“I’ve been able to influence the way in which work is flowing within our agile team.”
Name: Tony Lubbock
Job title: Business Analyst (BA)
What area of Sky do you work in? Online Service
What’s your career journey been like up until now? I started out with a Process Improvement team, building my analysis skills. The BA route interested me because of its link with technology and because it appealed to my somewhat obsessive want for the finer details in my work. I made the move into the BA role and have since worked in Financial Services, Logistics and now here.
What does a typical day working here look like for you? After our team stand-up in the morning, I’m straight into working on a couple of work tickets (getting them ready for the next sprint sizing session). After writing the work up, I’ll run a ‘3 amigos’ session with our UX designer and our engineers. I might join a call for a wider Sky project or see to some of the BA chapter duties ready for our weekly meet.
How have you made a difference in your role? I’ve been able to influence the way in which work is flowing within our agile team. Together the team has improved its approach significantly and has reduced a large backlog of work. We’re now at the point of re-writing our core applications!
What’s been your proudest moment since working here? My proudest moment at Sky has been starting work on the application that was causing us the most pain. Starting this work has been a shared team goal for a while now, I just can’t wait to see it implemented!
What’s the most enjoyable thing about your job? The speed at which we can get things shipped, it's great to come to work knowing that an objective will be achieved today and another will begin.
Describe your work/life balance? I commute by train since Leeds Dock is a short walk from the station, that’s a big save for me. Because I get in early, I leave on time to catch an earlier train. I can switch off after work more easily too, that’s down to our team dynamic as we support the delivery of work as a unit!
What advice would you give to others trying to develop their career? Remain calm, you’ll be shocked at your ability to choose a direction when the water is placid. Keep building your network by learning about the roles within the organisation and ask lots of questions about how other teams work! These things, for me at least; bring perspective to what it is that I want from my work life and makes setting a career direction easier; because you feel more informed.
An interesting fact/something no one else knows about you? For some reason still unknown to me, I enjoy caving/potholing. I get one of two reactions when I tell people this, either: ‘Tell me more’ or ‘don’t say another word it’s making me cringe just thinking about it!’
"I get the opportunity to work on large-scale sporting events, including tennis and remote productions"
Name: Eleanor Page
Job title: Sound Supervisor
What area of Sky do you work in? Sky Studios Production Services
How did you get to where you are now? I achieved a BSC in Media Production and Technology. I joined as part of our scholarship Scheme as a trainee and worked through the ranks to the position of Sound Supervisor.
How have you made a difference in your role? In my 18 years here, I’ve become a valuable member of the team supporting new members of staff. Recently I’ve been at the forefront of remote ‘Outside Broadcast’ technology.
Describe a typical day… Working with my Sound Operators to set up the studio floor and liaising with production to facilitate their programme requirements. This is then followed by mixing the live programme. Then, at the end of the show, derigging all areas so it’s in a tidy and easy starting point for the next team to use the facilities.
What do you specialise in and work with on a daily basis? I work on all sports shows that we produce and specialise in, including large-scale tennis events and remote productions. I also guarantee our facilities for third party productions.
Describe your work/life balance at Sky? The nature of the job means that you work some unsociable hours, as most sports tend to happen in the evenings or weekends when people watch them. This is compensated by having my days off in the week!
What’s the most enjoyable thing about your job? The talented people I work with.
What would be your advice to someone who’d want to do what you’re doing? Be prepared to work irregular shift patterns, due to the nature of the live sport that we broadcast from all around the world.
An interesting fact/something no one else knows about you? Jerry Hall once wore my Horse-riding chaps.
“One minute I was deciding what to give up for lent, the next, I was shepherding Julia Stiles and Adrian Lester down the red carpet”
Name: Chris Williams
Job Title: Marketing Executive, Sky Vision
One minute I was deciding what to give up for lent, the next, I was shepherding Julia Stiles, Adrian Lester and co down the red carpet. This year, I was fortunate enough to be a part of the Sky Vision team gearing up for the annual MIPTV market. We had a whole area at the wonderful Palais dedicated to showcasing our brilliant content from Factual and Entertainment to Drama and Comedy.
For Sky Vision, MIPTV is one of the biggest dates in the calendar year, we spend months and months working toward the annual event, with preparation for it as meticulous as you can get. It’s a true team effort, everyone from Marketing and Events, through to the Sales and Acquisitions teams - it’s our chance to really show the world exactly what we’re about! We are THE production and distribution arm of Sky and we supply some of the best in high quality programming across the globe.
MIPTV 2017 saw us launch our brand new primetime entertainment format ‘Don’t Ask Me’. We hosted a live and interactive run-through of the show which uniquely, is all about finding out what the nation thinks about topical, fun and sometimes controversial dilemmas, live and direct! Audiences play along via the Don’t Ask Me app, answering questions from the show that will test anyone’s resolve such as ‘how many times do we think it’s acceptable or not to cheat in a relationship?’ We had buyers and clients from all over laughing their heads off as they took part in this brand new interactive format.
