"Throughout my experience, I’ve always had the chance to receive helpful feedback about my content and abilities from the professionals themselves"
Role: Sky Sports News Work Experience
This isn’t like any role I’ve done before
I love how my two-week placement has taken a rotational structure allowing me to gain as much knowledge as possible. The first three days I spent with the planning team where I was responsible for gathering notes and intel for the reporters to use during press conferences. In the digital marketing team, I was able to manage the live blogging, having the responsibility to cover a cricket story available for instant upload. Seeing my name under my own content on Sky’s online website felt like such a massive achievement as I didn’t think I’d have this opportunity. It's also been great to sit in on the team’s daily meetings where I've been trusted with sensitive information and data. It feels really valuable to know that I’ve been welcomed in as part of the team after such a short period of time. You don’t actually realise how much goes on behind the scenes so it was great to understand the logic behind certain decisions.
This experience has enlightened me to the next steps I can take in order to pursue a career in sport journalism
I would definitely advise other interns to ask as many questions as possible. I’ve made sure that I’ve asked every employee that I’ve had the chance to meet how they got into their specific role, this has given me the opportunity to discover my own options towards the next steps in my career path.
Throughout my experience, I’ve always had the chance to receive helpful feedback about my content and abilities from the professionals themselves. This has allowed me to assess which areas need improvement and which I work well in, I’ve also had the opportunity to sustain advice on my CV in order to help boost future applications which is extremely beneficial.
“I can honestly say I love my job and that makes all the tough times worth it.”
Name: Alexandria Carpenter
Job title: Financial Analyst
What area of Sky do you work in? Commercial Finance, Customer Service Group
How did you get to where you are now? I studied for my CIMA qualification while working full time at a large bank. Having to juggle a lot of study and full-time work was challenging at times (not to mention the impact on my social life!) but allowed me to put what I was learning into practice and overall has given me excellent experience.
Describe a typical day… There is no typical day in CommercialFinance! I do a lot of stakeholder management, add commercial context around monthly reports, budgeting, forecasting, 5 Year Plan, monitoring the budget, challenging spend within my business areas, look at new business case proposals, project work…the list goes on and all of these things are touched on daily. I look after a business area which has 6 smaller business areas within it and each area looks at different things so there is always something new to learn and get stuck into.
What do you specialise in and work with on a daily basis? I specialise in getting into the heart of the business to help drive improvements in performance, reduce costs, look at new initiatives/ways of working and provide advice and insight on all financial matters within my area. This role is not just your typical number crunching accounting role, it’s about really understanding the wider business and the external environment in which we operate and taking this into consideration when making decisions.
Describe your work/life balance at Sky? My work/life balance is excellent. We all have laptops which allow us to work from home if needed and means we don’t have to take days off to wait in for the gas man. There is an on-site gym which I make good use of before work and also means I miss the morning traffic. Generally speaking, provided the work is done and you work your required hours, I’d say we’re pretty flexible.
What’s the most enjoyable thing about your job? Variety! There are no two days the same. My priority list at 9am on a Monday morning will often change several times throughout the day and it’s just all part and parcel for working for such a fast paced, innovative company. The Commercial Finance function really is at the heart of the business and our input is valued.
What would be your advice to someone who’d want to do what you’re doing? One of my tutors once said to me ‘short term pain, long term gain’ and this stuck throughout my studies and it’s so true! Of course, it’ll be tough going at times but I can honestly say I love my job and that makes all those tough times worth it.
An interesting fact/something no one else knows about you? I hate the feeling of cheese on my hands and wear food gloves if I have to touch it.
Express your interest for our Corporate functions here: http://bit.ly/2h7H7bJ
“I want to better understand how customers use the My Sky app in order to make it easier for them to achieve what they want to do and help them enjoy it”
Name: Michael Richardson
Job title: Mobile Developer (Android Chapter Lead)
What area of Sky do you work in? My Sky App
What’s your career journey been like up until now? I worked in academic research for around ten years studying genetics before moving into software engineering. At first, I was working on websites before moving into Android development around 4 years ago. Most of my work was for start-ups before I started here about a year and a half ago.
