"Never fall out of love with your job"
Name: Nicola Reincke
Role: Regional operations Manager
In 2009 I secured my first job here as a Retail Sales Advisor in Telford. Little did I know what an exciting journey that would become! From Retail Sales Advisor to Store Manager and then onto Area Manager in three years, I pushed to develop my career from the offset.
I was soon curious to learn more about the wider business and how we service our customers. My vision was to become a Home Service Regional Manager but I felt I needed more knowledge of the field. When an opportunity was advertised for a Trainer in Home Service I grabbed at the chance, making contact with key stakeholders to understand the role and the department. The role moved me away from management and didn't have anywhere near the same OTE (potential earnings from commission and bonus) as my previous role. What the role did have was substance -it meant I’d be able to learn Home Service from the grass roots. During the next 18 months, I completed my engineer qualification, spent time working in an amazing L&D environment, met some inspirational people and learned so much.
In early 2016 a Regional Manager Secondment position opened for applications. I eagerly applied, did an enormous amount of preparation and was successful. I spent my year over in West 04 leading a group of people who were frankly superb, I'd never seen team spirit like it and it was such a privilege to work with them. With brilliant mentoring and sponsorship from the West Leadership team, I felt I was able to return to my home role with great advancement. A year after I left my role as a trainer I headed back to Know-How as Regional Operations Manager for the West and South – a double promotion – and back in line with my career path back in Retail. My team and I now run the Know-How Operations for Osterley (Athena & Home Service Unit 10), Dartford, Birmingham, Bristol, Crewe, Stockport as well as Retail nationally. I have a great team and a whole new set of visionary leaders and peers to learn from. I love being part of such an exciting venture right from the start.
If you’re ready to stretch your career, I’d encourage you to make your choices considered and don't over-apply for roles. That role will need as much from you as you do from it. Take time to explore, seek sponsorship for your skills and make sure people are always talking about you (for the right reasons!!) #lovelearninglivelearning #knowhowtobeyourbest
My advice to you would be to open to what will stretch your career and never stay still for so long that you fall out of love with your job.
"It’s great to hear about people using every new feature we launch first hand."
Name: John Sibly
Job title: Scrum Master
What area of NOW TV do you work in/do you manage a team, if so what one? NOW TV Mobile – I manage the Android team
First things first are you a coffee, tea or hot choccy drinker? Cappuccino!
Take us back to when you were little, and tell us what you wanted to be when you grew up? Building space rockets or being a postman.
What do you love most about your role? Releasing new features! We have a frequent release schedule, and get loads of feedback. It’s great to hear about people using every new feature we launch first hand.
What is the best thing about working at NOW TV? NOW TV has a fun culture and innovation is really encouraged. Everyone is focused on making the product great.
Give us a short play-by-play of what your day looks like, from waking up to heading home: No day is the same, but here is roughly what I did today…
Woke up, have breakfast with my kids. Catch the train then pop past the coffee shop. Stand-up meeting, followed by chasing up anything holding up new features and helping to resolve issues. 1-2-1 meeting with a team member, then off to our office gym. Lunch followed by meetings about new features. Head home.
What is your top tip for someone looking to ‘move on up’ in their career? If new opportunities are out of your comfort zone, take them on. That’s when you learn the most - you’ll look back at a time of great progress. Get advice from someone who’s already made the transition you want to make.
Are you a career planner? If so, tell us more about it and how has your plan changed over time? Yes and no… generally I’ve tried to move my career towards what I find most interesting. That keeps me motivated and is when I do my best work - career progression has followed.
What’s the most useful bit of feedback you’ve received? In management, everyone has their own style. Don’t try and copy someone else, but appreciate your own style and build on this.
"NOW TV is a really fun and friendly place, full of people who want to succeed, but have fun along the way."
Name: Joe Story
Job title: Brand Strategy and Development Manager
What area of NOW TV do you work in/do you manage a team, if so what one? Within the Brand Advertising Team
What do you love most about your role? Being able to get involved in the comms and advertising of almost every team here at NOW TV, from the internal branding of the offices to our latest TV ads, ensuring our comms look, sound and feel like NOW TV.
