With Ogilvy Change's annual Summer School open for applications for 2017, we get the inside track from Summer School 2016 graduate, Helen Mankin.

Helen is a UCL graduate, now working at Robert Cialdini’s ‘Influence at Work’. Here's what she had to say about her experience last summer...

My motivation for applying to the Ogilvy Change Summer School was to gain an insight into how the behavioural economics principles I had been learning about were being applied in a real-world context, and where better to cut your teeth than the behavioural science unit of such a legendary agency. I also loved the fact that Ogilvy Change and the Summer School are underpinned by such positive social motives - #nudge4good!

This year the brief we tackled was with a charity called Care4Calais. After meeting with the client and learning all about the organisations incredible work, we were given two fascinating and challenging briefs. I was part of the team tasked with improving relationships between the French police and refugees in the Calais camp, and the other Summer Schoolers were responsible for increasing donations to the charity.

We used frameworks such as MINDSPACE to explore creative behavioural science solutions to our briefs, and during the week we also had sessions with key people from across the agency, including Planners, Creatives and Rory Sutherland himself! They offered amazing insights from their respective spheres, which really sparked our creative thinking as we began coming up with ideas for our behavioural interventions. The Ogilvy Change team were on hand throughout to offer their guidance, and we learnt a lot about the processes they use, from idea generation to the actual delivery of interventions. This was truly a rare and unique opportunity to be immersed in the company and to appreciate how the various Ogilvy teams collaborated and shared their knowledge.

For me, one of the most influential learnings from the week was how important it is to get a good grasp on the barriers and factors underlying the behaviours you are trying to change. In this case it meant expanding our perspectives to those of the French police and the refugees inhabiting the camps to better understand the issues faced by both parties. As part of this process we went to an exhibition, The Calais Jungle at the Southbank centre, which offered a snapshot of the needs, culture and hopes of the camp residents and the reality of the situation in Calais.

The Ogilvy Change Summer School 2017 is now open for applications and will run from 17th - 21st July 2017.

Apply now here.