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Survival tips

Been there, done that.

Since starting in 2016, there have been 113 people who have completed School Of Thought. Many of them say it is one of the toughest and most rewarding things they have ever done. We've asked some of them to share their tips for surviving and thriving in School Of Thought.

"Jeez, what a week."

Every week.


Go to the agency. Get the brief. Ponder it a little.


Set aside some ‘proper’ thinking time. Find out everything you can about the product. Immerse yourself. Write down what you know. Generate ideas.


Stop. Do something else. Swimming helps. Take showers.


Scribble down your best ideas frantically during your lunch hour.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday

Pretend you live a perfectly normal life.

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday

Rinse & repeat.

Tips from people

who have done it

  1. Make a group WhatsApp for the support (and the memes).

  2. Prepare for two scenarios: 1. There is pizza. 2. There is no pizza.

  3. Yes, it’s a competition, but it doesn’t feel like it. Think of each week, and your final submission, as an opportunity to showcase your skills for future job opportunities or as recognition of what you can achieve! Going to Cannes is like the icing on the cake.

  4. Go for it! That crazy idea you aren’t sure about, let it fly!

  5. Get yourself one of these.

  6. Do your research! Ideas will come from all sorts of random places.

  7. Be a sponge! You get the schedule of the course so there’s no excuse to not swop up on the channels you’ll tackle! Oh and enjoy the ride, it’ll be worth it!

  8. Have a big sleep before it starts!

  9. No ideas? Literally ZERO ideas? Take the lyrics to a classic song and subtly change them. Guaranteed bullshit award!

  10. Try and refine your work as you’re going along the competition. You’ll save yourself a world of pain when coming to your final submission.

  11. Sleep with a small notebook/post-its next to your bed.

  12. Make friends. You might not be bffs, and yes this is a competition, but you’re all in it together. The intake of last year had a cracking WhatsApp group. Set it up immediately, you will need each other.

  13. BE DARING. The beauty of these briefs is that you DON’T have to be beige-washed by client amends. Do something that you’d want to share with other people. This work ends up being so useful whenever you interview for a new job.

  14. Keep swearing in your acceptance speech to a minimum.

  15. Run your ideas past others on Tuesday/Wednesday. If someone says you have a good ‘nugget’ it’s a compliment.

  16. Always volunteer to go first.

  17. The fact you’ve already got onto the programme is a huge achievement, so don’t doubt yourself. You’ve got this!

You get out

what you put in

With School Of Thought, you have no client, no boss and no-one telling you what to do. 

The only way to learn and develop (and potentially win!) is to push yourself. It's a cliche but the more you put in to School Of Thought, the more you will get out of it.

The biggest tip is to find what works for you and stick with it.

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