What’s the best thing about working at NOW TV? Definitely the culture. NOW TV is a really fun and friendly place, full of people who want to succeed, but have fun along the way. So pack away your suits and just bring yourself. And chocolate. Always chocolate…
Give us a play-by-play of what your day looks like, from waking up to heading home: After an almost certainly delayed commute courtesy of South West Trains, I usually arrive at the office at around 8.45am, already craving coffee number one. If I’m working from one of our agencies in town, replace ‘South West Trains’ above with TFL.
My day normally starts with the usual inbox cleanse, catching up on anything that’s come through during the evening, or that I’ve *cough* put off *cough* from the day before!
Then it’s in to meeting mode. Whether it’s catching up with someone from the Social team about their campaign creative across the room, or chatting through some research with the IDS team over the road in the newly built Sky Central, there’s no shortage of team collaboration at NOW TV.
Working with marketing agencies is a key part of my role, so the day isn’t complete without a few conference calls to get an update on the latest project that’s in the works, and make sure everything’s ticking along on track.
Things generally calm down in the afternoon, just in time for coffee number two and another wave of emails and creative reviews, all before joining the rush for the 5.51 train home (which will probably be delayed).
What’s the most interesting thing you have learnt in the last 6 months? 77% of Americans believe angels are real. 77.
What’s your favourite moment about working at NOW TV to date? Helping to direct a spoof perfume ad, featuring a zombie and Harry Judd on a London rooftop. You read that sentence correctly.
What’s your favourite NOW TV benefit and why? Free NOW TV and Sky. ALL THE SHOWS.
What’s your favourite series/football team? Walking Dead without a doubt. You can never have too many zombies. Unless it’s real life, then one is arguably too many.
Do you work flexibly – if so, tell us about it… My team definitely embraces flexible working, because we have to! Most Wednesday’s are spent with our agencies in Central London, and everyone appreciates the benefits of disappearing to a nice breakout area in Sky Central to get your head down for a while.
What’s the meaning of life, the universe and everything? 42
“I’m able to keep my work at work and not take it home with me or let it overtake my personal life which means that when I’m here I’m feel fresh and engaged”
Name: Laurie Wilson
Job title: Sales Advisor
How did you get into your role? By keeping myself motivated and eager to improve my skills.
How have you been able to make a difference in your role? I’ve been in my role for 6 months now and have been able to pass on the knowledge I’ve gained in my time here to my colleagues.
Describe your typical day: I like to view each day as a fresh start. A large part of my role is having a number of discussions on where our customers need the most assistance and best advice.
What’s your work environment like? Bright, open plan and well aired.
What’s the most enjoyable thing about your job? Hearing feedback on how I’ve impacted a customer positively.
Describe your work/life balance at Sky? I’m able to keep my work at work and not take it home with me or let it overtake my personal life which means that when I’m here I’m feel fresh and engaged.
What would be your advice to someone who’d want to do what you’re doing? To always listen to the customer and put yourself in their shoes. We’ve all experienced bad customer service, aim to be the complete opposite.
An interesting fact/something no one else knows about you? I’m a qualified Chef, which is what I was doing for 9 years prior to joining.
“The most enjoyable thing about my role is seeing people progress within such a short time”
Name: Craig Summers
Job Title: Role Model
Describe your role in one word: Rewarding.
What area of Sky do you work in and what do you do on a daily basis? I work in the Save area. On a daily basis I support our new Advisors on their journey, this varies from answering their questions to one-to-one coaching sessions.
How did you get into your role? I started as an Advisor and wanted to progress in my role, so I applied for the Role Model position after being an Advisor for 8 months and was successful!
What is the most enjoyable thing about your role and what surprised you most? The most enjoyable thing about my role is seeing people progress within such a short time, and knowing that i’ve made an impact! What surprised me most is how many new things I still learn and take away at the end of the day.
How have you made a difference in your role? I’ve been able to mentor and coach Advisors to the point of being confident enough to start moving forward in their own journey here. Describe your work/life balance: My work life balance is perfect! I manage to work my 37 hours per week, go to the gym 4 times a week and enjoy a lazy Sunday to myself.
Have you had the opportunity to progress? What advice would you give to others trying to develop their career? Absolutely! There is so much opportunity to progress or change your role completely here. We have the Work for Sky website which lists all of the current vacancies. It’s available to everyone and easy to find.
