School of Marketing launch event at Saatchi & Saatchi

It was Monday morning and I was walking down Chancery Lane, coffee in hand, excited to be spending the day at Saatchi & Saatchi London (anyone working in advertising will understand my excitement)! The reason I was there? It was our School of Marketing launch event for people aged 16 – 20 to hear from some of the best experts in the business with the hope of inspiring them. It was also a great opportunity for them to network and meet industry professionals.

As the Founding 50 of the School of Marketing, we’ve been working in the background for the last few months on a strategy that brings together our purpose, to encourage and inspire the younger generation to consider a career in marketing. The team at the School of Marketing, alongside partner The Marketing Meetup, designed this launch event as the first step in creating an environment where we could do just that. 

Perhaps I’m biased but the event was a complete success! We had a great turn out of students hungry for information and support on their quest to figuring out what they want to do for their career and this was a brilliant way to get them excited about a career in marketing.

So, what was the event all about? 

We heard from some truly inspirational people who shared their stories of how they got to where they are today, what they’ve learned along the way and advice they would give to people looking to start out in this industry. Here are some of the key takeaways. 

The sessions were recorded and some are available to playback – have linked where you can find them and will update with more as they become available.

Richard Huntington, Chairman and Chief Strategy Officer, Saatchi & Saatchi London Group

Richard really set the tone for the half-day, kicking off with some really thought-provoking ideas and lessons for those interested in marketing. I think the most important thing that I took away from this session was to break the rules .. if you work towards designing or solving something that is impossible and relevant that equals greatness. This is where we should be playing as marketers. What a great reminder to break the norm and think outside of the box! He also said something that I really relate to which is to be interesting and interested in everything – I definitely think a curious mind is important for a career in marketing (or any other career to be honest) as this is what keeps you learning and developing!

Watch Richards’ session here.

Kerensa Jennings, CEO, The Duke of York Inspiring Digital Enterprise Award 

Kerensa has had a really interesting career as a writer, producer, strategist and professor, among other things. She had the whole room focused and listening to her personal story of how she built up her career to today, where she arguably works in the coolest office ever, Buckingham Palace! Although she’s had many different roles, ultimately she kept coming back to the fact that she is a storyteller at heart. This has clearly played out across her career and I think it’s so important to have that focus on your own purpose, thinking about what you really enjoy doing, so that can guide you through your career and almost act as that red thread. So thinking about that, what’s your purpose and what will guide you?

Charles Head, Strategic Management Consultant, IBM and Founder of Marketing News Tonight

This session was all about building a brand. I hadn’t heard of Marketing News Tonight before this session but now I’m a big fan! Charles discussed how alongside his day job, he created his show from scratch including making a mini studio in his house to record episodes. Taking inspiration from shows such as Last Week Tonight with John Oliver, Charles wanted to make marketing fun again and produce interesting but informative content that resonates with his audience. As a content creator myself, I really related to this and learned a lot! 

Here are 5 tips from Charles on building your brand: 

  1. Have a vision 
  2. Trust yourself
  3. Stand out 
  4. Don’t give up
  5. Work hard. 

Watch Charles’ session here.

Harry Seaton, Managing Director of Fluential

Harry gave a really interesting talk on the power of influence and how to build your personal brand (which transitioned nicely from Charles’s talk). I can’t believe Harry is only 22 and already achieving amazing things, including also being a Founding 50 member of the School of Marketing. He spoke to the room about his route into marketing which stemmed from his experience as an influencer himself in the music space and being able to use that in a business capacity. He reiterated the important fact that an influencer is not someone who has lots of followers, but someone who is trusted by others and has the ability to influence them (it’s not a numbers game)! Influencer marketing plays a crucial role in campaigns and initiatives today so really getting under the skin of how this works was key!

Joe Glover, CEO of The Marketing Meetup

Joe first set up The Cambridge Marketing Meetup: A positively lovely community for marketers interested in meeting their peers and learning from one another, in 2016. I know Joe as he’s one of the Founding 50 so I’ve had the pleasure of working with him and can honestly say that what he’s achieved is brilliant! The idea got traction and they are now hosting events in 11 cities across the UK. Joe spoke about his journey to date including setting up The Marketing Meetup and opening his marketing agency. I also loved the fact that growing up it was his dream to work at Saatchi & Saatchi and although he didn’t get a place on their undergrad or graduate schemes … fast forward a couple of years and there he was giving a talk about his career in marketing at the Saatchi & Saatchi office! This is a great reminder to keep your dreams alive, as you never know where you’ll end up!

If you haven’t heard of The Marketing Meetup or been to their events, then check out their website, it’s worth it!

Jordan Harry, CEO of Studyfast

Jordan’s session was fascinating! Another very talented 22 year old, CEO, TedX speaker, speed reader and memory trainer he’s accomplished a lot already and it was great to have him speak at the event. I’ve always been curious about how the brain works and Jordan’s session was focused around how to learn fast and build a career with purpose. He discussed the 3 types of long-term memory (procedural, semantic and episodic) and how the brain remembers and recalls certain information in different situations. Why is this important? Well in our careers we all have to memorise a lot of different things so understanding how this works and how you can memorise and then access the right information at the right time is a real advantage. 

One tip that I loved from Jordan was that “it’s never the right time”. I just kept thinking this is too true. So if you’ve been thinking about doing something but you’re saying now’s not the right time, I urge you to think again and go for it!

Helen Tupper, Co-Founder and CEO, Amazing If and Squiggly Careers Podcast Host

Unfortunately I had to pop out of the room at this point in the day to take a call however I caught the end of Helen’s talk and even in those last 15 minutes, she inspired me to think differently! The most important concept I took away was that careers are no longer linear or like a staircase you have to climb to get to your end goal. Instead, they can take you anywhere and therefore planning in such a linear way can actually limit you on how you think about opportunities and progress. She hosts a podcast named Squiggly Careers, the name more representative of a career path today. She gave us tips on how to approach thinking about your career as a journey with multiple facets and what to invest our time in such as values, strengths and networking.  

If you’re looking for any career advice or guidance then I recommend listening to the Squiggly Careers podcast to get you started – so much useful content here!

Some parting thoughts

It was a really special day and has marked the beginning of what I hope to be something great! A big thank you to all of our amazing speakers. As a group we’re all really excited about where we can take this initiative. This was just one event, but there’s so much more in the pipeline so keep an eye out on this page where I’ll provide updates on what we’re doing. You can also follow our Instagram account @theschoolofmarketing for lots of insights, tips and courses or check out the website!

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