It hasn’t been plucked out of thin air but in fact have come from graft which I need to do if I want to follow suit. Exploring copywriting has been fascinating. It’s been brilliantly frustrating, mainly because I want to be great at it so badly. There is so much I could say about craft as a whole but, in a nutshell, I’ve learned that it’s all about being intricate and intentional in everything you do. For myself, gosh. I think I learned a lot about what I need to learn. I learned the importance of time management, of discovering my creative process, of self-belief. I think this course has made me raw to everything I love and hate about myself. It’s a whole-ass existential crisis. Not a bad thing though, it’s just the heat of the ashes before the phoenix.


Munraj: The first term of SCA is like the slow cranking ascent of a rollercoaster before it drops. With each jolt forward, you feel your ability and way of thinking increase, which feels amazing. You look at the world differently. You start becoming obsessed with the work, other people’s work, coming up with ideas… but with each jolt you also increase that deep, gut-punching feeling of anxiety. When you start, you question whether you’re good enough to be at SCA and by the end of the first term you’ve wholeheartedly decided you’re not. When term 2 starts, you just have to figure out if there’s more incline to come, or if everything’s about to drop. 


Alice: Last term was full of contradictions. I learnt that I can take on more work than I ever thought possible, but it also taught me that I don’t have the physical stamina that I had when I was 21. I learnt that I should sacrifice everything to be the best but I should also have a full, healthy and active life on the side. I learnt that even when you succeed, you’re still not good enough. 


Elisa: Oftentimes I feel like I have learned more in the first months of SCA than at a whole year of uni. When I studied design we had months to do one brief, at SCA we do everything from 90mins to 2 week briefs. I have learned how to find insights and how to make sure that they are useful. In addition I never knew how challenging client briefs can be and how important it is to rewrite them. Ian has taught us so much about type and layout and I am now actively trying to make my work look less like ads. Another thing I love is how much more my work communicates now. SCA has taught me to make sure people get the work, which is crucial. On a personal level I have learned time management and how to switch off, even when there is an endless amount of things to do. I had some good and bad weeks but if I look back I can already see in which areas I am improving and I am so glad I get the opportunity to be at SCA. My confidence in my work grows with each day.  I can feel how that is having a positive effect on the quality of my work was well.



People say this course is difficult but you don’t realise how difficult until you are here. It’s been very challenging in so many different ways. I’ve learnt the importance of research and knowing what you’re selling inside out. If the strategy and insight is good the campaign should write itself. With regards to craft – Alex Taylor, Dave Dye and Paul Belford’s work inspire me the most. I want to create work like these people. The days with Dave Dye at school have been my highlights as I highly value his opinion. He seems to understand where I’m coming from which is really satisfying. On a personal note I’ve learnt how to deal with adversity, how to deal with difficult characters, how to face people who tell you you can’t. My own pitfalls. But also the power of generosity. I’ve become happier in myself thanks to my lovely peers.



Eva: This is my second time doing the first term. And all I keep learning is that I don’t know anything, and there is so much more to learn. This is a challenging course, but the most challenging part doesn’t lay in the workload. It lays in the pressure that the school, my fellow students and mostly myself put on me. To keep on looking in the mirror everyday, and to see your own faults and shortcomings and to keep believing in yourself that you will do better. You are never done developing yourself, and you will never be satisfied completely. This first term, I learned much more craft and strategy than the last one, I am wiser than I was before. Nonetheless, there is so much more to learn. 


Phillip: SCA is like being pregnant. Term 1 is amazing. You get to tell all your cool friends about it and they’re all so happy for you. You do all the fun stuff. Learning about the baby, seeing it for the first time in an ultrasound. Your ultrasound doctor is Rob. He’s great with the camera and even lets you move it around a bit. Sure, there are some tough moments. A little morning sickness is akin to the first time an idea you love is shot down, but overall it’s good. An israeli doctor comes in to tell you how it will all pan out. You’re excited, he’s brilliant and you feel like as long as you stick to the triangle your baby will beat Pepsi in the Coke wars. The signs of strain haven’t started showing. At the end you might notice some slight rotundness, but it’s welcomed. You’re even looking around at baby clothes, the top agencies, and what crib to buy! Term 2 is looming, you know how hard it will be, but you feel like term 1 has prepared you for it. So excited to take this baby into term 2.        


