From participant to copywriter. The Humanise Masterclass as seen by François Larouche

Interview with François Larouche, participant in the 2021 Masterclass and copywriter at Bleublancrouge

Humanise: Hello, François. Thank you for participating in our interview today. 

Here at Humanise, we know you as a copywriter for Bleublancrouge, but what people may not know is that you are a former participant in the 2021 Masterclass. 

François: Indeed, it all started with the Masterclass, which is really cool! 

H: Do you want to tell us why you signed up for the Masterclass?

F: I signed up after being convinced by friends who were working or had worked at BBR, one of whom had attended the Masterclass a few years earlier, won it and got the internship.

I had been thinking about working in advertising for a while, but with my eclectic academic background (certificates in screenwriting, psychology and history) and the pandemic, I had no idea how to approach this field or if I had the necessary background. In short, my friends all told me that this was the perfect opportunity to learn more about the field and possibly enter it.

H: And how did it go for you? 

F: Good! (I think? I hope…) I really experienced it on two levels: First, attending the courses given by the masters, in the evening. And second, preparing the pitch with my team. I learned that I could really get excited about this job, especially during the presentation on creative work. 

H: What did you find most fun? Most challenging? 

F: The most fun: The fact that the Masterclass were organized by a real agency in collaboration with one of its clients (in my case, Arterra Wines) and that we had to plan a campaign for an existing product. I really forgot that the campaign we were preparing was fictional. 

Also, the experience of the coaches and masters was super interesting and grounded in reality.

As for challenging: The fact that some of us were doing this remotely, obviously. One of our team members lived in Sherbrooke. It’s not ideal to brainstorm when one participant’s on Zoom and five others are there in person. 

Otherwise, realizing that no one on the team had any real Photoshop skills was quite surprising. I ended up producing all of the visuals for our campaign on Canva, ha ha. I was pretty proud of the result! But when I showed it to Sarah-Jeanne, she said: “Oh… This is cute. We’re not really able to read what it says, but it’s cute.” 

H: Ha ha ha. I love that comment from Sarah-Jeanne (one of our designers at BBR). So in the end, what would you say the Masterclass did for you? 

F: The Masterclass allowed me to get an internship, and to land a job very quickly, ha ha! But otherwise, honestly, it taught me in a hurry how advertising works. From brief to pitch. Of course, in six weeks (the Masterclass is six weeks, right? Editor’s note: yes, it’s six weeks ;-)), we don’t go into all the details of this huge machine, but for a guy like me who didn’t know what a strategy was or even the account services department, let’s just say I absorbed a lot of information.

I also made some friends on my team. We don’t have brunch every Sunday, but it’s cool to see where they’re at, and a lot of people have found jobs in the communications field since then!

H: Do you have any advice for future students who take part?

F: I think it all depends on why they want to participate. If it’s to put on their resume as a student during their school career, I would just tell them to pay attention, take notes and ask as many questions as possible during the Masterclass. Get involved with your team, too, of course, but there’s nothing like people from the field to teach you what’s being done in practice beyond the theoretical.

If, like me, they are there to get an internship and eventually a job. I would tell them to be 200% involved throughout the process. Meet face to face, hunker down, and don’t be afraid to get involved beyond your assigned role. It’s really collaborative as a process, and what you want is for your pitch to be A1 at the end. I think you have to kind of forget about the role you’re assigned and all team members have to be involved in every step of preparing the pitch.

H: Great. Indeed, you can really see the difference when all of the team members get involved to deliver an A1 pitch as you say. It’s very impressive to see the quality of the presentations in front of the jury, given the super-tight deadlines. 

Have you considered being a coach at the Masterclass this year? Will you participate again? 

F: I must admit that I hadn’t thought about it! But now that you mention it, I think I’m tempted. 

H: Great, we’d love to see you again at the Masterclass!

You are a communication student with a strong desire to learn and grow in your field? Sign up for the Humanise Masterclass! You have until February 15 to apply here 👉