Your top application tip for people applying now – what did you do to stand out when you were applying: I was very open and honest, I researched the business and was already a proud customer of Sky so knew about their great products and packages.
An interesting fact no one else knows about you: I once auditioned for Big Brother and got through to the live videos.
“The feeling of being a tester is amazing because one day you might be working on a ticket or regression testing and next day writing automation scripts or something else.”
Name: Suman Bala
Job title: Test Analyst (Chapter Lead – Mobile QA)
What area of Sky do you work in? Digital Content (Sky Sports / Sky News – Mobile Apps)
What’s your career journey been like up until now? It’s been more than 10 years since I started my career as a Software Tester. Throughout my technical journey, I’ve been into more automation rather than manual testing. Being a tester you always face new challenges, which really helped me expand my horizons and shape my career. Today, I can proudly say that I’m not just a tester but also a self-driven, passionate and motivated individual who loves delivering quality services and products.
What does a typical day working here look like for you? As we constantly face new challenges at work, even two consecutive days can be very different. We have daily stand-ups in the mornings in order to discuss work progress related to current sprint and issues, or to raise concerns. The feeling of being a tester is amazing because one day you might be working on a ticket or regression testing and next day writing automation scripts or something else. I’m glad to see that more and more manual testers are getting into automation and also looking for opportunities to develop automation skills.
If you’ve been here over one year, how have you made a difference in your role? At first, I got the position of an automation tester (mobile apps). I’ve been responsible for designing test frameworks from scratch and implementing our automation strategy. I’ve also provided training to manual testers in order to enable them to write Appium script using Java language. I’m glad to say that within a short span of time, I was promoted to Chapter Lead.
What’s been your proudest moment since working here? When I started working here, we almost had no strategy for mobile automation testing, but now every team/tester in Digital Content is using and writing automation scripts, which sounds like an achievement… isn’t it
What’s the most enjoyable thing about your job? I think It’s the people who I work with and the challenges involved in my role.
Describe your work/life balance? To be honest, it’s quite balanced. I’m provided with a flexible and healthy work environment, which helps developing mutual understanding and teamwork spirit. I believe the organisation invests in its people as they always come first. They also allow you to work from home or have flexible working hours.
What advice would you give to others trying to develop their career? Believe in yourself, think out of the box and go beyond your boundaries!
An interesting fact/something no one else knows about you? Back in India, I was working with an NGO focusing on young girls’ education. And I’m a big fan of IKEA!
“Since starting here I’ve realised that one of my key skills is being able to pick things up quickly and I can now say coding is something I enjoy”
Name: Clare Devine
Job Title: Software Developer Apprentice
Why did Software Developing at Sky appeal to you? At the time, I was studying a mixture of A levels from ICT, History to Religious Studies and was really unsure where I saw my next step. A visit from some of the Starting Out team to my College really appealed to me and seemed a really exciting company, offering good opportunities for young people. The Apprenticeship schemes particularly appealed and opened up my eyes to the other opportunities apart from going to University. I wanted to grab the chance while it was there and instead of waiting for another year to apply, I went for it and was successful in achieving a place!
What area of Sky do you work in particularly? I joined the Apprentice scheme in August 2015 in Leeds and I work within the Online Service Sky.com/help team. Myself and the team help to maintain sites that Sky have, such as the fundamental contact us site, to ensure that it’s operating efficiently, brilliantly and is user friendly for everyone.
What does a typical day look like for you? The good thing about working here is the flexibility in terms of working hours. I’m usually in the office early and like to seize the day and start at 7am and finish around 4 pm. At 10 am each morning we have what’s called a “Stand Up”. This is a time for all the team to get together and talk about what they’re doing. My day can really vary and I can work on different projects from simple coding to getting involved in something a lot more intense.
Describe your work/life balance? We’re really flexible here and the work/life environment is really good. There are lots of opportunities to get involved in different things and socialise with others. We have something called a Guild which is a bit like a lunchtime club. I’m part of the “Java Script Guild” but there’s chance to join any Guild, even if you don’t have the experience. It really makes work more fun!
