Graduating from university and contemplating your next steps can feel like walking through thick fog – especially in the midst of a global pandemic. The unknown can be full of fear – but it can also be full of hope. It can be “the worst of times and the best of times” – and it definitely was, for Megan Williams.
Megan had just graduated from Leeds Arts University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Creative Advertising when she crossed paths with us, back in 2020. Reflecting on how she and her fellow classmates felt at that time, she says, “Before I got involved with Creative Conscience, it was quite a depressing moment and quite despairing – especially coming out of university on just a random day, it did kind of just put us all down…”
However, soon after, Megan came across our global “HOPE” brief, inviting creative students from around the world to share their ideas for a positive campaign highlighting the number of people who have totally recovered from Covid-19. The contrast between the hopeless online atmosphere the pandemic fostered and the “hope” this brief gave Megan is evident in her words: “(…) researching everything and looking on social media, how doom and gloom it is; you really wanted to spread your voice and to just see if your idea will get out there.” So she did exactly that: she came up with a campaign that not only drew attention to the number of Covid-19 recoveries but also reflected the constantly updating numbers in real time on digital billboards, she titled it DEFEATED, she submitted it… and she won!
DEFEATED became the central piece of our collaborative “Totally Recovered” campaign; conceived by Orb, produced by us and L&Co, developed by Voodooh and Nicole Yershon. Megan points out that this project not only helped her gain global recognition but also, and most importantly, her self-confidence and voice: “When I’d actually found out that my idea was out there, I was so happy and my confidence just went up to the roof. Because I didn’t think this would happen, I just thought I’d enter and then that was it, like I didn’t realise that I’d actually win. And I was just so happy afterwards and I’d had that chance to let my message get sent across. Seeing my campaign go across so many different countries; I’d never even expected that – and especially like New York Times Square. I was just so amazed and I showed my friends and family, and they were all so proud of me. It was just amazing, you get the chance to share your idea and all the people to see it. (…) It did go around like to 15 countries and was “world-seen”(?) by people, and knowing that just boosts your self-esteem so high, because you do put doubts in your head like you’re not good enough or you just can’t apply for that job because you don’t feel like you’ve got enough experience. But by actually putting pen to paper and actually doing it, then it does actually happen and it does create this positive mood and you can actually go for stuff, you can apply for that job. (…) So it has helped a lot on confidence, as well as knowing the message of doom and gloom on social media – you can’t really focus on that, you do have to always focus on the positive and just put aside the negative.”
Keeping her focus on the positive, Megan explains the important role her experience with CC has played in her career: “After Creative Conscience, it has helped me gain job roles and I feel like it is a great thing to have on your CV. Working with them made me realise I do actually want to work with ethical brands. So currently I am working with a company called ‘Meatless Farm’ and working on their social media. And I’ve also recently got a full time job with Mighty Pea, which is an alternative milk brand and it uses yellow split peas. And it’s just like you want to make that change by working in a corporate like that, they’re the reasons why the world will get better.”
Emphasising the big power of small changes; Megan shares how CC supported her in this change-making journey and encourages her fellow creatives to believe in their own potential: “I would suggest if you want to change and get involved with Creative Conscience; to always put yourself out there and have enough confidence to do that and just realise that you can actually do stuff. Don’t let your negative thoughts put that aside. As well as workshops, because I did do a workshop with Creative Conscience and it does actually make you realise “What’s my carbon footprint?” It makes you realise that you have to realise what you are doing in the world because small changes actually make a difference, even though people sometimes don’t believe it. It does actually make a difference, because at my work we did a sustainable chat and they were saying that “How these three different things can actually help you change?” So one was obviously travelling. And it was saying that if you take a flight across the world, it can be the same as being vegan for a year. (…) So it’s kind of realising your own carbon footprint, and doing Creative Conscience workshops helps you realise your own personal changes and how you’ve got to change. Even a small difference can make a difference.”
Thank you Megan for not only telling but also showing that small steps matter and that change begins with ourselves – you are amazing.
Originally written for and published by Creative Conscience.