Katie: Make mistakes. If you come from a school background where that’s drilled out of you, you’ll need to feel comfortable about it here. I struggle with this massively as I want everything to be right and perfect straight away. But it’s so important to try and fail, make mistakes and continue to make them, and if you keep making them you’ll work your way up to creating things you can be really proud of. Mistakes are opportunities. Mistakes are how you grow. It’s so hard but don’t worry about whether or not you think it’s crap – put it out there and seek criticism as much as possible. If you try and get over the hurdle of perfection and wanting to get it right the very first time, you’ll be way ahead of the game.


Lawrence: The first term at SCA taught me not just to accept criticism but to seek it in order to grow. It taught me how to sell and the importance of understanding and connecting with your audience (SMP’s and all that.) It taught me that great work has an opinion and not to shy away from that. I have learnt how to juggle life and that really if you manage your time well you can achieve so much in a day nevermind a week.


Ivan: First term was an emotional rollercoaster. What I learned was that you have to let go of control and trust your partner. Another thing was that you should trust your gut and never talk to mentors on a Friday before a deadline. I also learned it’s all about the idea, if the idea is not good, good craft can’t really save it. 


Rachael: The lessons that have passed the sticky test and that managed to sneak past my ADD and into my brain are:

-strategy: RELEVANCE, DIFFERENCE, INTEGRITY triangle provided by Uri. Lean more towards the relevance while keeping your integrity and knowing your point of difference 

-Craft: write how people talk – Vikki Ross, loml // branding is every little thing a brand does – Marc 

-self: I think I have hyperglycemia, so eat snacks before you start crying // hit on a hard seat and not a sofa if you want to stay awake in a masterclass


Gigi: Strategy: Specificity is everything. Either go for a unique strategy with easy execution or go for a common strategy with a unique execution. 


        Craft: If you can’t use the computer (like myself). Make it. Take a pic, make a film. Also use templates.


        Self: Sow the seeds now and reap the rewards later. Bleed for this. Do everything with a pair of balls even if it all goes tits up. 


Alex:  What did I learn at school last term? 
That creatives can only understand complex things when they’re distilled down into triangles of course (thanks Uri). 
So here are the 3 points to my Isosceles of Inspiration, my Equilateral of Enlightenment, my Scalene of-Not-Fail-Eeng (ok I’ll stop).

  1. There comes a point in every brief where you have to go balls-to-the-wall and just back yourself. Knowing when this is will get easier.
  2. Allow for moments of serendipity at any part of the process from strategy to delivery.
  3. Ideas need light for them to grow – feed them up to a point they can make sense to someone else, and get them out there PRONTO. They’ll thank you for it one day.


Tommy: Things I know that I don’t necessarily do yet:


  • Doing exercise will make me feel happier
  • Writing SMPs will make all my other work easier
  • Writing SMPs will make all my other work better
  • Planning my week and month will make my work easier
  • Talking to mentors will make my work better
  • Talking to too many mentors will confuse me
  • Listening is more important than talking
  • 6 hatting will help
  • I should kill this idea
  • I should thanks visiting mentors
  • I should learn about the industry
  • I should learn about the industry’s history
  • I should work out where I want to work
  • I should be nicer to people
  • I should do meal prep
  • I should read more books
  • I should read different newspapers
  • Going to more exhibitions will make my work more interesting
  • Practising writing will make my copy better
  • Understanding technology will help me win a Lion
  • Talking to my friends will make me happier
  • Chocolate isn’t going to make this work any better
  • A pun isn’t a campaign
  • I’m not very good at this yet
  • I’m not going to be very good at this for a while
  • I shouldn’t look at my phone before I go to bed
  • I shouldn’t look at my phone first thing in the morning
  • Social media brings me nothing
  • Re-write and then do it 100 times
  • Gratitude makes me sleep better
  • Scary things are good things
  • Going silent helps me but no one else
  • Taking notes is useful
  • Reading over notes is useful 
  • Hard work beats talent


Aaron: You need to bring yourself to the work. This a simple concept but I’ve been trying to please people. Making my work tailored to what I thought everyone would want. This isn’t and should not be the case. Create what you want, make yourself laugh or cry and maybe you’ll make someone else do to. The medium is always the message.


