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Reflecting on the first 2011 bootcamp by Chris Dodson et al

Wow! Our first 2011 bootcamp is over and what an action packed 3 days it turned out to be. We had an awesome line-up of speakers, got to know each other better than we know most of our friends/family and all walked away with a massive spring in our step hoping to start making implementing what we had learnt.

I could ramble on for ages and that wouldn’t be very interesting so to mix it up I asked all of the scholars in the “upstairs group” (check us out below) to provide a snippet of copy describing what they took away from the bootcamp.

The Marketing Academy - upstairs group at bootcamp

And here is what they all had to say:

Alex Sonnenberg – Propositions Manager @ Tesco Mobile
After a lot of build up and hype from the previous years scholars I wasn’t quite sure how the first few days could live up to it all. Shockingly though the boot camp went on to pole vault well over the amazing picture they had built up. The presenters and fellow scholars gave some unique insights into their personal and industry experiences, which was a much needed slap in the face that there is still a lot for me to learn. A big thanks to everyone for the time they put in to the 3 days my head is still spinning with 101 new ideas and ways of working. But the real star of the show for me was Fraser Doherty, the 22 years old founder of SuperJam, who reminded me that no matter how good an idea you may have it doesn’t mean a thing unless you have the belief and conviction to see it through.

Sarah Ellis – Senior Marketing Manager @ Barclays
I found the communication exercise really interesting, especially when you reflect on your own style and the predominant communication style of the organisation you work in. I have never really fully appreciated the consequences of ‘shutting out’ previously, and the idea that this can stop someone’s stream of thinking/thought process and how detrimental this can be. Over the past few days I have now been much more aware of allowing my colleagues to finish their communication before contributing – though I still forget sometimes (usually when I get too enthusiastic!). As we discussed in our group sessions awareness and reflecting upon all the new things we have learnt is just the first step – my focus is now on trying to put some of what we have learnt into action!

Mark Paterson – Assistant Brand Manager @ Cadburys
One of the richest and most powerful learning experiences I have ever had, and a fantastic start to what promises to be an incredible experience.  A week later my mind is still reeling as it tries to apply the bootcamp learnings to everyday life, and each time it does I find out a little bit more about myself and the world around me.  The boot camp experience went far beyond marketing.  I got to know some brilliant people and can’t wait till we meet up again.  Thank you the Marketing Academy!

Masha Voskresenskaia – Category Solutions Manager @ Johnson & Johnson
Here are just a few of the things I took away from the bootcamp:

  • Listen and appreciate are the 2 key words for a true leader.
  • Frame your objectives for your personal and professional life by creating a vision.
  • The power of positive attitude: believing something and imagining it helps your mind overcome obstacles.

Bryn Snelson – Head of Marketing @ eHarmony
Here’s what I learnt/took away from last week:

  • The things that made you successful in the last stage of your career won’t necessarily work for the next. To be successful, be flexible in your beliefs in what you believe leads to success.
  • There is no excuse for not knowing who your team mates are. Just going to the pub and talking about football does not mean you “know” your team mates. Find out about their life, what’s important to them, what got them to where they are. It may take some time but it’ll be worth it.

Not so serious stuff

  • There are many things that motivate people. Money, prestige, a desire to help people or even the desire to beat a nemesis!

Charlotte Greenaway – Mobile Internet Editor @ O2
A week after boot camp began, I’m still riding the high of an awesome three days. There are so many positive things that have come out of the experience that I’m struggling to think what to write. I’ve never met such a brilliant bunch of people in my life – I was stunned by their frankness and humility, as well as their ability to knock back a drink. 😮 I feel extremely privileged to have had the opportunity to have met some truly special people.

The training has already helped me to build confidence, as well as have a better understanding of myself. The practical tips I’ve been given have already allowed me to make a difference in my relationships – both at work and in my personal life.

Mark Chamberlain – Account Director @ Millward Brown
I went in to the boot camp expecting to meet a very serious and driven group of scholars, speakers and organisers who would reinforce the ferocious appetite and competitive approach needed to make a success of yourself. Instead I was reminded that you can be driven and still have fun along the way. I learnt that:

– all the speakers (who are at the top of their profession) valued work life balance

– a career is a marathon not a sprint and if you are really passionate about something you shouldn’t be afraid of taking a pay cut (even a 30% pay cut!) to get where you ultimately want to be

– being open and getting to really know your work colleagues will improve performance and their job satisfaction

– Giving is indeed better than receiving. Without exception everyone involved in the 3 days was giving back or paying forward in some form or another. And its been some time that I have felt as excited as I did when I discovered how I could help my Donate 28 charity.


We’ll be adding more snippets from other 2011 scholars when they are back from holiday, but thanks again to Sherilyn, Camilla and Michaela for making the whole thing happen. Penny, Tasha & Emma for cramming their 3-day course into 2 days especially for us. The fabulous speakers who all gave us a lot to think about and aspire to. The 2010 scholars for answering all the questions thrown at them very honestly. And last but by no means least the local Travelodge for putting on a splendid breakfast (in a bag).

Bring on the next one.


2 thoughts on “Reflecting on the first 2011 bootcamp by Chris Dodson et al

  1. Wow! Fantastic to hear how much you have all taken away – from just 3 days. Tasha, Emma and I enjoyed every minute of working with you and were impressed and humbled by the amount of energy and talent you all brought. Please keep blogging as it is so good to hear how you are all doing. If you knew that you can take 100% responsibility for having the best year ever is there anything different that you might think, feel or do today?

  2. So, so great to hear all that you took out of your first boot camp – unsurprisingly, all pretty inspirational stuff! The big challenge I found, as you guys seem to have already identified, is taking it back into your businesses. Not just in finding ways to implement it, but also in sharing your knowledge with the wider team. Don’t squirrel it away, shout it from the rooftops.

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