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Winning the FCLA Competition was a Dream Come True

Written by Funke Ademola Aliu

Winning the Future Creative Leaders Academy (FCLA) was a dream come true for me. It was a competition I looked forward to since my 200 level, and when the opportunity came and I was nominated to participate in my 400 level I was elated! I registered, the brief came out, I responded, presented, got tutored, won the competition and got the most coveted trip to France, to attend the annual Cannes Lion International Festival of Creativity; the biggest in the world.

When I first got to the Festival , I was lost, I had missed the orientation and didn’t know where my academy was, so I spent the whole day attending classes that caught my attention and by the end of the day, I was taking a stroll round the festival and there it was Roger Hatchuel Academy.

I was a little skeptical about entering, there were a couple of people there, I had missed it the whole day and I didn’t know what the reception was gonna be like. But then Max and Abraham (found out later that they were our academy instructors) saw me standing gingerly by the door and they encouraged me to come in, I did and I got an extremely warm welcome. An introduction followed and Abraham introduced me to some of my classmates who were still around.

After my first day of being an Alice, I became really comfortable and got acquainted, the check in sessions mentally prepared me for the day and the check out sessions made me reflect on what I had learned during the day’s classes. The classes were fun, interactive and insightful, I got to interact with over 30 awesome classmates from different nationalities, I learnt about where they came from and the 48 hours brief that we were grouped to respond to gave me an amazing experience of their creativity.

At Roger Hatchuel Academy, we had the very best of tutors, from various countries Nigeria, Ghana, Saudi Arabia, Hong Kong, United States of America etc who were skilled in various sectors such as technology, advertising, photography etc and they imparted so much knowledge into us (me).

The Google Creative Campus was awesome, we got to learn a whole lot in a very comfortable environment, my favorite class was the lecture that made us realize how remarkable we were and how we shouldn’t be shy about our creativity, it was really helpful. We had classes on machine learning, sound engineering, marketing, and we got to interact with the top officials in Google.

The experience was amazing but I had a challenging moment; the 48 hour brief. At first it was looking all good and rosy, ideas were popping but when we tried implementing based on the new (extremely relevant and very key) knowledge we had learnt at the academy it became hard, we became tensed and nervous, time was running out and we were under so much pressure but! it all turned out well, we had our Big idea, had a beautiful presentation, learned from other presentations and the corrections our tutors and instructors made and it was all very enlightening.

It was an all round experience, I learnt a lot, I had fun, I met new people, tried out new delicacies, learned about other people’s culture and most importantly got inspired to be much more creative as creativity is limitless.

It’s a mind opening experience and I’m extremely grateful to Cannes Lions for creating this experience, to CHINI Africa for providing this opportunity, to Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria (APCON) for sponsoring, to my lecturers in the Department of Mass Communication University of Lagos for teaching me and to God for inputting an infinite amount of creativity in me.


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