Inside Ogilvy's Behavioural Science Summer School
I first heard about the Ogilvy Behavioural Science Practice Summer School at a careers event during my MSc. Through my study of emergency preparedness planning, I had become fascinated by the real-world application of behavioural science to problems ranging from ways in which we can promote medication adherence to how we can ensure that the maximum amount of people evacuate in the face of an imminent natural disaster. The idea of developing creative, psychologically-grounded solutions to diverse problems like these was really exciting, so I decided to apply to the 2017 Summer School.
The Summer School was a jam-packed week with others that shared an interest in the application of behavioural science, all from a range of backgrounds. Working in small teams, we approached a live brief from Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust, devising new ways for the charity to engage high net-worth donors. We learnt about how to creatively apply behavioural frameworks, like MINDSPACE, to come up with novel solutions to problems. The mix of creative workshopping with idea development grounded in academic research was eye-opening. Getting to tackle a live brief provided us all with great insight into how the Behavioural Science Practice at Ogilvy applies psychological theory to real-world problems. During the week, we had the opportunity to learn about the wider agency from other departments, as well as sessions with members of the team to understand the day-to-day working life in the Behavioural Science Practice. The week culminated in us pitching our ideas to the client and hearing from Rory Sutherland.
Flash forward to 2019 and I am now working within the Behavioural Science Practice as an Analyst, after having finished my MSc and having spent a year abroad. My first few months within the team have been diverse and thought-provoking. I’ve had the opportunity to work on projects spanning from reducing food waste amongst the student population to increasing podcast listening on the Spotify app.
The Summer School was an amazing insight into how the team operates and the massive diversity of problems that are tackled by the team. I now have the brilliant opportunity to contribute to the development, testing and evaluation of behavioural interventions and make a true impact with some incredible clients from the private, public and third sectors.
I would recommend the Summer School to anyone who is keen to understand how research from the behavioural sciences can be practically and creatively applied. Come with an open mind, positive attitude and team-working spirit!