AWARD School: Small Expectations, Great Result

AWARD School: Small Expectations, Great Result
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Marijke Spain, one of the AWARD School’s top 10 Grads from the class of 2014, discusses the resilience and persistence required to make it through the relentless rounds of briefs

I was warned about Award school. In hindsight, it was exactly what I expected – hard work. The only surprise was that did better than I expected.

I was warned by many it was very difficult to get in. But I knew this was the right path, so I put that little extra into my application – and to my surprise, “accepted”.

Then I was warned that that was the easy bit, what lies ahead was harder. So I upped my game again, determination at a max. I’ve got this. Just when you think brief four is getting hairy – try brief eight or nine. Not only are they getting harder, but you now have all 10 briefs piled onto your workload at once. I thought I would be engulfed by my creative rut, many a time.

I pushed on.

It was so inspiring, to hear from amazing creatives who had worked all around the world – to be reminded of the value of ‘ideas’ and how they can change things for the better, make a real difference.

Then I’d done it, finally relief. Book submitted. Despite the usual hint of “oh but I could have changed that bit” or “was the other idea better?” left lingering in my mind. However, overall a feeling of great accomplishment and learning, a privilege to have experienced.

I was warned the judging was tough.

Along came graduation night. I was just excited to see others work, the best of the best. Some work I liked, others I didn’t – but as we all know it’s a very subjective industry, that’s expected. Then I saw I had one piece of work up – I felt satisfied at that, proud. Then wait, another, another and another – wow I have more here than I thought I would. Then announced in the Top 10. Speechless, but stoked.

What have I learnt? To have more confidence in my ability – as it turns out, I’ve got real potential here. I’ve always known I thrive under pressure and given the chance, I step up to challenges rather than shy away. Ideas are very powerful, and I love the thought of being in this industry for a long time. I’m so inspired by the possibilities, and eager to make a difference.

A big thanks to my legend tutors: Droga5 art director Tommy Cehak, Droga5 copywriter Gavin Chimes, and The Monkeys copywriter Henry Kember.

Learning more from talented people like you is what I look forward to most.

Now I am warned that Award is nothing compared to the real world. However this doesn’t daunt me. I’m ready. I’m excited. I’m inspired. I’ve got a few years agency experience under my belt, plenty to offer and more to learn – bring it on!

Keen to see more of the top 10? Check out their winning work in our photo gallery: ‘AWARD School Grads: Creatives Of Tomorrow Up Close Today’.

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