“The speed and variety of change here makes every day challenging and for me that’s what makes it enjoyable”
Name: Gavin Dowie
Job title: Senior Business Analyst
What area of Sky do you work in? In the Change delivery team in Change, quality & Billing
How did you get to where you are now? I never really planned for a career in change, I was working in an operational finance team with Hewlett Packard and was given some opportunities to get involved in project activities. This was something I really enjoyed and it wasn’t long before I took up a more formalised analysis role. The projects I was involved in during my time there were mostly financed based so moving here gave me the opportunity to be involved in a wider range of exciting projects. That move was almost 11 years ago and I still enjoy the variety and speed of change here.
Describe a typical day… Is there such a thing? It can be anything – managing business requirements, running workshops and having my head buried in spreadsheets trying to find resolutions to issues. Working with our stakeholders and technology teams to find the best solutions for what the business needs. An additional part of my role at the moment is project management on Sky Mobile, so a lot of days involve finding a balance between the two roles, from being right in the detail one minute to then organising a team in the best way to deliver against our objectives.
Advice for someone else Try to learn from the people around you. Especially those that are thriving and are passionate about their jobs. We’re full of talented people so tap into the knowledge and experience.
Describe your work/life balance at Sky? I have a young family and my son has some additional support needs, which can make finding pre and post school childcare difficult. It means that I sometimes need to be at home during standard working hours and need flexibility around start times. Thankfully I’ve been supported by a flexible working pattern, working from home where required and locating myself at an office closer to home if needed. That flexibility from my managers has really enabled me to strike that balance between home life and Sky.
What’s the most enjoyable thing about your job? I love having the opportunity to shape how we deliver change here, making it the best possible customer and employee experience. The speed and variety of change here makes every day challenging and for me that’s what makes it enjoyable.
An interesting fact/something no one else knows about you? A slightly embarrassing one, one of my first part time jobs required me to dress up as a lobster. I was the lobster at children’s parties at Deep Sea World. My Dad submitted my job application to make sure I was earning money!
“We get to work in different environments with so many different people. It really is a team effort”
Job Title: Senior Technical Supervisor
What area of Sky do you work in? Sky Production Services (Studios).
How did you get to where you are now? I studied Broadcast and Digital Technology at Ravensbourne College of Design and Communication. During my time in education I became very interested in the vision control side of studio productions. After Ravensbourne I continued to improve my skills with placements at The London Studios and Maidstone Studios. My first paid job in broadcasting was the lead in a small lighting and vision team for Quiz TV. After a year with Quiz TV I then became a freelance Technical Director working primarily for Sky Vegas and Eurosport. I have here for 10 years now and have enjoyed working with a range of video formats from SD to UHD.
Describe a typical day: It's hard to describe a typical day. One of the reasons I came here was for the variety in work. A typical week can involve a range of programmes and genres. One day you can be working on a red button / interactive programme, then a day or two later an entertainment programme like DC Fancast or Harry Hill’s Tea Time. It really does help having a range of different sport and entertainment programmes to work on.
The Technical Supervisor is one of the senior members of the production. They are responsible for leading the technical crew in providing the operation of our studios. They are also present to advise the client on technical matters and to be responsible for the technical quality of the output. A Technical Supervisor is the kind of halfway point between the production team and the support teams working close with both the client and engineering.
What do you specialise in and work with on a daily basis: As mentioned before the Technical Supervisor can work across a number of areas from Interactive Applications to News Operations.
In my time here, the technology and methods used to produce content has changed a lot. I had the opportunity to work closely on our own produced 3D programing. With this I worked closely with technology companies, clients and our own crews. Highlights of this work was spending several days working at Buckingham Palace to co-technically manage the Queen’s Christmas Message. That then led to me technically managing the joint Sky UK, Germany and Italy 3D production of The Canonization of Pope John XXIII and Pope John Paul II.
The Technical Supervisor is usually one of the first members of the crew in. They start with setting up and configuring the Studio for the day’s programme and work with all disciplines to make sure the facility is ready. Once production are clear of the studio and gallery the Technical Supervisor shuts down and resets to a normal configuration.
What is the most enjoyable thing about your job? I know it’s a cliché, but I would say it’s the people. We get to work in so many different environments with different people and there really is a team effort.