Charlie: My first term at SCA was a journey. I discovered what it takes if you want to be the best. How it’s not good enough to be good, you have to be dedicated. I found out how much I love advertising one day and then resent it the next. I learnt how confusing it can be to take advice from everyone, when really you can only act on a few. In the same way, to try and talk to everyone by being specific with your audience. I became more open, choosing to share rather than conceal. I saw that change promotes creativity but structure is essential for progress and finally that in a bathroom with stalls from A-D, B is the best one to use. 


DJ: Patience. 


Elle: Advertising is a lot harder than it looks, trust. 


Sam: My first term at SCA has been a COMPLETE doddle. I mean, come on, an absolute breeze of a year’s quarter, am I right people?! I’ve understood (and memorised) each of Uri’s thousand triangles, I’ve written 1.8 million single minded propositions and thus far have yet to feel a single pang of stress or fear. I sleep like a baby. This is mostly thanks to the tranquility of the studio and my ability to switch seamlessly between modes of work and play. It is with a frictionless ease that I float between these joyous states. What I’ve found so wonderful about advertising is that it in no way seeps into other parts of your life. They don’t follow you home or pop up on your phone. They don’t stare up at you from the tops of buses or down at you from giant billboards. I have no complaints whatsoever… except perhaps for the singing penis Mike showed us. That was pretty scarring. And, amongst other things, I’m pretty sure it’s impacted my sense of sarcasm.


Carly: This school is like no other. To put it quite simply, in our first term I learned how to work hard. I was always one of those people that was able to coast through school, and not really have to put too much time or energy into studying. But I knew from the moment I received our summer assignments that coasting wouldn’t work for me anymore. I learned through observation, seeing that the most successful people in our course, and the industry, are those who go above and beyond what they are asked to do.


Chloë: Term 1 taught me that the better I take care of myself, the better I can put into effect all of the cool things SCA has taught me so far.


Oliver: This course is hard. It makes you doubt yourself on a daily basis. On an hourly basis sometimes. You can’t mess around. You have to put your head down, work as hard as possible and surrender to the system. 


SMPs are crucial to building a proper campaign. At first you might think they’re a bit superfluous- they are not. 


Most importantly, make work that feels true to who you are and apply proper strategy and craft. 


Lastly, your work will be absolute shit until it’s a little less shit.


Dean: This is my fourth term. All I want is someone to believe in me. That is it. I simply want to come in everyday work hard and make my partner shit themselves with laughter. What I have learnt is that if you can’t communicate it to a ten year old you don’t really understand it .I’ve also learnt that our craft is an advert of our idea. Finally, we are the music makers, and we are the dreamers of the dream. We keep Christmas and Hanukkah alive for the masses. We see things clearly, in their true form. We look under the hood of society. We stay curious while playing everyday. It’s so important to stay mindful along the way as our work it ultimately affected by the state of our mind. Everyone who is currently in this bonkers church has a beautiful mind. 


David: This first term at SCA was a complete discovery. I am discovering the advertising world and a new way of thinking, a new way of seeing the world, the creative one. I am slowly learning the process, and what it takes to get not just ideas but the right ones. That you can’t cheat and skip steps. That morning and walk in the real world are way more useful than sitting on your chair fixing your screen. I’m learning and that’s what I’m here for.