What does a typical day working here look like for you? We have daily stand ups in the mornings where the team discusses the work we’re doing towards the current sprint. For most of the remainder of the day I’ll be working on tickets to add new functionality to the app. I often have meetings to attend where we’ll discuss and plan the future features we want to add. Our app interacts with a lot of different services across the company so these meetings will often involve other teams. We have a strong set of communities which work across the company that arrange talks on a variety of topics from the latest Android technologies to public speaking. These include external speakers coming in from companies such as Spotify and Monzo to talk about the technologies they use. I’ll attend any talks that interest me.
If you’ve been here over one year, how have you made a difference in your role? One aspect of the new app that I’ve enjoyed working on is analytics. We want to better understand how customers use the app in order to make it easier for them to achieve what they want to do in the app and to make them enjoy their interactions with us. Part of this involved adding Automatic Tracking so that we always have some analytics data even if the developers didn’t add anything. It has been very interesting to integrate with Adobe and also with Sky Analytics. Sky Analytics is an analytics solution developed in house using open source technologies such as Kafka and Apache Spark. This opens up the possibility to take different approaches to understanding our customers such as machine learning and recommendation engines to provide personalised experiences to our customers. I’ve been working on converting this work to an SDK to allow other internal mobile teams to use it.
What’s been your proudest moment since working here? It was great to see the My Sky App launched. The team did a brilliant job and the app looks superb.
What’s the most enjoyable thing about your job? I love working with the latest technologies to find innovative solutions to problems. We’ve made some great technology choices in the new app. For example, we’re using Kotlin for almost all our development work in the Android app. It requires around half the amount of code that Java would need to be written in Java. This makes developers more productive and also leaves fewer places for bugs to hide making the code easier to maintain. From a standing start of not having used Kotlin before, I think the whole team was confident using it within a month and after two months we had all added more features than we would’ve done using Java.
Describe your work/life balance? This is a nice, laid back place to work. The developers are given the time and space they need to follow best practice and work at their best rather than being rushed. The working week is fairly 9-5. If overtime is needed, individuals can choose if they want to work extra hours and get paid for doing so.
What advice would you give to others trying to develop their career? I’m a self-taught programmer, which can make it challenging to break into the industry. You need to dive deep on a single platform to know it well and learn important skills like writing unit tests. Having a long-term project, even if it’s a personal project is a good way to get that experience. Overall, the most important thing for me has been to keep learning and keep questioning how to be a better engineer. Here, there are so many different people with so many different interests and specialities that you can also find someone knowledgeable to discuss things with and learn from.
An interesting fact/something no one else knows about you? I was in San Francisco when the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake hit.
Interested in joining our Technology team? Express your interest here: http://bit.ly/2gRUzCT
“The tech and flexible working approach we have, mean I can keep on top of work and meetings while travelling or working from home, which really makes a difference.”
Name: Rory Dickson
Job title: Financial Controller, Commercial Finance
What area of Sky do you work in? Customer Service Group
How did you get to where you are now? I started my career at Deloitte, where I did my professional qualifications and worked mainly in audit. After qualifying I wanted a more commercial role and joined here as an analyst. Within 18 months I made the step up to Controller, starting in an overheads role, before moving to an efficiency team. I’m now supporting the customer service team and really enjoying the challenge of delivering amazing service whilst being cost-effective.
Describe a typical day… It’s a cliché, but no two days are the same here! In a given week I can expect to be negotiating a contract, developing strategy for the year(s) ahead, monitoring and challenging our current spending, reviewing the impact of recent projects and loads more. We need to work at pace in order to keep delivering a great product, and that filters through to every part of the organisation, meaning my to-do list changes on an hourly basis!
What do you specialise in and work with on a daily basis? I spend a lot of my time developing new ideas in collaboration with the business, seeing them from initial generation right through to implementation and beyond. Those ideas might be how we change a process or system to deal with customers more efficiently or it might involve developing a new revenue stream, but all of them require us to work with a broad range of stakeholders and different parts of the business.
