We're delivering a purposeful programme of industry led, virtual sessions to help students and graduates develop relevant, timely skills as they ready themselves for the world of work.

Running until early September, these open and free to access talks, workshops and other interactive sessions are hosted alongside a cast of bright minds and expert collaborators drawn from across the creative industries globally. The aim is to support next-gen talent at a time when education and graduation has been deeply disrupted, to support transition into industry and to enable social learning and knowledge sharing. Expect a focus on key skills like personal effectiveness, creative thinking and wellbeing.

Alongside the virtual sessions we'll also be sharing a special collection of live creative briefs to get stuck into over the summer, enabling learning by doing around some of the cultural and commercial challenges of the day.

Coming sessions are shared below — all students, recent graduates; and their tutors and course leaders are welcome to join — with a simple registration for each required at video platform Zoom to access the link.


What's coming up...

August 19th 2020, 4—5.15pm.

Rethinking Networking

To many of us the idea of networking brings to mind the image of awkward conversations and unanswered emails — the last thing we want to do. But when framed and approached in the right way, networking can shift from a painful pursuit to a purposeful endeavour; helping us build lasting relationships and fast-track us into the career we want. In this session we'll exploring the super-practical approaches and helpful thinking that will painlessly lead us towards the conversations that count.

Register to join the session here.


August 26th 2020, 4—5.15pm.

How to communicate with clients, with Megan Morass

Award winning Co-Founder of Full Fat Agency, Host of The Slice podcast and writer Megan Morass gives you the inside scoop on how to effectively communicate with clients and build positive, lasting relationships in the industry.  

In this interactive and insightful session, we’ll dig into the do’s and don’ts for dealing with clients and give you a toolkit to take into your next job. Megan will also share her extensive expertise on how to get your foot in the door and answer your burning questions in an enlightening Q&A. 

Register to join the session here.


September 2nd 2020, 4—5.15pm.

Owning Feedback

In this pacey and interactive session we'll get you into the habit of giving and getting purposeful and performance enhancing feedback in the right way and at the right times.

Register to join the session here.


11th September 2020, 1—2.15 pm UK time.

Start with strengths

When we identify, and name our strengths we can find more opportunities to put them to work, and be clear and confident in describing them to people we want to work with (such as future employers and collaborators!).

This bitesize workshop is all about identifying your key strengths and thinking differently about what they can enable you to do — and putting you in the right mindset for tacking the jobs market with focus and confidence.

Register to join the session here.


Below are details of past session to have taken place within our 2020 Summer School. A big thanks to all those who joined and shared their learning.

Past Sessions:


August 6th 2020, 2.30—3.45pm.

How to Begin, with Koto and Uncommon

In this session we'll invite some creative practitioners to share practical, helpful and timely pointers for those looking to follow in their footsteps. The session will be joined by Studio Koto Design Director Arthur Folliard and Uncommon creative team Tom Espezel and Nina Beyers.

Expect insights on how to approach agencies, interviews, sharing your portfolio, following up and much more besides. There'll be lots of opportunity to put your questions forward, and learn from others. Arthur, Tom and Nina have all worked creatively on mortgage company Habito (who have partnered with YCN on a Summer School live brief) and so will be able to share collective creative insights on that development too.


31st July 2020, 11am—12.15pm UK time.

Designing with Data

In this session we'll pull in some expert design perspective on the power of data insights to drive purposeful and eye-catching design. From new media designer Ross Middleham, we'll learn about the data led design challenges from within the Met Office; and from Beyond Words senior designer Jamie Gilman we'll discover how leading organisations ranging from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to the BBC are creating rich visual narratives, from live sets of data to connect and communicate with audiences around the world. This will also be a chance to hear guidance from our industry experts on how they got into their roles, and advice for those keen to follow in their footsteps.


June 17th 2020, 4—5.15pm
Hype Yourself  — a no nonsense guide to self promotion, with Lucy Werner

Author of Amazon best-seller Hype YourselfA no-nonsense PR toolkit for small businesses, co-founder of The Wern and publicity expert Lucy Werner shares the self-promotion tips and tricks she’s learnt from 15 years in publicity with you — helping you catch the eye of the employers, clients and collaborators of your dreams. Together we’ll discover the different ways you can hype yourself online and offline, securing the future you deserve through self promotion. 

You’ll leave this session with the increased confidence and a self-promotion toolkit to get yourself going towards your current goals.


June 10th 2020, 4—5.15pm.

Build Your Personal Brand, with Hadrien Chatelet

Co-founder of The Wern, branding expert Hadrien Chatelet leads this interactive hands-on session on how to build and communicate your authentic-self through personal branding — why it’s important, and how it can get you in front of the people you want to work with.

Together we’ll get to the core of your purpose, vision, values and personality — challenging you to consider how you want to be perceived to potential employers and clients. By the end of this session you'd have learned a framework to help you nurture a genuine & memorable personal brand, after all your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room.


June 9th 2020, 4—5.15pm.

How I did it, with Dan Woodger and Joe Cruz

Save yourself a virtual front row seat for this intimate and insightful session with illustrator and animation director Dan Woodger and visual artist Joe Cruz. They'll be sharing some insights into their creative processes, pointers on how to begin to build a client list and some of their favourite projects from the last 12 months. Dan and Joe have both built enviable client lists since graduating; and they’ll generously share their guidance on getting going in the same direction.


June 3rd 2020, 4—5.30pm
Build your Resilience, with Ella Reynolds

Founder of Those That Rise, and YCN Facilitator Ella Reynolds will introduce practical ways that we can bounce back from challenges, manage stress and use our energy effectively so that we're more focussed and more creative.

Over an energising 90-minutes we’ll cover what resilience means for us personally, learn about the stress response and how it affects the body and mind and learn important tools for regulating our nervous system to be calmer and more present in the face of challenges. Being resilient doesn’t mean challenges disappear, but it does mean that we cope better, learn from past experiences and build an internal stability to thrive in these times of change.


May 20th 2020, 4—5.15pm UK time
Ideas Gym, with Nick Eagleton

Former creative director of The Partners and Superunion — and now co-founder of Saboteur — Nick will lead a punchy and active session dedicated to the pursuit of plentiful ideas. 

Through many years guiding creative teams towards impactful, effective and customer delighting ideas, Nick has honed an ample toolbox — loaded with ways to unearth and sharpen thinking. His belief is that when it comes to the currency of ideas — to begin with it's the more the merrier, and that getting our ideas abundently down is as important as then knowing when to filter and refine.

In this short, 'hands on'  and highly interactive session Nick will share the best and freshest of these tools and techniques, taking us through them — and encouraging us to apply them to our more testing creative challenges, there and then. You'll do this solo and among small groups of peers at times too.


Further Summer School sessions will be shared here shortly. For more information, and details of how to partner email hello@ycn.org

Partner with us

We provide growth-oriented organisations of all shapes and sizes with social, motivating and behaviourally-driven approaches to building capability throughout their teams — wherever they’re working from.

With an emphasis on virtual and remote delivery; our pioneering programmes bring people together to build skills among peers, and immediately apply them to the commercial and cultural challenges of the day.

To learn more about our transformative work with partners ranging from Dr. Martens to Dishoom, Adidas to Action for Children; and to explore ways we can support your teams — email Nick Defty or call +44 (0)20 7033 2140.

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