Hannah Vatandoust Brixton Finishing School

Hannah Vatandoust

It’s pretty insane how fast this summer flew by but what’s more insane is that I’m graduating from Brixton Finishing School with an internship at R/GA!!! Here’s 10 things I learnt in 10 weeks:

1. Ally Owen is truly a g.
2. Talent comes from so many different places and the amazing people I had the pleasure of starting my journey with exemplify this.
3. So many agencies want to help diversify the industry and need a framework to do it well (and others need a wake up call).
4. You have to be disruptive to get noticed.
5. Networking isn’t as scary as it seems.
6. You should form relationships with everyone and anyone – no interaction is time wasted.
7. Do this by asking interesting questions!
8. You shouldn’t trust statistics alone – raw human insights are the key to good work.
9. Inspiration can come from anywhere.
10. You should never be afraid to be unapologetically different.

A million thank yous to everyone involved with BFS and the lovely industry professionals that I met along the way. I’m sure I will cross paths with you all again.

Jess Payen Brixton Finishing School

Jess Payen

Today marks my first week at Kinetic Worldwide! I was welcomed in with open arms and I’ve learnt & experienced so much already – my team took me along to Ocean’s 2019 Digital Creative Competition at the IMAX which was amazing!

Brixton Finishing School for Digital Talent provided so much support, knowledge and opportunities within the advertising industry and for a person who struggles with anxiety it has given me so much confidence. I would have never of had the strength or knowledge to have got where I am today working for the leading global out-of-home specialist Agency without this course and the Incredible Ally Owen

Luca Casu Brixton Finishing School

Luca Casu

Before starting the BFS course I didn’t have a clue about the roles on offer in the advertising industry. It felt like a ‘secret society’ that was open to only a select few. But, the insightful immersion days at BFS taught me so much, whether it be about the roles or what it takes to succeed in this growing industry. I fell in love with programmatic advertising after the immersion day at Rubicon Project where I was subsequently offered a role as Revenue Operations Specialist. I am excited to kick start my career in this innovative company

Darnell Reid Brixton Finishing School

Darnell Reid

I really am grateful for the platform that Brixton Finishing School for Digital Talent has given me – especially the endless classes taught by experts within their field. I can’t thank Ally Owen enough for how much she’s helped me grow these past few months.

Can’t wait to see what the future holds!

Munraj Brixton Finishing School


Brixton Finishing School is an incredible opportunity for anyone looking to realise their creative potential. The programme is intense and through it you form life lasting relationships, and grow through practical creative application. You’re given a foot in the door of world shaping companies, in an industry that’s sadly not unwelcoming, but uninviting, to most. This is also why BFS is an opportunity like no other for the creative industries too, as it gives the participants and the partner companies of the scheme a chance to change the industry for the better. There truly is nothing like this for the creative industries and everything Brixton Finishing School does is designed to live their ethos – disrupt the industry.

Kianna Joseph Brixton Finishing School

Kianna Joseph

Looking back on everything that I experienced over 10 weeks on the course, I feel so grateful to have been selected to take part. The Brixton finishing school gave me an amazing mentor that supported me when I was applying for jobs, contacts in the industry that are willing to advise me as I start my journey and the course has been a massive part of my personal development. I’ve met some lovely people that my experience on the course wouldn’t be the same without and felt truly inspired and encouraged by the sponsors supporting the school.

Tom Richter

I came onto Brixton Finishing School after leaving a job in logistics and customer service to pursue a career in an advertising role. Before Brixton Finishing School I had never had the opportunity to fully understand what roles there might be for me and I finally found an area that I could get my teeth stuck into. I have always been passionate about branding and communications but especially in health and communications. 90Ten felt like it really suited my morals and beliefs as health and communications is in my DNA. I started at 90Ten on 7th October and I’m really happy to be making a change for the greater good!