Describe your work/life balance at Sky? I have two young children so it’s really important that I strike the right balance between work and home. The technology and flexible working approach we have, mean I can keep on top of work and meetings while travelling or working from home, which really makes a difference.
What’s the most enjoyable thing about your job? I love having the opportunity to shape how we serve our customers in the right way. We’re not just a group of bean-counters, separated from the rest of the organisation. Of course, we spend a good deal of time challenging performance and making sure we’re on track to hit our targets, but we achieve that by working closely with the business on implementing clever solutions and ways of working.
What would be your advice to someone who’d want to do what you’re doing? Find an industry or a product you can get excited about. Much of the good work we do here stems from the fact that everyone loves the product and wants to help the company keep improving and delivering profit.
An interesting fact/something no one else knows about you? I’ve got crippling vertigo and so can’t use most of the open staircases in our lovely new office in London – takes me twice as long to get to meetings!
Interested in joining our Corporate team? http://bit.ly/2h7H7bJ
"Working with the cameras is my favourite but I also like how the role is more people-focused than I thought it would be."
Name:- Gabrielle Luu
Role: Sky Production Services Fast Forward Intern
What attracted you to the internship? I’ve always been interested in production and this offered a wider scope and variety of roles within production whereas other companies make you focus on one area. I’ve spent time working on the floor, with cameras and with auto queue.
What did you do prior to your role? I didn’t have any prior experience but knew I was interested in production and working with cameras but they’re willing to take people on with less experience and train them providing you show enthusiasm.
Describe a typical day? In production, you work a shift pattern so the times are different, I could start at 3am or finish late at night depending on what programme I’m working on.
Describe your work life balance? No matter what you’re working on, you always have two free days back to back, but it’s not always at the weekend. At first it was difficult working odd hours but now I’m used to it and it’s worth it for the role.
What attracted you to Sky? A big well-known company that looks good on your cv, they’re willing to take you on and give you the support and training you need. They throw you into the deep end but this has helped develop my practical skills. Working with the cameras is my favourite but I also like how the role is more people focused than I thought it would be as you get to interact with others, for example, when I was working on the cameras for Saturday night football, I had to talk to the floor manager and also the makeup team to ensure the whole picture looked good.
Where do you see yourself in the future? I'd love to carry on working here, you can pick an area which you enjoyed working in and do a trail period and if they don’t keep you on then they’ll support you and you can build skills to re-apply.
What do you like most about Sky? I get to do something new each day, so it’s never boring. I get to meet loads of new people and you never know what’s going to happen.
Do you have any application tips? Remember to be professional, you’re applying for a job not making a friend so it’s important to be formal but still be yourself and let your personality show through. Try to be confident and sell yourself and your best aspects.
Can you tell us a fun fact about yourself? When I was 16 I did a charity sky dive.
"Within your working team, you grow to be a family and everyone is so friendly that I felt part of the department straight away!"
Job Title: Fast Forward Intern in Sky Creative, alternating between 7 departments.
A typical day at Sky: My internship offers a wide range of opportunities, meaning that work can be very fast paced. A ‘typical day’ doesn’t really exist! However, when a new project comes to the forefront, the typical procedure will involve a meeting with the team, where they will be given a brief explanation of the tasks they will be faced with and the deadlines that the project includes, whether these be within days or weeks. A general step by step plan will be outlined for the project ahead.
What’s it like having so much variation in an internship: In a long term job, if the tasks you’re faced with are very similar on a day to day basis, the work may become boring. I enjoy the fast paced nature of his internship and finds that multiple tasks with a lot of variety keep his work exciting and fresh. I've been working on Sky’s branding and cutting promos for many shows, I've even designed sets within Sky Central!
Is there a good life/work balance at Sky: My working hours allow me the late afternoon and evening free, I also don’t work weekends, meaning that I’ve found a very fair balance of free time and work.
Did anything surprise him about your job? The thing that surprised me most about my work here was the fact that my very first piece of work went out into the wider world. I’d initially just expected it to be a practice run yet within a few weeks, my first task of creating a promotional design to appear on buses, was out in public. The calm and relaxed environment of Sky also surprised me, as it doesn’t feel like work. The friendly and warm atmosphere create a relaxed and happy working environment.
