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February 15, 2016 - Comments Off on To Uni or Not to Uni? That is the Question

The other week my girlfriend’s younger brother asked her and I for suggestions of which universities outside of London were good for studying graphic design.

There were some obvious options. But actually sitting there and thinking about it for a second, my overriding feeling was to say “don’t go”.

We as a YCC collective, support university education (if you choose to go). And we can see lots of plusses it can certainly bring. Especially if you go to a top university.

But having studied a university degree myself (in advertising and design), I’ve often felt the BA lot get a poorer deal, than say the BSc folk.

For a start, when I paid three grand a year, I felt I still got short changed. Yes facilities were open, but contact time with tutors and lecturers was still at specific times. (After all, they have other lessons and their own work to do.) The library offered me nothing more than what I could find online. The computers were no better than my personal one. And I still had to pay for printing and other materials. I mean, it’s not like I was using a state-of-the-art wind tunnel testing the aerodynamics of 3D printed carbon fibre monocoque structure. I had a pad, pen and Mac.

The three thousand pounds was for the ‘experience’. But not real world experience. The party all night, work all day one. An experience that would involve making friends for a lifetime and incurring a mountain of debt that’s still no smaller nearly 7 years later. It was a fun experience, I’d agree. But one that I’d do all over again for three times the price? I don’t think so.

home-office-569359_1920Why? Well. How many hours did you really sit in a design studio with proper one-on-one tuition from your tutor? How many real world meetings, talks, visits did you do? How opportunities did your university offer you that weren’t already out there?

You can still win a D&AD New Blood Yellow Pencil without being student. You can still get placements without a degree. You can still do agency visits without needing to be in a group of 30.

With a bit of get up and go. Some bright ones can do it themselves.

For £9k these days, you can buy a Mac, rent Adobe CC, sit in a coffee shop in a major city and teach yourself the art of design – with money to spare.

You could get industry feedback on your work and ideas, just by having a crit. You could do work experience or placements without worrying about course work. And you wouldn’t have to write a near useless 12,000 word dissertation that only two or three people may ever read.

I’ve taught myself to code, use InDesign and the rest has been gained through industry experience. So why couldn't a student study it themselves? Think of it a bit like the Open University, but without the piece of paper at the end.

I know it would be asking a lot of an 18 year old to make that call. But what if we (YCC) or others could help them along the way they could find a halfway house between being a student and an apprentice, wouldn't that be amazing?

So what I want to know is, is it doable? Have you done it? Or would you suggest your future self to forget uni and go it yourself? Let me know in the comments.

February 8, 2016 - Comments Off on Creative Equals | The Results

We ended 2015 with a survey, to get to the bottom of a why there is a lack of women at entry/junior roles, when half the advertising graduates are females.

The survey helped us get a broader perspective on what you guys are feeling so we can provide some exciting solutions with Creative Equals. You may have seen some of our results in these Guardian or Huffington Post articles but here are all our findings:


In total, how many years do you feel your advertising career will span?

We’ll kick off with positive stat. We think it’s promising, that 65% of feel your career will span 10+ years.



Which skills training would you benefit most from?

Across the board Leadership training came out on top with 32%, followed by skill 27% with some interesting feedback in the ‘other’ section.

projecting your voice in a room full of men” & “negation”

It’s so ironic that as a communication industry we don’t feel comfortable or equipped to communicate with each other.

Also as the age range went up, the percentage of votes shifted from skills – leadership. With experience, confidence in individual craft increases, however leadership in a team or project doesn’t follow the same suit.



Have you worked with a female CD or ECD?

Here’s a question, which stirred up the most dangerous statistic. 70% of female aged 18-25 have NEVER worked with a female CD or ECD. This lack of female influence is an embarrassing welcome into the industry.


Do you feel you have enough female role models in the industry?

The answer is a resounding no. Over 80% don’t feel there aren’t enough ladies around. And we agree, there aren’t enough.



Which percentage reflects the male - female ratio in your department?

The result show that 3% of you are in an all male creative department, but most of you are part of a male heavy department with 57% saying 75%m-25%f ratio reflects your creative team.


Do you consider advertising an industry you can stay in with a young family?

When we split our results into sexes, 65% of you answered YES, and the other sex, 60% of you answered NO. Nearly as many male's answering this question felt it’s possible to have a young family and work, as women didn’t.

Now I hear enduring the miracle of new life is rather time consuming. However is this a reasons women should drop off the face the industry?



When you were interning or if you currently are, what has made you consider giving it up?

45% of you said wages and consequent living conditions put you off a career in Adland, and we know just how much this can suuuuuuck in the first couple of years.

But just for fun, let’s throw in the fact that on average women get paid 14.2% less then men, and we have the endearing ‘pink’ tax to consider daily. It could be fair to say that women feel the pinch more, and therefore more likely to leave.


We’ve proudly partnered with Creative Equals and are taking your results into and turning them into actions. We’ll soon be opening a mentorship programs and events. So watch this space!




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January 26, 2016 - Comments Off on YCC X Creative Equals | Free IPA Course

OK, so we'll admit we haven't shared the results of the YCC x Creative Equals survey with you just yet... But the insights have been really interesting and we've been busy working behind the scene's to see what opportunities we can offer you young female creatives. Before we get to the in-depth results we have our first great partnership and training to announce...

