O’phia ​Rigabie explains just why your mindset is everything ​whilst on a Creativity Works course – from breakfast all the way through to checking out.

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O'phia says...

"I was fortunate to be accepted onto the Creativ​ity Works; Advertising programme ​back in June 2019, it was such a great experience and my first exposure to the advertising industry. Each session was very different from the last, with the chance to meet and learn from great people in the industry, through workshops and visits to various advertising agencies.

With an early start to every session, we were welcomed with breakfast snacks, fruits and beverages. Now, I don't know about you but I'm not exactly what you'd call a morning person. This was such an incentive for me to get up and go! You always feel better after feeding the mind and body, and this helped to lift the morale for the day ahead.

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I would always look forward to the new, inspiring and encouraging faces that I would meet that day; the companies I'd get to see from the inside and the roles I wanted to hear more about. It provided amazing opportunities to network and to create a clear picture of where you see yourself in the industry. The thought of meeting such professionals can feel rather intimidating, but it helped to know that I had a group of people with me who were having the same experience. And of course, the full support of the team at Create Jobs, who just want to see you grow. It really didn’t matter about industry experience or having a body of work that defined your capability: that is what you’re here for. As long as you have a goal, a drive, a mind for creating, you are perfect and should be open to absorbing as much as you can from the experience. Because trust me, they are The Plug.

Besides the workshops and visits, we were given a live brief by ​Do The Green Thing at Pentagram, the world's largest independently-owned design studio. With complete creative freedom, we worked on our projects in groups, assigning ourselves roles and at the end producing a deck which we presented back to a panel of industry experts ​at Wieden + Kennedy's HQ's in London. At the other advertising agencies we visited throughout the programme, ​we received curated in-depth presentations that not only informed us of their work and ​roles, but also gave us advice​, perspectives ​and exoertise that helped us to develop our campaign ideas to ​make sure we were still aligned to the original client brief. We even participated in various engaging activities, which taught us ​fresh approaches to problem solving and creative ideation.

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By the time it came to presenting to the client, everyone had developed such great work. We ​were coached and advised through a series of workshops on pitching and presenting, body language and even tone of voice, and practise makes perfect so we were made to practise and given feedback before the final presentation.This was incredibly encouraging and removed any doubts and nerves… in fact, I was excited. I believed in us and that made all the difference.

Did you know that anxiety and excitement have all the same symptoms? The heart beats faster, cortisol surges, and the body prepares for action. Both are arousal emotions. The only difference is that excitement is a positive emotion‚ focused on all the ways something could go well. Which means: it’s all in the mind. I learnt this randomly during the programme, and it has stuck with me since. Mental health is so important in getting you through the day. More importantly, it’s all in the way you choose to think and see things. You choose. I was a better version of myself when I practised this during the programme, and I truly encourage you to try implementing exercises like this into your day-to-day routine.

Mindset and ​positive mental health ​are everything, and that is the one thing I want whoever reads this to take away. For example, breakfast was provided each day. This not only motivated me to get out of bed, but it also encouraged me to prioritise a healthy lifestyle (breakfast is the most important meal of the day after all). We opened and closed each day by 'checking in and out', sharing how we felt, what we had been up to before the day and what we were most looking forward to. This exercise became a culture, it bred familiarity and comfort and reminded us of our goals, why we were there. Also to always be present, connected and conscious of our wants and desires.

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Without a doubt, you will reach the end of the programme achieving something and raising your confidence. I'm still benefiting and it is nice to know I always have the Create Jobs team and ​my fellow alumni – they’re just an email away, even after finishing the program.