A very interesting and valuable experience. I learnt a lot about both what it’s like to work for a range of agencies through immersion days and on a range of career options there are in advertising. This gave me a good grounding in the basics. It really made me think more about what I want to take out from my future workplace and I liked how from the guest talks and workshops, it enabled me to become more bold and confident with my skills and personality.

Leanne Spencer

My time at Brixton Finishing School began with a tentative step into the unknown; what if. I was a freelance writer and graphic designer going into the course, so I knew I had skill. What I didn’t know was that I also had people in my corner, whom I’d never even met. The beauty of BFS is that there is no “typical student” – the creatives come in all shapes and sizes and from every imaginable walk in life, brought together by Ally Owen’s singleminded proposition. “What if Diversity wasn’t a PR buzzword in ad agencies, but instead, the natural progression in the evolution of advertising.” I went into BFS with a four-year-old laptop and a lot of righteous indignation, and I came out with a full scholarship to SCA 2.0

Alumni and Sponsor Testimonials

A life changing process, taught me so much in such a short time, not only in industry knowledge/experience but life skills.

Andy Aw, BFS Graduate and now Account Executive at Rubicon Project

”Normally I see 1 or 2 candidates from a recruiter group that are worth employing. All five of the graduates referred to me by Brixton Finishing School were excellent – it was a hard job to choose between them”

Tia Castagno, MD & Head of Innovation at Vizeum Global

“The Finishing School gave me the confidence as well as the means of pursuing a desirable career as well as vital industry knowledge and networking skills”

Alfie Singleton, BFS Graduate and now Junior Executive at WPP agencies

"If you're thinking about getting into media but unsure if it's right for you, this course is just as much a journey of self-discovery as it is a journey into the industry."

2018 Student

"It’s a great opportunity to launch yourself into the industry and meet incredibly inspiring people."

2018 Student

"It is probably one of the best work experiences I’ve ever had. One which does not consist in making coffee for anyone. You are truly getting yourselves stuck into the advertising world and learning the skills required for it.

2018 Student

Questions we asked our 2018 Graduates about their experience

What would you want to say to students considering the school?

“If you’re thinking about getting into media but unsure if it’s right for you, this course is just as much a journey of self-discovery as it is a journey into the industry.”

“It is probably one of the best work experiences I’ve ever had. One which does not consist in making coffee for anyone. You are truly getting yourselves stuck into the advertising world and learning the skills required for it.”

“It’s a great opportunity to launch yourself into the industry and meet incredibly inspiring people.”

“It’s a great environment, you get a job that’s high paying’

“This is a great initiative but mainly focused on learning”

“It’s a foot in the door towards opportunity”

“There are many roles in media and one could be for you- this course gives you a direct insight into that world.”

“You don’t need any prior experience in marketing”

“It’s a good opportunity and if they didn’t attend they would lose a lot of good experience

Which part of the course was really useful and how are you applying this now?

“Freeing my creativity and learning my strengths were valuable skills that I’ve now learned to focus on during my day to day.”

“Being able to meet different types of people in the creative industry and creating a long lasting network.”

“The Ideation courses and networking… constantly networking and keeping social media updated etc..”

“To have the confidence in myself to pursue opportunities i would never normally do “

“Networking & workshops”

“My knowledge of out of home advertising- I now work in out of home advertising and made a rolling start.”

“Going out and getting to meet people from different parts of media (advertising)”

“Agency days out!”

Name three ways your life has changed for the better because of the school.

“I’m more confident, have a great support system and job”

“It landed me a job”

“1.Learned that networking isn’t as scary as it seems 2. Found a really amazing, diverse and talented group in my colleagues 3. Found a job I feel really calls to me”

“The traditional career path is not the only pathway. Being able to network professionally. met life long friends.”

“It gave me a positive outlook and know how to harness my creative abilities better. Also amazing opportunities and an incredible job.”

“Meet great people, learnt to network and some amazing things like programmatic”

“Finding employment”

“Social skills. Optimism. Career path”

“My networking has improved, My CV is three times better and my insight into and knowledge of the industry has improved.”