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The Pomegranate Chronicles

So, I suppose someone’s going to have to kick it off.

It’s been about 4 weeks since I found out that I’d been selected to be a scholar for the class of 2012, and what’s followed has been a large number of (mostly pleasant!) realisations.

I’m glad this post is being written a couple of weeks after the first boot camp. I’ve had the benefit of reflecting a little, but even more so of just stepping back from the barrage of inspiration that the 29 of us were brutally subjected to!

The process of selection was incredibly challenging, and actually getting into a room with the others who made it really makes you appreciate the opportunity and the quality of the company I was in. But actually, it also made me see the power of well-structured selection processes, and how the larger gang that I was in, although each having their own unique story,  ultimately shared a very distinct set of common values and a contagious positive drive.

Equally moving has been the realisation that I’ve got absolutely no time in my life and unless I find some kind of divine power of organisation, I’m completely and royally screwed..! Mentoring sessions being catapulted in my direction, and I’m trying to work the day job around the coaching sessions. Merlin invites need to be sent out, my partner charity has to be contacted, more personality profile tests need to be completed, feedback needs to be given, my employer and colleagues must be engaged, the world needs to be saved, an epiphany needs to be had, and so on.  And it all needs to happen now!

An attempt at humour (albeit a poor one) aside, this is going to be quite a ride but it’s the best problem I’ve had in a while, and there’s no place I’d rather be.

Boot Camp 1 has been everything it promised to be, and then some. The Academy is being run by some very dedicated individuals fuelled by the desire to make a difference and the people that are helping them on the journey are equally phenomenal and generous with their time. Just when you thought that nothing would quite live up to talks by the industry leaders in advertising and marketing, we had the honour of listening to one of the most powerful stories of a human that embodies the fact that one man truly can change the world. James Brett shared with us how he overcame incredible personal challenges and through the simple love for people and utter disregard to bureaucracy, is helping bring peace to Afghanistan.

My take-out: The pomegranate is mightier than the sword (or the AK-47)! For more, I’d strongly urge some research into Plant for Peace.

Even as the unattended work emails soared into the hundreds, it wasn’t as daunting as I’d thought – there were conversations to be had, story to be absorbed.

This year will pass too quickly, and all of us will be in a mad scurry to hold on to every bit of knowledge, every friend, and every insight we will have. It’s a remarkable privilege. Time to buckle up and make a list of things that need to be submitted by this Friday!

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The Scholarship – a 9 month, free, part time program for 30 of the UK’s fastest rising stars in Marketing, Advertising, Media and Communications.

The Fellowship – Equips CMOs and Marketing Directors with the tools, knowledge and insight to make the move onto Boards and into General Management / MD / CEO roles.

12 month full paid Marketing Apprenticeship for young adults who because of challenging backgrounds, lack qualifications or poor life choices are normally overlooked for this kind of work experience