The headline act for me at MIPTV 2017 though, was the powerful new drama from Sky Atlantic aptly named ‘Riviera’ starring Julia Stiles, showcased and premiered at none other than the actual French Riviera. One can only witness the true beauty of the Riviera through their own eyes to fully understand just how special this place is. So we all were very proud to bring a piece of Hollywood glamour to Cannes, the home of MIP. Unashamedly though we didn’t stop there, as well as Julia Stiles it felt like we also brought a bit of the English weather with us as the 1st day felt more like the south of Grimsby rather than south of France.
“I feel really lucky that flexible working is supported. It’s allowed me to keep a really good work/life balance.”
Name: Sam Sharma
Job Title: Database Marketing Executive
I’ve been at sky for 18 years and I’m also a Mum to two boys (16 and is 4). Yes – there’s 12 year age gap but I love it!
I returned to work 6 months after my eldest was born and found that I wasn’t getting to spend enough time with him, so I reduced my hours to finish at 3pm. Back in those days we didn’t have laptops and the technology simply didn’t allow us to work from home, but my manager at the time was very understanding and supportive of my decision.
I now work full-time and if I need to, I can easily pick up work from home as if I were in the office. I feel really lucky that Sky support flexible working and it’s allowed me to keep a good work life balance. I can do the school-run and be there for bath time, spend some precious story-time with my son, and then log back on and pick up where I left off!
“I can hardly believe the difference in my confidence, we are always told to believe we can do anything and are given all of the support and tools to enable us to do our job well”
Name: Angela Hood
Job Title: Inbound Retention Sales Advisor
What area of sky do you work in and what do you do on a daily basis? I work in our Livingston Contact Centre. I commute to work from Midlothian Edinburgh by car, where I get disabled parking right outside the building I work in. One of the reasons I choose to work here is because I’m registered disabled and heard this is a very supportive and diverse place to work.
I take inbound calls from our customers, who are considering leaving Sky for various reasons. I have effective conversations with my customers about their concerns and help them make the best choices for their household regarding the package or service that they have. Where relevant I then recommend new services that could help them make savings and hopefully help them keep the services they love and enjoy.
How did you get into your role? I’d been unable to continue in my job in community care due to my health and had no idea what I was going to do going forward. I’d been out of work for 2 years, when a friend suggested applying for a job here. I’ve been here since 2013 and never regretted it for a moment. The company have been very supportive of my needs and make everything accessible for me. I’ve never been made to feel different about my disability and have always felt included in everything.
How have you made a difference in your role/what has been your proudest moment working here? I’m known as the Mammy of the team, and try to give support to those who may be struggling or having a bad day (we all have them, including me). I’m always looking to keep the team morale up and often bring in home baking as a special treat.
I loved taking on the challenge of Live Chat, which was new to everyone in Retentions and felt so proud when I took my first chat and helped the customer make the best decision for them. When speaking to customers on the phone, you can get your personality across through pitch and tone, with Live Chat you really have to think about what you’re typing in case it’s taken out of context.
I can hardly believe the difference in my confidence, we are always told to believe we can do anything and are given all of the support and tools to enable us to do our job well. We’re also given the opportunity to experience working in different departments. I’ve relished taking on new roles and learning about all our new products.
What’s the most enjoyable thing about your job? Sometimes it can be tough working in retentions and you need to be resilient, not taking anything personally when dealing with customer queries. I love resolving issues for my customers and getting their seal of approval. I also love coming into work and being made to feel part of a fantastic team of friends I’ve made over the past 3 years.
Describe your contact centre – what makes it a great place to work? The centre is bright, cheerful and always a great atmosphere to work in. Even if your life outside of work is tough, there’s always someone willing to listen or make you laugh.
There’s always the opportunity to take part in whatever is going on in the Contact Centre. Xmas is great fun, as are most days here - there is always something happening and great prizes to be won. We’re also given fantastic benefits of free private medical insurance, which I’ve personally been very grateful for.
Also, we’re able to show our thanks to colleagues who have gone the extra mile to help or support others, through the Shine Award recognition. This is promoted on our internal social media channel Chatter.
Have you had the opportunity to progress in your role? There are always opportunities to develop your career. One example of this is going to new Contact Centres to help train new staff, or becoming a role model in your own department.
Recently I’ve had the opportunity to help with the teams call quality. I love assisting my team mates and helping them to understand changes, new products and how to include these effectively in our conversations.
What advice would you give to others trying to develop their career? To keep developing your skills and check for new roles/opportunities to go and experience other areas of the business. Always check out the development studio and last of all, when you have a fantastic idea, tell someone!
Tell us an interesting fact about you. I taught myself to knit! I couldn’t walk for a considerable amount of time due to an accident and didn’t want to just sit and vegetate.
“The Glasgow Contact Centre is buzzing with enthusiasm, each day everyone comes to work to be their best and make a difference”
Name: Allana Brown
Job title: Customer Experience Leader
What area of Sky do you work in and what do you do on a daily basis? I’m based in the Glasgow Contact Centre, working in the retentions department. My role is to lead, motivate and inspire a team of fantastic Advisors, encouraging them to be at their best and deliver an exceptional service to our customers.