What’s the coolest thing you've done at Sky? I recently helped on designing the set for Sky VR which was a very exciting opportunity. I also got to take part in a week of promos, in which I worked on shows such as, ‘Nashville’ and ‘New York Emergency’.
What advice would you offer for people applying for apprenticeships now? Be sure it’s what you want to do and to be very open to tasks because they’re what you learn the most from. To understand that there’s no such thing as a mistake and to be very open to help from those with experience at Sky. When applying make sure you know the company and what they’re about. Doing research shows that you’re someone with a real interest and passion. Most importantly, be yourself.
What do you think makes a successful candidate successful? They have to be someone who can bring something to the company and be passionate about the field they want to enter.
What was your experience of the assessment days? In my assessment, the candidates were given TV shows to promote and explain why they’re programme should be on television. It was a great experience and it wasn’t a high-pressure situation, after a while, I forgot I was even being watched!
If you could be involved in any other area of life at Sky, which would you choose? Production appeals to me as it is very involving and exciting. The idea of being a cameraman and being on set!
What are the main benefits of having an apprenticeship? I enjoy the variation within my work. The chance to experience many different departments within Sky Creative has allowed me a chance to discover my areas of interest and passion for the future. I first worked on Sky’s brand and currently am in Sky Sports graphics.
What’s your favourite thing about working for Sky? Sky is a huge team, with so many people everywhere. Within your working team, you grow to be a family and everyone is so friendly that I felt part of the department straight away!
Name: Pelu Lanlehin
Job title: Technology Apprentice
What area of Sky do you work in? Customer Provisioning and Assurance
How long have you been on the Apprentice Scheme for? I’ve been on the scheme for just over a year now.
Describe your work/life balance at Sky… Working here is so flexible. I normally start the day around 9 am and finish at 5:30 pm however if I wanted to I can start and finish earlier or later to suit my social life. They even let me work from home sometimes! What I really like about working here is that as an Apprentice I get the same benefits as everyone else. I definitely don’t have any complaints about the work/life balance!
What’s the most enjoyable thing about your job and what surprised you most? The most enjoyable part of my job is that no day is the same - it’s so varied! I’d say the thing that surprised me the most about working here as an Apprentice is that I get treated just as well as everyone else and people really take care and look after you.
Does Sky support you throughout your time here? Yes, there’s so much support available. When you join here you can choose a mentor who is there to assist you and answer any questions you have which is really helpful. The managers are also really flexible with what you learn – if there’s an area that interests you more than others they let you explore that further.
What do you plan on doing once your Apprenticeship finishes? I’ve had the opportunity to rotate around all of the main Technology departments and I think I want to go into Data Analysis or Projects, but I’m not sure which yet!
Do you feel that you have been given a good overview of your sector during your time at Sky? Yes, I feel like I could do many people’s jobs actually!
What important skills have you learnt? The most important skills I’ve learnt are communication and organisational skills. I would say my confidence has also greatly improved.
What is your top application tip for people applying now – what did you do to stand out when you were applying? Spend time on your application and don’t rush it. In order to stand out try to express what you want out of your job rather than what you think they want to hear. Also, ask as many questions as possible, don’t be afraid to talk to people as everyone is really willing to help.
Would you recommend the Apprenticeship scheme to your friends? Yes, absolutely!
“A great benefit is ‘Innovation Wednesdays’ where we get to choose how we spend our time.”
Name: Nick McDowall
Job Title: Software Developer
What area do you work in? SNS Information Systems
What do you love about your job? I get to collaborate with smart people and solve problems. My days are rarely boring and the requirements are constantly changing.
What does a typical day for you look like?
On a typical day, I arrive at the office 5-10 minutes before 9am. During the next half hour, I check my calendar and emails and by 09:35 the whole team join the daily stand-up meeting around the whiteboard. This is where we get to update the rest of the team about the progress we have made, any issues we’re facing and to decide what we’ll be working on that day. Once we all know what we’re going to be working on we head to the team bay in pairs to work on our stories. Depending on the nature of the task we may be able to spend a good couple of hours writing code or possibly collaborating with others (Business Analysts, Project Managers, Other teams etc.) to better understand requirements before we start working on an implementation.
