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A Week at VCCP’s Ad School: Leila Hamid-Green

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Ad School participant Leila Hamid-Green reveals what she learned throughout the week-long course

A Week at VCCP’s Ad School: Leila Hamid-Green

At the end of July, VCCP held their twice-yearly Ad School. They run Ad School in order to give young people the most in-depth look at the ad industry that we can give them in a week. It's a jam-packed week of talks and mentoring, delivered by the best in the industry on the various departments and roles in an agency. This time they asked four young people to document their week and will be publishing these stories over the course of the next few weeks. Here, Ad School participant Leila Hamid-Green reveals what she learned during the week-long course. 

I was interested in advertising before I knew it was advertising!  As long as I can remember I have noticed images, branding and logos.  I like the colours, the characters, the brands, the products, everything. I am Leila and I was picked to be part of this year’s VCCP ‘Ad School’. You could hear me (insert excited noises here) down my street when I heard I had be chosen as an Ad Schooler. Advertising is my world and I was delighted to be invited to be part of this well-known international agency with their respected client list.  I was going to have the opportunity to fully immerse myself in the magical world of advertising, the land where ideas become reality. In September, I start my final year at Falmouth University where I am studying Creative Advertising. Attending the Ad School during the summer break was just what I needed to get a sense of the real working world.  

Monday was here, the first day of ‘Ad School’. I got up bright and early - raring to go and packed my bag. I ticked off my checklist; pens, notepad, laptop and more importantly my enthusiasm which I was finding hard to contain. I wanted to tell everyone I met where I was going…I felt so proud. I didn’t know what the dress code would be.  I was told in an email that it was smart casual - but I wasn’t completely sure what that meant. So, I put on my best black smart trousers and my new slogan t-shirt and was ready for school! 

As I approached VCCP Greencoat House in Victoria, I looked up at the impressive building. I was going to spend a whole week here.  I was nervous but the smiling doorman put me at ease. Seeing my picture displayed along with all the other ‘Ad Schoolers’ at the reception felt really special and was a great welcome. I immediately felt included and part of VCCP. 

There was no time to sit around as we were whisked off immediately to the Blue room for our introductory talk.  Our ‘Ad School’ introductory pack included a pack of chocolate Digestives. Another welcome surprise. At this point we were split into 3 teams where our allocated mentors gave us a tour of the incredible VCCP building. It was a joy to be working in such a people friendly environment and alongside a group of new people with the same interests to myself. We were then briefed about our project for the week.

Tuesday, the District Line was delayed, so I had to re-plan my route and got stuck at South Kensington Tube Station. I spoke to a nice business man on the platform about his hot, hectic morning. He’d missed his morning coffee pick up and he was more annoyed about this than missing his morning meeting with Pamela. I was still enjoying myself and although I was slightly late, my team understood that it couldn’t be helped. 

The day started with inspiring talks on ‘Life as a Creative’, ‘Creative Production’, ‘Account Management’ and ‘Social Media’. Copywriter, Pete Bastiman’s ‘Life as a Creative’ talk, really grabbed me. My takeaway from this was “Be a sponge” and that we should soak everything up. I certainly was doing that. The ‘Social Media’ talk fed into my passion of Content Creation and Experiential Event based advertising and I soaked everything up that the presenter shared with us. ‘Account Management’ was explained clearly as a pivotal area of the industry. The presenters were all so knowledgeable and passionate about their particular fields that I was swept away with each and every one of them.  Each talk reassured me about my choice of Advertising as a career. 

Wednesday, we continued work on our brief, playing with ideas and continuing the creative process. This was challenging, productive and our supportive mentors kept us on task. Just like in the real world I had to find a way to negotiate with people, get my ideas heard and listen to those of others. I couldn’t believe I only had 2 days left of ‘Ad School’. I was getting used to this stimulating environment and being challenged every day. I didn’t want it to end.

Thursday started at 9:00am and finished at 11pm. This was a hectic, exciting and interesting day. We received an inspiring talk on ‘Getting Hired 101’. This talk, full of top employment tips, was so inspiringly and entertainingly delivered by the presenters that it made me look forward to leaving and getting my first job. I can’t wait.

I’ve never worked so hard in my life, the building emptied but my team knew we had to work hard and complete the task for the pitch day on Friday afternoon. We worked on the presentation deck, the last parts of our Creative work and the final elements of our Strategy.  I think we were the last people to leave the building.

Friday, PITCH DAY!

High stress and culmination of all our hard work. What a great experience and a chance to see how the other teams tackled the brief. After the winning team was announced, the prizes were given out, the celebrations began; pizza, beers and fun on the sunny terrace overlooking the buzzing city.  One day I hope to be part of this.  We then went the nearest pub to share our thoughts about ‘Ad School’.  It was a good way to close. I thoroughly enjoyed the experience and recommend the VCCP ‘Ad School’ to all young people interested in a career in Advertising. Thank you to VCCP and everyone involved in the running of the VCCP ‘Ad School’. It was inspiring, thank you for the opportunity. I’ll never forget it.

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VCCP, Thu, 23 Aug 2018 10:17:22 GMT