How to build better work environments for new creatives

Marc Lewis, dean of London’s School of Communication Arts 2.0, discusses why a more thoughtful, empathetic approach – and more present CDs and ECDs – are critical for supporting industry newcomers

Last year, London’s School of Communication Arts 2.0 published the results of a survey which asked alumni to report on their experience in the industry, post-study. And while the majority of respondents described a positive start to their careers, some had encountered difficulties in the form of uninterested creative directors, unreasonably long hours – which often seemed imposed for the sake of it – and outright sexual harrassment.

When CR caught up with Marc Lewis, the school’s dean, he was quick to reassure that it’s a minority of students experiencing the above, and that SCA has removed problematic agencies from its roster (the university is a social enterprise, funded by sponsoring agencies, brands and consultancies who, in return, get access to SCA’s students).

However, he also stressed the need for agencies to handle placements and new starters with greater care. “I think that not only is there a conversation to be had about making placement experiences better, and a whole bunch of stuff around that, there’s also the question of why are people offering placements anyway,” he says.