Close-Up: From a Hackney comp to Bartle Bogle Hegarty

Two school students undertook work experience at BBH through the Ideas Foundation scheme. But how did they get on?

The Ideas Foundation is a charity that aims to get children from deprived areas to experience the creative industries. Earlier this month, 14 year-ten pupils from Haggerston School in Hackney spent two weeks on placement at seven London agencies as part of the scheme. Here, the winning team of Xandria Carelse and Shaimaa Mohran describe the experience of creating their anti-bullying campaign.

Working with the Ideas Foundation at Bartle Bogle Hegarty for the past two weeks has been an amazing experience. It has changed our perception of the working world and advertising, and has helped us start thinking about what we want to do in our careers.

We did a lot of things and visited many places during the past two weeks. We were presented with our brief - an anti-bullying campaign - from the Learning Trust at Ogilvy. We then went to the research agency Hall & Partners, where we did research workshops and learned about qualitative research. This helped us work out how to do research for our pitch. We ended up with a camcorder in BBH's foyer, interviewing the unfortunates who agreed to talk to us about bullying.

We spent time at Zandra Rhodes' old house, which was converted into the Fashion & Textiles Museum last year. We worked with an artist called Patricio, who encouraged us to change our ways of thinking and look around us in the urban environment to find alternative ways of advertising.

Our time was incredibly well spent at BBH; we worked extremely hard and it paid off.

We were helped by our mentors to schedule our time and work out all the things we needed to do in order to present our pitch. The BBH employees were very enthusiastic about competing against other agencies, which propelled us to work harder than perhaps other teams did: asking our teachers at school to help us print the T-shirts we wore to the presentation; staying at the BBH offices until 7.30pm and cutting down our lunch breaks to make sure we completed all our work to a polished standard.

The whole project has pushed us to think in different ways about work and the future. We learned important things such as time management, punctuality, how to present a good pitch and working to a deadline. And then there was other stuff we didn't think we'd come away with: such as how to present with confidence even when you don't feel confident.

It was scary presenting our pitch at the Rich Mix cinema - we were competing against our friends and schoolmates in front of an audience made up of very important people. We had to do it properly and very seriously, because bullying is a serious issue.

When it was over, it was a big relief for all of us, not because the project had been hard, but because we could stop being against one another and all be friendly again. Winning gave us a great feeling that maybe things do pay off if you have worked hard for them.