‘No questions at all’

Looking back on his time on the Creativity Works: Advertising, Seun Areoye drops his four top tips for getting the most out of the programme.

16 August 2019

I sighed a breath of relief as the final whistle was blown on the ‘Creativity Works: Advertising’ programme. It wasn’t easy, but that rewarding feeling after presenting something you’ve put blood and sweat into? There’s nothing like it. Being able to work with people you’ve literally just met to produce something you are proud of? A ‘top 2’ feeling, that really isn’t top 2.

On this journey (you think six weeks is a short time until you realise how much you’ve gone through in such a period), it certainly wasn’t smooth sailing. I’ll be honest: if you want an easy ride that doesn’t push you to your limits, I wouldn’t suggest this programme to you. But if you do decide that this programme is going to be the first step for you on the advertising ladder, then I have four little snippets of advice for you:

1. Don’t take things personally – always try to see the bigger picture.

In a group, there are bound to be disagreements. When a brief is first assigned, there will be lots of ideas, and sometimes you cannot find a middle ground where a piece of everyone’s idea can be incorporated somehow. And sometimes it’s your idea that ends up being pushed out. Now - you could get upset, tell everyone else how rubbish their ideas are and refuse to co-operate… OR you could let it go, make sure that what you present is chiselled to the best of your ability, and leave a good impression on industry professionals (who may be making the call someday as to whether to employ you or not). The latter may not be your instinct n the heat of the moment. But when you sit back and look at the bigger picture, it’s the decision that seems sensible - so be sensible!

2. Take things personally – if you believe in an idea, try your best to get people to see your POV.

Curveball alert: this isn’t me telling you to disregard everything I’ve just said, it’s me saying to take it with a pinch of salt. Sometimes your idea is a winner and you just can feel it in your bones. Perhaps it needs a little refining, but we’ll get to that later. I’m not saying to clap back at someone if they don’t go with this idea but be sure to blow their mind! Not every idea falls into this category, so don’t fight like your life depends on it for every opinion you’ve got. But for those gems that’ll leave anybody starstruck: stick by them, create a story around them and it’ll seem ridiculous if anybody disagrees. Normally, you know you’ve got a brilliant idea when you’re able to answer all the questions thrown at you succinctly and effectively. If you reply with ‘I’m not sure’ to any question, then it might not be in that top tier that you initially thought it was in.

3. You may never see these people again: make it count.

The advertising industry is small. So, so small. No matter who you meet, from a peer on the course to the CEO of the ad agency you aspire to work for, you never know when you might need somebody’s help, or when you might have to work together again in the future. Don’t leave any relationship bitter, as you could go a long way with a positive opinion behind you. Even if you clash heads with somebody over and over, make sure to remind yourself that that’s what happens sometimes. As individuals, we’re bound to see things from different perspectives, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be civil about it. Disagreements are bound to happen, so ensure you always keep it clean and professional. You never know who might be watching, too.

4. You may never see these people again: this is just the first 6 weeks of a star-studded career in advertising for you.

No, this is not déjà vu. People say, ‘always be the nice guy’ and ‘try to work so well with everybody’, and that’s good advice. However, there may be times where you have to change your approach a bit. I’m not just referring to this course, I’m not just to advertising… I’m referring to LIFE. The point I’m trying to get across is, sometimes people will not be compatible to your working style. Chances are that you’ll never meet most of the people on the course again after it’s all finished, if you don’t want to (don’t rule it out)! So, make sure you get the most out of the course, because there is so much information and insight to be gained. Attend everything, always be present, and most importantly, ENJOY IT!

Written by Seun Areoye - read more of his work here and follow him on Instagram and Twitter.

Photography by Ketishia Vaughan and Amer Idris.

Want to experience a Creativity Works course for yourself? We’ve got two programmes open right now: Visual Storytelling and Post-production. Apply now if you’re looking to sharpen your skills through an immersive intro to the photography or post-production industries – limited places available.