As we hit the half way point of the journey that has been the Marketing Academy Scholarship so far, I have been asked many times by friends, family and work colleagues “What is the Marketing Academy Scholarship like”? My answer usually starts with just two words – It’s Amazing.
Google tells me that the word ‘amazing’ has two meanings. The first definition is “Very Impressive; Excellent”. This is perhaps the more obvious characterisation when it comes to an exclusive, premium, world renowned training and development course such as the Marketing Academy. Suffice to say, the course so far has been excellent, and ultra-impressive. However, it is the second definition where I believe the Marketing Academy has really been Amazing – “Causing great surprise or wonder; Astonishing”.
I think most of us scholars knew it would be impressive based simply on the standard of people involved, the calibre of the professional people giving up their time to mentor or talk at boot camps, and the quality of content being delivered within every training session, workshop or lecture. It was always going to be impressive. However, what I didn’t expect was to be genuinely surprised. For example, I have been surprised at just how much I have learned about delivering a really great presentation. Having people present to you who have presented to the boards of some of the biggest companies in the world, is a real eye opener. The way they carry themselves, the way the deliver their message, the way they engage with the audience – all these things have been just as important as the message itself. I didn’t expect that. I also didn’t expect to be truly and deeply moved by peoples’ stories. I knew I would be inspired to be a better leader in business, but, I didn’t expect to be inspired to simply be a better person. Hearing from people who have genuinely faced adversity, and come out the other side as amazing, wonderful individuals, and the impact their story, their honesty then has on your very soul, was not something you anticipate getting out of a development course. This then ties in with my final surprise – the other scholars. Again, one expected to get a new network out of the course through meeting other professional marketers, but what I didn’t expect was to meet 29 brilliant, funny, intelligent, inspiring, motivated and caring individuals on this journey. Their stories have surprised and inspired me just as much as the speakers we have heard from. Above all, each and every one of them makes me genuinely want to be the very best I can be. I did not expect 29 friends for life. That was as surprising as anything, and what a wonderful surprise it has been.
So when asked, I will continue to describe the scholarship as “Amazing”, meaning it hasn’t just been excellent, it has been surprising, and astonishing. I cannot wait for the second half.