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What's the Point of a Scholarship?

The Influencers 357 Add to collection
SCA's Marc Lewis explains how a simple tweet led him to start a School of Communication Arts scholarship
What's the Point of a Scholarship?

Marc Lewis was a scholarship student at the SCA in the 1990’s. He started his career as a copywriter for Leo Burnett, before founding several successful dotcom businesses. He reopened the school in 2010 and in 2018 received the St. Francis Lifetime Achievement Award at the Chip Shop Awards, for his contribution to advertising. 


Last night, a stranger on Twitter inspired a scholarship competition. He didn’t mean to, but he did. He was complaining about SCA costing money, wanting it to be free, questioning a system in which people had to pay for their education.

Thanks to that stranger, four more people will win a free place here.

I tweeted how I felt SCA probably wasn’t the school for the young man in question, and pointed him towards some excellent free online resources. I hope we dodged a bullet, and avoided bringing in a student who fails to understand our primary duty - to sell stuff, at scale, through mass communication.

We get a lot of students applying to SCA who want to save the world. I do too. We can all agree that the world needs saving, in fact the world needs saving much more than it needs people selling another beer, or another gambling app, or whatever. On their first day of school, I tell my students that Cannes Lions and D&AD Pencils are nice, but some brands have the power to win a Nobel Prize. I believe it to be true, and that one of my students will work on a campaign that wins the Nobel Prize one day.

But these opportunities are rare, and must be earned.  

I am very proud to have played a part in helping Brixton Finishing School get started, and SCA has given it a home. In return, BFS has given SCA some incredibly talented young adults who benefited from scholarships.  BFS has been teaching online this year, and I am told that the current cohort is their best ever.  

We have our own online course at SCA, and I am so grateful that sponsors have given us the budget to provide three Online Portfolio School scholarships to BFS students.  

The idea of selling is so important to me, so fundamental to our purpose as a profession, that I want every student and potential student to understand how central it is to the core of SCA. To do so, I am offering one more scholarship.

This brief is for BFS students, and also for anyone else who wants to win an Online Portfolio School scholarship.  

First, I want you to read Can’t Sell, Won’t Sell by Steve Harrison. Reading the book is compulsory for this brief. If ten BFS students clubbed together and each put £1 in the pot, they could buy the book and take it in turn to read it to each other. It would take an afternoon to read.

Then, I want you to debate the book with your friends, listen to them and to your own thoughts. Be open-minded.  

Finally, I want you to create a video (less than 90 seconds long) that responds to the book, and sells you as a creative coming into the ad industry.  You are welcome to agree or disagree with anything in the book, so long as you find a way of showing me that you can sell yourself and your ideas in the video.  Most importantly, I want to come away believing that you are ready and willing to learn how to sell professionally as a creative working with mass communication.

The deadline has been extended by two weeks because Amazon sold out of the book. 

Upload your video to Youtube and share the link with me over Twitter (SCA2DEAN) before 6pm on Wednesday 16th September. 

We will announce the winners on Twitter before 6pm on Friday 18th September.


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The School of Communication Arts, Fri, 21 Aug 2020 12:44:45 GMT