The afternoon session allows us to carry on working on our tasks in pairs. There may be the occasional meeting to do with upcoming projects, planning, retrospectives etc. depending on the day and which part of the iteration we’re in. At approximately 17:30 most of the team will call it a day.
What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learnt in the last 6 months? I’ve had the opportunity to use new technologies that were not available to me previously (including Kubernetes, Docker, ElasticSearch etc.)
What is the best thing about working here? Friendly, welcoming and laid-back atmosphere with a focus on producing quality solutions.
What is your favourite Sky Benefit and why? There are several great benefits like the free Sky TV but other favourites include cakey Fridays and innovation Wednesdays where we get to choose how we spend our time – so we might decide to run/attend a coding kata, lightning talks or simply work on a pet project.
Interested in joining our Technology team? Express your interest here: http://bit.ly/2gRUzCT
“I’m given the flexibility that I need to have a life outside of work and do the things that make me who I am.”
Name: Georgia Rule
Job title: Reward Consultant
What area do you work in? Human Resources
How are you supported to be yourself at work? Living quite far away from the office, I’m given the flexibility that I need to allow me to have a life outside of work and do the things that make me who I am.
What does a typical day working here look like for you? I don’t really have a typical day because it really does depend what I’m working on. Some days I can switch from being nose deep in a spreadsheet, to leading a presentation, to being in a meeting with the business all in one day. And other days my nose just stays buried in that spreadsheet crunching numbers all day. However, my day is what I make it and I can choose to vary it as I need to.
What’s been your proudest moment since working here? I had to go through some tough negotiations this year but when we finally got to a number we could work with, I couldn’t help but feel proud of what my efforts had achieved.
What’s the most enjoyable thing about your job? It’s going to sound nerdy but I love excel and one of the things I love most about my job is the satisfaction you get after finishing a long piece of analysis and presenting your findings. However, the variety of the role is something to be enjoyed as well.
What advice would you give to others trying to develop their career? Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback, especially in times when you’re afraid to hear what the other person might say, that’s when you’ll learn the most. Also, make sure you have regular structured conversations with your manager about your performance and their expectations of you.
An interesting fact/something no one else knows about you? Most people find it quite interesting that I ride a motorbike but this is just normal to me.
“Our people...are the reason I do my job”
Name: Lisa Daisley
Job title: Head of Sales Operations
What area of Sky do you work in and what do you do on a daily basis? I’m based at our Uddingston site looking after 500 staff within Retentions. My role primarily is to ensure the delivery of our sales plan through effective leadership and development.
How did you get into your role? I have over 18 years contact centre experience, of which 9 years have been working here. I’ve been in a number of roles during my time here; in my roles as a Sales Manager I led various teams, I then focused on insights and analysis and spent some time within the Sales Support Manager Role. I then worked with one of our Directors on helping to shape a project for our Glasgow Contact Centre. The role I’m currently in, Head of Sales Operations, is relatively new to me but I’ve grabbed it with both hands and plan to take it from strength to strength.
How have you made a difference in your role / what’s been your proudest moment working here? I’ve made a difference in my role by caring and striving to make a positive difference for both our people and the business. I’d like to think that in the 6 months that I’ve been in my current role, I’ve created a new sense of belief in our centre’s ability within the site, as well as across the business.
What’s the most enjoyable thing about your job? Our people, they're the reason I do my job.
Describe your contact centre - what makes it a great place to work? Vibrant, fast paced, embraces change, both a winning and caring culture.
Have you had the opportunity to progress in your role? I’ve experienced a number of roles during my time here, leading me to my current role. I’m still relatively new to my role, so progression isn’t something I’m looking for at the moment.
What advice would you give to others trying to develop their career? Once you feel you’ve absorbed what you can from your role it’s important to grasp new opportunities, learn as much as you possibly can about the business you work for and build your profile through positive relationships.
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself. I’ve spent the night with the Stereophonics, eating and drinking whilst enjoying some music with them.