Why you shouldn’t go to SCA – By @AliciaCliffe

Alicia Cliffe

By Alicia Cliffe


Why you shouldn’t go to SCA


From a current student to anyone out there looking at SCA.


The last few weeks at school have been really tough. With only 9 weeks left to go, people are stressing and there is still a scary amount of work to be done.


It has given me a lot to deal with but also a lot of time to reflect. I’ve taken time to really think about my time at the school and what I’ve learnt. As well as, what do I do now, where do I go from here and what do I want for myself in the future.


There hasn’t been a point before this week when I’ve questioned whether SCA was the right choice for me.


But, I think it’s been important.


Thursday was also one of the last interview days of the year – this means, most of the next intake have already got their place (congratulations!). It felt like a good time to share some thoughts with you before you accept your place here (and I hope it doesn’t change your mind).


  1. 99% of the time you’ll fail.   


Most of the time you’ll take one step forward and ten steps back. You’ll think you’ve got somewhere when you haven’t. Banging your head against a wall happens at least five times a day and you have to get used to it. Get used to failing and failing hard. Winning means nothing because you’ll not understand how it happened. To fail means you know what you have to do next. Run with that and fail again.


  1. Even your work at the end will be rubbish.


The mentor team will rip your work to pieces so talk to them all the time. Never settle, there’s always room for improvement. The advertising industry is full of talent already. You’re not going to make an ad at school that’s better than the one they’ve just run for Nike. Be honest with yourself, it took them years and it will take you years too.


  1. Your friends will hate you. Your mum might even hate you.


You’ve got to work hard. Forget free time, that’s a thing of the past. You’ll work all day, all night and at the weekend. You’ll work however long it takes to get to something you’re remotely proud of. This means you’ll bail on plans last minute, you’ll cancel going home and you’ll, at some point, end up picking posters over pints on a Friday night.


  1.  You’ll leave and still not have a clue how to do advertising.


It’s hard.


Well, it’s not, it’s infuriating and you’ll never really know what’s going on.

There’s so many things to get your head around you wont be able to do it in a year. The school gives you the right tools, you have to pick them up and store them. Hopefully you’ll leave understanding how to use some of them, and then it’s down to you to keep learning on the outside. That’s OK though, because most people working in advertising don’t have a clue either. 


  1. If you don’t want it enough, don’t bother.


You have to care about it, be taken away by it and totally want to be in it to give it the energy it needs. If you’re considering advertising as an option, wait and consider it outside of the school. SCA is the place to feed that hunger, not decide what you want for dinner.


I rode the wave of winning a scholarship all the way through the front door and didn’t take my blinkers off until last week. My moment of doubt about SCA lasted only a few minutes but it would be easy to question it daily. I think it’s good to know what your signing up to – not just what you face at the school but in industry as a whole.


Prepare yourself before you get on the roller coaster and you’ll sail through just fine.   

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