By Megan Egan
Admittedly, I haven’t really made full use of mentors so far this year – I always shied away from them because I felt embarrassed by my work or just didn’t want to get shot down close to a deadline. What a fool I’ve been! In the last week, I’ve been embracing mentors, both internal and visiting, and have seen just what a valuable use of time it is to get feedback from them, even if it is killing one of your ideas.
The thing is, you can’t be scared of people not liking your work, it’s what makes you push on to create bigger and better work. There’s a fine balance though, me and my partner Sara learnt the hard way, that just because someone doesn’t like your idea, if you believe in it you should still defend it. We fell into the trap of seeing several mentors the night before a campaign deadline, and took each of their opinions as gospel, which resulted in us losing our initial idea and veering on to a far weaker campaign overall. I think it’s going to take a bit of practice to get to a point where we can decide when to change our work based on feedback and when to stick to our guns.
It’s not always wrestling with ideas and mentors though, we’ve had some incredibly useful insights and opinions from some of the visiting mentors especially. Yesterday, for example, we spoke to Nathalie Gordon from ABOVE+BEYOND, who really helped us pick out the holes in our campaign for National Trust and House of Fraser, as well as stretch the idea further than we had managed to do on our own. I found Nathalie’s insights on the way consumers think and interact with products and services, as well as her advice on content for our portfolios incredibly useful. Thanks, Nathalie!
I can’t leave out the internal mentors though – I get dug out of a hole weekly by the likes of Pete, Mike and Rob, and get help Adobe and styling tips off Ian (again, something I have only just begun utilising). I can’t believe how lucky we are to have such amazingly supportive and talented people at our fingertips, who just want us to be the best that we can be.
I didn’t really know what I was letting myself in for when I joined SCA – I kind of stumbled on this place by chance. I had no idea just how many incredibly talented people not only study here, but also visit on a day-to-day basis. It’s only been one term, and I’ve already met absolute legends such as Sir John Hegarty, Tony Brignall, Graham Fink and Alex Taylor.
From now on, I am making a promise to myself to utilise every opportunity that comes through that door, which includes talking to mentors, always having a portfolio and hand, and maybe even hustling for some work from agencies.