“Educating a New Creative Class”
Ideas in Action
Mar 19

Meet the Ideas Makers: Funmi

Meet the Ideas Makers

Each month we profile some of the idea’s makers within the Ideas Foundation community.
From young people who have experienced one of our I AM CREATIVE programmes for the
first time; to those that have progressed through the Future Creatives programme and now
have a career in the creative industry.

We want to share their stories and inspire you to become part of a creative community
where anyone with ideas is welcome.

Allow us to introduce you to Funmi Oriola; Ideas Foundation alumni and now product

How did you first get involved with Ideas Foundation?
Our tutor at college selected a handful of my classmates to attend an Idea Foundation
workshop. Initially I was not nominated to be one of them, because I had been part of a
different workshop earlier in the month. As fate would have it, one of my friends dropped
out and asked me if I would be interested in taking her place, which I gladly did.

Tell us about your journey with Ideas Foundation.
I have been involved with the Ideas Foundation since 2009.
I initially joined as a participant of a Creative Media Camp – a week-long project where we
worked with Creative Orchestra and The Red Brick Road on a live brief for Summer
Universities London. The brief was for students to create an online viral advert to promote
an art exhibition that would profile the best work to come out of the Summer Universities
across London.The judging panel (made up of Creative Orchestra and advertising agency staff from Engine
Group) were highly impressed. We were asked to attend another Ideas Foundation
workshop to further our ideas.
Later I was asked to join the Ideas Foundation youth advisory board. In this role I got to;

  •  Represent young people within the Ideas Foundation
  •  Obtain work experience
  •  Advise advertising companies about the Foundation’s work
  •  Encourage young people to be involved in the Foundation
  •  Plan and deliver workshops
  •  Represent the Foundation at events, including one hosted at 11 Downing Street
  •  Attend conferences at companies including Channel 4

How has Ideas Foundation benefitted you?
The ideas foundation has taught me how to choose a job that embodies my passion, hobby
and will.
Before and during University, Ideas Foundation helped me to develop my skills in presenting
and showed me how to better work in a creative environment.
I met the ideas foundation in college and honestly, I wished I had met them earlier; they
would have sparked my creativity so much more. I always loved adverts, films, research but

I never thought of them as a career path for me. The Ideas Foundation changed that and
made me realise there's a job for everyone's skill set which is sometimes not listed in the
career advice office of schools.

What is the most valuable thing about Ideas Foundation for you?
The Ideas Foundation exposes people to industries and jobs most people don’t know about.
At every workshop the Ideas Foundation hosts that I am fortune to be part of, I always say to
the students “this experience is going to change or help make an important decision in your

How did Ideas Foundation help to inspire you to do what you are doing?
I studied Product Design at University and this is purely because of my experience with the
Ideas Foundation. I originally wanted to study Architectural Engineering. My dad studied
Civil Engineering and my mum studied Business, so I thought I could learn from my parents.
I also thought it was the only "arty" course I could do that wasn’t fine art, architecture and

Before Ideas Foundation I honestly didn't know anything about the advertising industry.
Once my eyes were opened to the industry, it was all I wanted to do. This was reinforced
after I met two interns at my work experience with the advertising agency, BMB. They said
that if they’d had the opportunity we were given, they wouldn't have studied Advertising as
a degree course.

Multiple conversations with people in the industry made me realise that a good number of
people didn't study Advertising at University but "fell" into the industry. It was their best
decision yet and they wouldn't change their journey. I learnt that I needed to study
something that included advertising, but not on its own.

With some personal research and help from people in the Ideas Foundation, I decided I
would like to study product design.

It was perfect for me; I love conceptualisation and what better way to conceptualise an
advert than to start from the beginning – the product.
The next dilemma I faced was whether to go to University or go to the School of
Communication Arts; an 18-month schooling where you study to be a copywriter or arts
director for a year and have a 6-month placement that could lead to a job.
I got to meet the owner of the school Marc Lewis at an Ideas Foundation function. He
advised me to go to University and study Product Design.
I am forever grateful for the help of Ideas Foundation and all the people I have met in my
Ideas Foundation journey.

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