By Emma Anderson, studying MA Creativity: Innovation and Business Strategy
Between the 12th and 14th of November the MA Creativity: Innovation and Business Strategy students set off in pursuit of an intensive networking project in Falmouth. The intensive would involve working alongside Falmouth MA students to impress the likes of Tate St Ives, Seasalt, Stranger Collective, and Fiffteen Cornwall. In just two days they had to answer their given project brief with a pitch with enough professionalism to impress their assigned business. At the prospect of bagging a potential placement opportunity in April should their work impress, the students set about collaborating on the brief in hand. This is my journal blog documenting my experience as one of the MA Creativity students.
November 12th ~ On Arrival: We arrive at the Falmouth Backpackers Lodge late in the evening after a gruelling 3-hour train journey. Luckily, the anticipation of working with such prestigious industries tomorrow keeps spirits high. We settle in, have a look around town, and head to bed early enough to ensure we’re fresh faced to begin our assigned briefs at the Penryn campus in the morning.
November 13th ~ The Morning Orientation Lecture: My course mates and I head up to Penryn Campus by taxi for 10.30. After a quick coffee in the Koofi café we find a seat in Peter Lanyon lecture theatre 3 for our briefing. We are divided into groups and allocated a chosen business to present our pitch to in response to their set brief. Our deadline was three o’clock the following day. Representatives from each organisation make their way up to the podium. I find myself writing notes about all the businesses that come forwards, even the one’s I won’t be working with. My fellow course mate beside me asks why I am taking so many notes. “Because I want to think about responses to these briefs in my own time” I explain. The briefs all feel so current, relevant, and unique that I know I’ll be discussing them later that evening at the networking event.
November 13th ~ After a quick lunch break: I meet up with my assigned team after talking with Lauren Hogan from Tate St Ives about details of the brief. She is looking to attract locals to the gallery as well as find a way to make the gallery more easily accessible for visitors. After introducing myself to my teammates from the Falmouth MA we divided our team into two and began our ideation processes. After bouncing some ideas off one another and making mood boards and mini presentations, each half of our team presents their ideas to the other. A scribe jots down the responses to each mini presentation and we eventually find ourselves picking the best bits of all the ideas we generate. We come to an agreement on what our main pitch concept should be and decide to get working on presenting it alongside our ideation process tomorrow morning.
November 13th ~ The evening networking event: I freshen up at the Falmouth Backpackers Lodge and head out to the Palacio Lounge with my course mates. The entire upstairs area of the restaurant/ tapas bar has been dedicated to our networking event. I take pictures with my course mates and enjoy the complimentary wine and tapas. In this more relaxed environment, I feel comfortable enough to chat more openly with some of my fellow Falmouth MA team members and exchange business cards with a few. I reflect on the brief by chatting with other groups and asking how their response is developing. The networking event was an ingenious way to break the ice with fellow entrepreneurs. Some of my course mates find themselves making connections they would otherwise never have made.
November 14th ~ An early breakfast: I rise early to meet my team for breakfast in Penryn and get finalising and defining our proposal. I enjoy eggs and avocado on sourdough bread from a local coffee shop near Gray’s Wharf; an art gallery where we hope to liaise with Lauren Hogan before working on the visuals for our pitch. Gray’s Wharf is filled with local artist’s work and helps the Exeter university students unfamiliar with Cornwall artwork understand the connection the art has with the landscape and community. It also helps us to understand the huge significance of Cornish art to locals and wider audiences. By engaging with the artwork, those unfamiliar with the Cornish aesthetic were more able to understand how to tackle the Tate St Ives brief.
November 14th ~ The pitch: My team returned to the Penryn campus after our Gray’s Wharf excursion and began assigning roles to get our visuals and preparation for the presentation underway. At three o’clock we began presenting our responses to the rest of our cohort. The first to present were the team for Seasalt who came up with ways of working with the growing vintage market and tackling the environmental fears surrounding the fashion industry that would prevent customers from shopping with Seasalt. Designs, logos, and taglines were presented in the pitch leaving the Tate team feeling as though they had a tough act to follow. I went up to present with my team next. Lauren Hogan responded with feedback directly and our ideas were taken on board successfully. The following two teams responded to their briefs in Exchange Yellow with ideas for developing the business space and work environment as well as drawing fresh footfall. All briefs were responded to innovatively and presented professionally. I felt as though I was part of a creative team for a real business within the creative industries. In a nutshell the Falmouth trip was a simulation of the kind of fast-paced and challenging environment a budding entrepreneur would run with in their everyday lives.