Feb 21st, 2018
#TheNextHLR: Simoul Alva
he Helen Lansdowne Resor Scholarship is a global opportunity that awards five young women an individual scholarship of up to $10,000, a paid summer internship with a J. Walter Thompson office in her respective region, a JWT mentor, and a “first look” placement consideration upon graduation.
We caught up with our 2017 South Asia HLR, Simoul Alva, to learn more about her upbringing, favorite piece of work and how the HLR Scholarship has impacted her career goals.
Simoul with her mentor Mr. Anthony Lopez
Tell us a little bit about yourself.
I was raised in Mumbai, India by two extremely supportive and hardworking parents. At the age of three, I started drawing, and have been ever since. Knowing that working with my hands was important to me, I decided to study design at the National Institute of Design in India. My aspirations were always to work hard and put myself in a place where I could learn from the people around me. One of my few key highlights as a student was when I was trained under Mr. Anthony Lopez and represented India for Graphic Design at the WorldSkills Abu Dhabi 2017 - where I ended up winning. I am currently in my final year of design school and will be pursuing an internship at Pentagram in New York this April.
Where does your creative inspiration derive from?
I get my creative inspiration from the strangest places. You will often see me taking pictures of extremely random things and collecting scraps of paper, photographs boarding passes, stamps, etc. I look up to the work of Leta Sobierajski. Her extension of graphic design through photography and creating magic out of simple objects is incredible.
Which piece of work that you’ve created is your favorite?
During my exchange semester at the École Supérieure d'Art et de Design de Reims (ESAD), France, I had to choose an article and create a visual narrative for the piece. My article was about how human beings could overcome the aging process and increase their lifespans. My interest in biology and the whimsical tone of the article prompted me to take on the project.
How did you hear about the HLR Scholarship? What was it like when you found out that you were an HLR Scholarship recipient?
I heard about the HLR Scholarship from a former recipient at my school. It sounded like a wonderful opportunity for students trying to figure out their career path, interested in working hard and wanting to invest in their potential. It was almost surreal when I head I was chosen as an HLR recipient. I was training at Codesign Brand Consultants, when I received the call from the JWT India office. I called my family immediately and my mentor at school, while reading the email multiple times to check if it actually happened.
How has the HLR Scholarship impacted your career and overall goals?
As someone who comes from a humble family, the financial support is incredible. I am grateful to be part of a legacy that supports such bright talent from all over the world. As a young creative, the opportunity to work and be associated with an agency such as JWT is humbling. I look forward to what is to come!