What would be your advice to someone who'd want to do your job? As frustrating as it can get at times I wouldn't change the path I've taken or the industry. If I had the chance all over again, I would have done more maths as it's never been my strong point but really can be helpful. The shift hours are not always the most social but the sense of achievement at the end of a good show is second to none.
An Interesting fact no one else knows about you? I have been known at times to wear nail wraps on my fingers to stop me biting them.
“Seeing one of my ideas make a difference was a fantastic feeling”
Name: Katie Loy
Job title: Sales Advisor (Retentions)
What area of Sky do you work in and what do you do on a daily basis? I work within the Retentions department at our Contact Centre in Livingston. On a daily basis I talk with customers who are considering ending their package with us. My job is based around having fantastic conversations, getting a clear idea of why the customer might look to leave and help the customer stay, if this is the right thing for them. Another huge part of my job is making our customers feel valued and chatting about fabulous products and services along the way. The most important skill required for my job has to be resilience, a big part of the job can be having some tough conversations and it's not always easy.
How did you get into your role? I began my journey here chatting to our customers looking to leave Sky via web chat. I then moved to Sky Q, where my team and I focussed on sales and launching the brand new product, and then into the role I’m currently in. My previous experience in sales, retentions and web chat helped to prepare me for the challenges of my current role.
How have you made a difference in your role/what has been your proudest moment working here? Recently w’vehad a lot of new colleagues join us and understanding how challenging the role can be at first, I approached our management team with the idea of matching our new Advisor’s with a senior Advisor, so that each had a mentor. This gave our new colleagues extra support and the mentors had the opportunity to contribute further to the success of the team. Seeing one of my ideas make a difference was a fantastic feeling.
What’s the most enjoyable thing about your job? I love the satisfaction of resolving a complicated issue or a complaint from a customer. Sometimes customers can be frustrated when they’re first connected with me and it’s a great feeling to be able to turn this around and restore their faith in the company. Another huge part of what makes my job enjoyable is the people I work with, my team are fantastic and there’s never a dull moment!
Describe your contact centre – what makes it a great place to work? The Buzz! There’s always something going on, whether it’s a competition to drum up some friendly rivalry or games for everyone to get involved with, it’s impossible not to have a smile on your face when you’re surrounded by all the madness!
Have you had the opportunity to progress in your role? What advice would you give to others trying to develop their career? Yes! I’ve had many opportunities to develop my skills as well as take on managerial duties. The opportunities to progress here are fantastic, everyone you meet is keen to help you grow and develop your skills. It’s important to work hard and be passionate about what you do, get involved in everything you can and be proactive, don’t wait for someone to do it for you!
Tell us an interesting fact about you: I graduated from university with distinction as a Registered Nurse and joined here as a temporary job, but I loved it so much that I’m still here 2 years later!
“I can honestly say that I never wake up dreading work in the morning because I spend my day with like-minded, inspiring colleagues”
Name: Siobhan Maxwell
Job title: Subject Matter Expert (SME)
What area of Sky do you work in and what do you do on a daily basis? I work on the call floor as a performance coach. On a day to day basis I’ll coach existing staff and review calls to ensure the quality is up to standard. I also work on various projects across the site.
How did you get into your role? I started out as an Advisor in one of our other Contact Centres. I then progressed to become an Accredited Trainer and when the company took on an additional Contact Centre, I was successful in becoming an SME.
How have you made a difference in your role / what’s been your proudest moment working here? My role is to help people to be the best they can be, so any time that I can say I’ve contributed and supported someone to achieve their goal is a proud moment for me.
What’s the most enjoyable thing about your job? The people. I can honestly say that I never wake up dreading work in the morning because I spend my day with like-minded, inspiring colleagues.
Describe your contact centre - what makes it a great place to work? I work at our Glasgow Contact Centre, which is one of our biggest Centres. You walk into a buzz of music, constant shuffle and great Glaswegian banter.
Have you had the opportunity to progress in your role? What advice would you give to others trying to develop their career? I’d say to anyone looking to progress here that if you put in the time, work hard and show the right behaviours you will succeed. The great thing about working here is that the company want to develop and progress people from within the business, so the opportunities are always there.
Tell us an interesting fact about yourself. I am half Scottish and half Australian, with a South African accent.
“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!