How did you get into your role? I started within the Service department on TV Technical and transferred to Glasgow as an Advisor in back in 2012. During my time here, I progressed to become a Subject Matter Expert (SME), which I enjoyed and the role helped me to develop my coaching skills. I was then able to progress into a Deputy Customer Experience Leader and then a Customer Experience Leader in July.
How have you made a difference in your role / what’s been your proudest moment working here? I’ve had a lot of proud moments at my time here, one of my proudest was when three of my team members were promoted to SME positions and another became a Deputy Customer Experience Leader, after helping them to develop and prepare for the roles.
What’s the most enjoyable thing about your job? I truly love my job and the people I work with, it’s like having an extended family here.
Describe your contact centre - what makes it a great place to work? The Glasgow Contact Centre is buzzing with enthusiasm, each day everyone comes to work to be their best and make a difference. We’re able to work together to make a difference and do the right thing by our customers.
Have you had the opportunity to progress in your role? What advice would you give to others trying to develop their career? I’ve had fantastic opportunities to develop here and if you work hard the rewards are great. Being yourself is the best piece of advice I could give.
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself. I can play the drums!
“Working flexibly boosts my productivity and enables me to balance my work with my home life.”
Name: Patrick Rusby
Job Title: Quantitative Research Manager, IDS
How has Sky’s flexible working policy personally benefitted you? Having recently become a dad, I’ve found that our commitment to flexible working has really helped me fit my work in around my family life. For example, when I’ve needed to, I’ve been able to shift my day to either start or finish earlier or later. I also work from home 1 or 2 days per week, so when those emergencies happen, and they do, I’ve always been able to put my wife and son first.
Do you feel you have the correct resources to work flexibly? I’m fortunate that all I need to do my job on a day to day basis are a laptop, the internet and a phone. I’m able to remotely access files through our VPN, make use of online tools and speak to my colleagues by phone or over Skype. I could practically do my job from the moon!
How does your management and colleagues support your flexible working? It wouldn’t be possible to work flexibly without the support of my manager, colleagues and stakeholders. We’re all committed to flexible working, so they don’t insist I’m in the office every day, but equally I arrange my ‘work from home’ days around my work commitments. The most important thing is that there’s a mutual trust and respect, as well as an understanding that flexible working is actually in everyone’s best interests; it boosts my productivity and enables me to balance my work with my home life.
What difference has the flexible working made to your personal life? Flexible working makes a big difference. As my son, Arthur has gone through different phases, I’ve adapted my hours to fit, from starting and finishing earlier so I was home in time to put him to bed, to starting and finishing later so I was at home in the morning. I’ve also been able to fit work around things like doctor’s appointments, which was especially helpful when my wife was unable to drive. The bottom line for me is that if I had to be in the office from 9 to 5 each day, I’d hardly see my son except for at weekends. I know that this is a reality for many parents, so I really do appreciate working at a company that places importance on family life.
Can you describe a day in the life of a typical flexible day? Flexible days can vary of course, but yesterday was quite typical. Arthur was awake by 6am, so we hung out from 6am to 9am. When he had a nap, I prepared for my day by checking and sending a couple of emails on my phone. Most of my day was spent writing up a research debrief, which I was collaborating on with a colleague using Skype. I had three meetings during the day, all of which were also done over Skype. At 5.30 I put Arthur to bed, before doing another half hour’s work, then switched my phone and computer off!
“My proudest moment was when our team won the Business in the Community Award for Inspiring Young Talent”
Name: Camilla McBride
Job title: Senior Consultant, Starting Out
What area of Sky do you work in? HR
How are you supported to be yourself at work? I think we have a very people focused culture so it’s easy (and encouraged) for you to be yourself here. For me personally, having the two volunteering days a year matters a lot. Last year I volunteered on Sky Sports Living for Sport which I loved and this year I’m off to volunteer at a residential for young people with medical conditions. Being able to take those days back to volunteer helps me do stuff which is important to me.
What does a typical day working here look like for you? I start the day by tackling a bigger project like how we can improve the pipeline from work experience to other Starting Out programmes or recruitment roles. Then I’ll meet with stakeholders from around the business to review and plan new work experience programmes. Once a month I run a group mentoring session with our Fast Forward interns which is great, it’s amazing to hear how much they’ve achieved. Then there are always plenty of emails and time catching up with the team. I’ll pop to the gym either at lunch or after work.
What’s been your proudest moment since working here? Our team won the Business in the Community Award for Inspiring Young Talent. We didn’t expect to win so when we were announced it was really overwhelming. The team plus 10 of the young people we work with stormed the stage to collect the award! It was great to get the recognition of the work we do and to celebrate it with some of our Apprentices and Graduates.
What’s the most enjoyable thing about your job? It’s amazing when I see a young person who came to an insight day or did work experience to then come back and get a job with us – that makes it all really worth it.
What advice would you give to others trying to develop their career? Don’t worry if you haven’t got everything planned out. Some people make five year plans which is great but I’ve never done that and for me that’s meant a really varied career doing things I never imagined I’d do, but have loved. I think being open to opportunities without putting limits on yourself is really key.
An interesting fact/something no one else knows about you? I was a sexual health expert on the Sex Education Show on Channel 4.