A Week at VCCP’s Ad School: Luke Tomkins
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 Luke Tomkins reveals what he learned during the week-long course.
As a creative writing graduate from the University of Greenwich who has yet to truly have a taste of a creative working position, I was genuinely excited to see the inner workings of a well respected advertising agency and to get to know what makes it work.
The first day was awash with new information; after meeting my cohorts who were all from varied backgrounds, we were divided into groups and met with our mentors. We were then given the task of, over the course of the week, devising an advertising campaign for a major client. I was very impressed with VCCP’s ethos in honesty, hard-work and cohesion. The talks on planning and the workings of the company were very interesting and insightful. Although I felt somewhat bombarded with knowledge initially, given some time to process it, I began to feel a lot more comfortable with the brief we were issued and my team and I started to knock ideas around for our campaign pitch. It was truly exciting to be at the start of a new creative endeavour!
The second day began with the team and I continuing to extrapolate our ideas, to try and come up with a cogent design and story for our campaign. We had exciting talks from a senior creative, creative producer, account managers and members of the media team describing the various attributes of their departments and what is to be expected from them in their roles. I personally found the talk from associate creative director, Pete Bastiman, particularly inspired, as a keen creative mind myself. By close of play, my team and I finally came to a solid idea and began to construct executions and a strategy for implementation.
Wednesday brought more inspiring talks and further discussion and development of my team’s ideas. With a rousing talk from the managing director of VCCPME and a tour of VCCP Digital, the inspiration was beginning to peak. We had a lot more time in the afternoon to work our idea, and with some assistance from our assigned creatives and our mentors, we were feeling confident in our strategy and ideas.
By Thursday, the week had felt like it had just disappeared. We were greeted in the morning with an extremely useful talk with business director Rose and recruitment manager Sheriff focussed around the hiring process. It was invaluable information about CV tailoring, interview preparation and execution to give us a huge advantage for application. We then had the rest of the day to really hammer out our plan and get the presentation prepared for the pitch on Friday. Our idea was taking its final form!
The big day was upon us: pitch day. We spent the morning with our mentors, putting the absolute final touches on our presentations and running through our individual parts. We were also offered to speak to anyone who had been a part of the Ad School throughout the week for any burning question we may have. It was surprising how quickly the time melted away. Before we knew it, we were all ushered up to the top floor of the building into a conference room to begin our presentations. The teams all went up and, of course, we were last. All the presentations were great, and ours went really well, too. As it turned out, our team won the day and were congratulated with Prosecco, beer and pizza. All in all, Ad School was an extremely enlightening experience which has allowed me to experience an industry I knew nothing about previously, engage in a fascinating task with a group of new people, and give myself a new path to walk down in my career. I truly appreciate the opportunity VCCP have afforded me and would highly recommend the Ad School to anyone who is interested in this industry or creative working endeavours in general.