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A Week in My Life: Izel Dugen and Yasmine Bridge, Content Creatives, Born Ugly

Born Ugly

Both Izel Dugen and Yasmine Bridge joined creative change agency, Born Ugly, in November of last year, as content creatives.

The Channel 4 Content Creatives scheme is a paid training and placement opportunity lasting 24 weeks in West Yorkshire and Manchester. Supported by SharpFutures, the scheme brings together classroom-led learning and practical work experience, to offer young people the chance to kickstart their career in creative digital media.

Since joining Born Ugly, the duo have worked on several client projects, as well as a set client brief to be completed at the end of their time at Born Ugly.

Here, they share a recent week in their life at the agency…


We start the week with ‘Reality Check’ at 9am on a Monday morning. We use a Kanban board to organise what we are doing with the week, what’s in progress, what’s been completed. It’s a good way to check in with the team, tell them what we’ve been up to and catch if anything has slipped under the radar. And it makes sure that we always have a plan that is manageable for everyone to deliver. During check-in we can also request to join/observe any meetings we like the sound of, giving us maximum exposure to the different ongoing projects happening here.

As everything we do at Born Ugly is collaborative, the weekly check-ins are great for getting everyone on the same page and knowing what’s happening, even if we aren’t directly involved in the project. It’s great to learn more about agile project management and see how the different projects are progressing in real time.

After we’ve organised ourselves for the week, we pick up our projects and get going with our work.


Every morning we have a check in, which is a shorter version of the Monday ‘Reality Check’. Each check in starts with a prompt to get us thinking – today’s was if we could only listen to one song for the rest of our life, what would it be and why? Everyone uses this opportunity to reflect on the previous day’s achievements and outline their aims for the day ahead. From there, we can discuss with the team how we can best support one another. That also means we get to work on a wide variety of clients and topics.

In the afternoon we take part in thrashes, which are big idea generation sessions. The thrashes may start with a simple, playful round of word association, which then develops into thorough discussions and collaborative idea generation to bounce ideas off one another and use creative problem-solving to help resolve our client’s challenges. Thrashes are one of our favourite times of the week as everyone’s ideas are recognised and acknowledged. It gives us an opportunity to be vocal and offer the senior members of the team a different perspective. It’s a really collaborative process, and when we finally get that break through it’s incredibly rewarding.


Wednesdays are usually the busiest day of the week. There’s always a lot going on, with the majority of the team coming in to work from the studio. This Wednesday we had our ‘ugly’ intros with the rest of the team. We got to speak more about our life, discuss the things we did at university, and showcase the journey that led to us being part of the Content Creatives Scheme and Born Ugly. The ‘ugly’ intros let us demonstrate our storytelling ability which is an extremely valuable, transferable skill to use for future pitches.

In the afternoon, we took part in a research outing with a few of the design team. We undertook a sensorial discovery on behalf of a client, which meant going into Leeds and sampling a lot of perfumes to help define their sensory principles. It was a really nice way to spend a few hours, and not necessarily a way we thought we’d get to spend a working day! 

That’s been one of the biggest learning curves of the Content Creatives scheme; the creative industry is nothing like we imagined. Every day truly is different, with each client facing their own unique challenges, but having their own unique opportunities at the same time.


At Born Ugly we benefit from hybrid working, with three days working from the studio, two days working from home. Most people tend to come into the studio for the first three days of the week, so Thursday is normally a work from home day. Because of this, it can be a bit slower paced and a day for catching up on the work that’s not yet happened that week.

That might be jotting down notes from meetings, catching up with other members of the team to formulate a plan or helping with discovery, audits and research for clients. It varies. Sometimes it means writing up the ideas we’ve had from previous thrashes which are spread across hundreds of post-it notes. One of the hardest aspects of this task is actually trying to decipher everyone’s handwriting!

Compounding everyone’s ideas helps us write up and formulate campaign ideas. It’s fascinating to watch an idea go from some post-it notes to fleshed out projects.


On Friday we have catch ups with our mentors, where we rate the week and each day out of five, discussing what went well and what didn’t. These are a great way to reflect on what we’ve achieved and what we want to carry through for the next week, as well as tracking how each day went. It’s nice to catch up and see how we are getting on and developing our skills each week. 

One of our mentors Lizzy previously took part in the Content Creatives scheme, so it’s invaluable to have someone with that direct experience to talk to. She’s since joined Born Ugly full time and in less than a year was promoted to Provocation Manager, showing first hand that career progression in the creative industry is within grasp.

We’re just over halfway through the Content Creatives Scheme and feel as though we’ve learnt so much already. For example, before the scheme, we had no idea such a job even existed and that so much time was dedicated to creative thinking. Although we never officially got assigned departments, the scheme has shown where our brains are suited to in the creative industry as we naturally fell into teams – Yasmine into Strategy & Provocation, Izel into Design & Creative.

We can’t wait to see what the remainder of our time at Born Ugly has in store and are already looking forward to hearing what the rest of our Content Creatives cohort have been up to at our ‘graduation’ in March.

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