BEHOLD! With thanks to Creative Equals and Major Players, we bring you one sponsored place on the very prestigious IPA Foundation Certificate course. You guys told us money was an issue preventing you getting through your placements but now we can offer you a FREE spot to get an AMAZING qualification that should speed those placement months right along so you can get into the industry quicker. These courses are usually only open to IPA members but not only have they opened them up for one of you lucky girls, it also usually costs £225(+VAT) which Major Players will kindly cover.

Be quick, the deadline is 6pm TOMORROW! Yes, Wednesday 27th January at 6pm. If you’re chosen you’d have to complete 35 hours of e-learning ready for your exams on 22nd Feb.

All you need to do is send us a link to your portfolio and 100 words in an email to saying why you should get the spot. You just need to be a young female creative, with some existing placement experience.

October 29, 2015 - Comments Off on OFFSET

The OFFSET Festival comes to London this November. It is a festival of creativity meaning it appeals to and features industry creatives from a variety of fields.

I’m a Dublin lady, having moved to London back in March. I actually delayed my move to London for a week in order to attend OFFSET 2015, pretty sad I know but having attended it for the last five years it has always one of my favourite events of the year. Think of it like a music festival just without the bitter cold, camping and portaloo malarkey. OFFSET has always appealed to me on a number of levels. Firstly there are amazing, and I mean world class, creatives giving talks over a three day period and secondly drinking, lots of drinking because, well, advertising. Add a bit of industry gossiping into the mix with past colleagues/friends and a buzz of inspiration that last for months after the festival and you get my drift.

04_Johnny Kelly_Chipotle

Johnny Kelly - Chipotle

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October 28, 2015

Meal Of Fortune | Call For Entries

Fancy a free dinner? Then here’s your meal ticket.

The Meal Of Fortune gives you the chance to go out to dinner with another creative team in the industry. It’s not a date: it’s a friendly dinner with a couple of strangers that just so happen to do the same job as you. A simple spin on the meal of fortune wheel will decide where you’ll be eating.

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September 30, 2015 - Comments Off on Placement Horror Stories – The life of an intern

When all seems dark and gloomy six months into interning, steeped in overdrafts and living on gravy soup you may question is it really worth it?

Being an intern in London is hard, getting by on minimum wage if you’re lucky, and living in near squalor isn’t what anyone imagines when they’re handed that glossy degree. But it is the reality for many graduates in the last few years and it doesn’t show any sign of changing. Read more

September 21, 2015 - Comments Off on John Hegarty: Bold on the Barge

Be it literally or figuratively, I never thought I would be able to say I was in the same boat as Sir John Hegarty

Hailing from Edinburgh, I had been familiar with the Leith Agency and their work for a few years. I’m a fan of theirs. They’re a creative agency based in Edinburgh that believe in “bold ideas that work”, with a client list that includes big brands like Irn Bru and Scotrail. For a Scottish student who wants to get into advertising like myself, it’s encouraging to see an agency so successful outside of London. So when I came across a post on Facebook from the Leith Agency ‘Calling students & grads’, it’s safe to say they had my attention. They were offering up two tickets for students/graduates to attend their ‘Bold on the Barge’ event which featured a presentation from advertising legend Sir John Hegarty of BBH. All you had to do was tell them why you deserved to come in any way you wanted. There were no rules, they simply urged you to be creative.

So you can probably see where this story is going; I applied, and, success! I won a ticket, and so on the 17th of September I boarded the barge with Sir John Hegarty. There were a number of highlights; first of all, I got the chance to chat to Leith’s finest – a lovely bunch – there was the food… that was great too, but unsurprisingly, the very best part was the presentation.


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February 26, 2015 - Comments Off on LADIES – YES WE CAN!

Last Thursday a few of the top ladies in Creative ad-land told us how they rose to the top through a sea of arseholes and a bunch nice guys. The line-up of speakers was stellar, with Caroline Pay, Eloise Smith, Chaka Sobhani and Vicki Maguire all on board to give us ladies a bit of inside knowledge. It has to be said big thanks to SheSays for absolutely smashing it with this event.

Here are ten or so things we learnt from these powerhouses:

"Learn your craft from people who will tear it up"

Being surrounded by people who will never be satisfied with the work makes you strive to constantly be better. To be the best creative you need to have your work ripped to shreds over and over. It teaches you to make better work and how to deal with the constant rejection.

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November 13, 2014 - Comments Off on D&AD New Blood 2014

Competition season is upon us. The awards are out there to be won, all you have to do is come up with a mind blowing creatively spectacular idea that no one else can think of.

Easy, right? D&AD New Blood Awards are up and there's some pretty interesting clients to choose from. Whether you're a cool cat that's addicted to Vice, a more traditional lover of John Lewis or on a mission to save the world with WWF there's a brief for you.

Check them all out here, and get thinking 'cos New Blood demands talent.

Deadline: 31st March 2015

There's also a brief-in session on the 28th November that's free to attend!


November 12, 2014 - Comments Off on YCN AWARDS

Do you LOVE winning? The YCN awards are up and ready for you to get stuck into. Whether you like tea, flowers or dressing normally there is a brief for you.

This year they've given you loads of choice and loads of time. With a far off deadline of March 19th you've got ages to think, plan and create something ruddy awesome.

Check out their site here, and best of luck!

content_award-03Look at that SHINY award who wouldn't want that.