Rolly: The first term started like a good honeymoon, after half-term, things started to get tough. These  are the things I learnt through the journey:

  1. Get rid of everything I can to make sure I get the message across, I am competing against all channels including a ‘hi’ from a mom. 
  2. I need to 6 hat as soon I find me and partner debating with different hats on. 
  3. Being a perfectionist = not being able to see the bigger picture. The most important thing is to have a good idea, don’t be too bugged up in crafting if you still need to sort out a presentation. 
  4. Dig deep into finding insights. Make sure my work speaks to the core of the target audience. 


Sean: What I have learned is that this sure beats data protection,  My strategy is to question everything – even the brief. To get an insight into the one thing that the consumer wants. To craft it in such a way so that everything – strapline, layout, medium, semiotics – all answer the question they’ve only just asked themselves. And to do all this early enough so that I can remain a playful child.



  1. A good strategy is a simple one. It stems from an idea that has been explored from varying perspectives and been boiled down to an axiom of thought.


  1. Good design is intuitive. It’s about a harmony of elements; making sure that every full stop has purpose and everything that could be taken away, has been. Furthermore, good copywriting in the age of instant-everything means getting right down to the point, but still making it an enjoyable — if somewhat brief, journey. 


  1. No man is an island, luckily, I am not a man. That is to say, my tendencies toward solitude stem from a genuine understanding of self, but at the same time, any strength, if overused can become a critical weakness. I must strive to find a balance between social work and solitary work, even if just to make it easier on myself when I am in an agency.



Self: realised I don’t really know myself? Marc bangs on about character and branding and it makes me want to cry. Honestly not found any answers, what can you do. But I have found an amazing partner, so that’s something, at least until Marc splits us up for giggles. 

Craft: grids and templates. After effects. Kinetic type. How to make a gif. Not to use too many fonts. Iterate iterate iterate. RGB vs CMKY. Write a hundred headlines to get three good ones. Got better at premier pro. Got worse at illustrator. 

Strategy: Write SMPs every day, say it straight then say it great. Always write a brief. How to write a brief. Write persona. Six hat. Sticky test. Read the annuals. Make topicals. 


Holly: Craft-  the most important thing I have learnt about craft is by far the most basic, SCAMPS. How to scamp, what they are and how to turn them in to campaigns. Without scamps we wouldn’t have been able to make any of the things we have so to me they are the most important.

Strategy- insight insight insight, weirdly I kind of love strategy maybe it’s the psychologist within me. Finding the human truth or an insight lays the foundation for the whole campaign. Before I started I thought it was all about the campaign, how it looked, what it said, where it was. Wrong. It’s all about the strategy if that’s wrong no amount of shining will work as Uri would say, “you can’t polish a turd.” 

Self- I learnt to trust my gut. When you ignore it it keeps you up. When you listen to it you learn to trust yourself. Also stop comparing myself to others. I am not them, they are not me. Me is more than good enough that’s why I’m here. 


Pierre: Unfortunately, I wasn’t my own self during the presentation. I am in fact facing times of trouble. As a creative person in my life I don’t want to hate but create. I only want to create something new. Therefore, seeing some new ideas is always beautiful to me. Indeed, being around those amazing creative people is always a big honour that can’t turn sour. 

I couldn’t argue with Marc because all the facts were true and I strongly believe that together we can do better. 

I don’t want to be bollock by Marc right now but I’ll accept either way. 




The first term at SCA was quite an impressive experience more than just a few months of simple education… Life in a new country is full of surprises and by losing all the comfortable bearings I used to have in Lyon, I’m putting myself in a new state of mind, curious and aware of what I’m lucky to see gravitating around me. Exhausting. But it will be a shame to don’t be in that state of mind in such a place. London, as well as SCA, seems to be an interesting and vicious playground to discover. If it appears to be a wild and free exploration in my mind, it sounds good to define some of the knowledge I found on my way here so far.  

Strategy (e.g. brief, insight, SMP’s)_

This year I keep on learning strategy with more complex lessons and also to write a proper creative brief.

Craft (e.g. grid, semiotics, editing, sound, straplines)_

The importance of SCAMPs, for everything that you can, it definitely unlocks different ways to see a brief and answer it by developing the creative process in a more instinctive way.


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