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July 31, 2012 / davebirss

Greetings from the School of Communication Arts’ Mentor of the Year

I’ve been so busy it’s taken me a couple of weeks to announce this piece of amazingly flattering news: the students at the School of Communication Arts voted me their number one mentor this year. And that makes me stupendously chuffed. And just a little bit smug!

What you see above is my lovely award. It’s a golden spanking paddle. And if I had a mantlepiece, it would be taking pride of place!

I’m a big fan of the school for lots of reasons.

Firstly, the school is – by far – the best advertising college in the UK. Rather than being lectured at, the students learn from over 500 mentors who work in the industry and other fields of the arts. These include people like Sir John Hegarty, Paul Brazier, Dave Trott and Rory Sutherland (although, according to this award, I’m clearly better than any of them!)

Secondly, the students are all amazingly talented and focussed. Far more than I ever was at their age! Every time I go in they challenge me and make me question the assumptions I have about the industry. If these guys are the future, the industry’s in great hands. Just look at what Olly and Martin achieved this year!

Thirdly, Marc Lewis – the Dean of the school – is a truly incredible man who I just can’t spend enough time with. He always inspires me and connects me to the right people to make things happen. And he’s been a constant support through everything that I do.

Fourthly, every time I go to the school I meet amazing new mentors. Some of them have ended up becoming friends and associates. It’s worth it for the networking alone!

Fifthly, the course is constantly evolving and is being written and rewritten by people who actually do the day job. Most colleges are staffed by lecturers who left the advertising industry years ago. The School of Communication Arts couldn’t be more up-to-date. In fact, Marc speaks all over the world about the Curriculum Wiki that he created. It’s genius!

So there you have it.

I think the school is the best advertising school in the world.

The school thinks that I’m their best mentor.

So logically I’m the very best person in the whole wide world.

I hope that’s cleared things up!

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