What is the most enjoyable thing about your job and what surprised you most? I came into this without a coding background and I did not know how to code. From going through the assessment process for this scheme and from starting here I’ve realised that one of my key skills is being able to pick things up quickly and I can now say coding is something I enjoy! I work a lot with Google Chrome but really relish the opportunity to fix problems with Internet Explorer, writing codes can be a lot more complex as they are so rare! I really like the fact that the things that I write and ideas I have are actually being used and that something that seems so simple can actually be really cool. It makes me proud to tell my friends, “Oh I did that!”
What challenges do you like? Have you worked on any challenging projects recently? Some of the challenges include working with the diagnostic flow and rather than have developers working on it, we try to spread expertise so that others know how to fix certain problems or have an understanding of them.
What is the coolest thing you have done at Sky? Before I started my Apprenticeship, I was really nervous about public speaking and would shy away from the chance. I’ve since been able to overcome this fear and was invited to speak at a Women in Technology event where I gave a speech to over 50 people. It was really daunting but so rewarding to have such a positive reaction!
Do you have any other major achievements whilst you have been working at Sky? I was invited to represent at a Hospice Charity event supported by the company and I felt very honoured as an Apprentice to be able to meet and be a part of such a special day.
Your top tip for people applying now – what did you do to stand out when you were applying? Do your research. You don’t need to know everything but having some interesting facts about the company or area you’re interested in really helps. Be enthusiastic and really try to enjoy it!
Where do you see yourself in the Future once completing this programme? As cheesy as it sounds I really love working here and feeling part of the community. I’d love to stay and work as an Associate Software developer and use the skills I’ve developed.
An interesting fact/something no one else knows about you? In my spare time, I’m a Brownie Leader – the complete opposite to my day-to-day role. I enjoy being able to take them camping and help them to work on badges. It’s really rewarding, a time to turn off technology and a bit of a respite for me.
Favourite Sky Move or Sky Atlantic Programme? At the moment it has to be Westworld – I can’t get enough!
"My curiosity landed me my own TV show"
Name: Marvin Ambrosius
I joined the company back in 2007 working as a sales specialist in Athena’s test & learn contact centre. I spent my days on the phone to new and existing customers understanding their wants & needs. My managers recognised that I wanted to progress and I quickly started covering management roles, moving laterally between teams, learning more about the business and the areas I'd like to work in. In 2010 I moved into a more challenging role handling escalated customer complaints. What I didn’t know it at the time is that the communication and interpersonal skills I learnt in this role would help me significantly in the future.
During this time my activity levels dropped and I became unhappy with my weight gain, so I started going to the Sky Gym for 40 minutes a day, 5 days a week for Insanity classes. I lost four stone and had never felt better. My passion for exercise made me curious, wondering what it would take to build a career in fitness. became more and more interested in the work my gym instructors did and would always speak to them, asking questions about what they did and what it takes to do their job.
After some research, I realised I already had some of the key skills needed to start a career as a gym instructor. I reached out to the Sky Gym manager, who after a few conversations, offered me a one month trial instructing my own Insanity class. This gave me the opportunity to use the interpersonal and communication skills I built in the contact centre and before I knew it one class a week turned to three and my career change was complete!
I started studying for my level 2 and level 3 qualifications, hoping to become a PT in the future. This was challenging and involved studying every weekend, alongside working full-time for five months. Coincidentally at this time, Sky started building their own Health & Fitness Centre and would need personal trainers and gym instructors. I had studied relevant qualifications, I’d built relevant skills, and so I contacted my future manager and was successful when I applied for the role.
“I work with a group of people who have active and curious minds, who love exploring new technologies and ways of working”
Name: Derek Mitchell
Job title: Senior Insight Lead, Learning & Development
What area do you work in? Customer Service Group
How did you get to where you are now? I started my career with an interest in process efficiency. This saw me undertaking analysis of machine and process performance within areas as diverse as cardboard box manufacturing and smoked salmon production. I moved here with an interest in applying the principles of process efficiency within the service industry. I started as an analyst looking at the performance of the Technical service centre as it was at the time, understanding type and frequency of demand. I then moved to the Behavioural Science arm of the company for a couple of years where I worked with super rich data informing many facets of the business ranging from engineer performance through to customer contact strategy, before moving my knowledge into Marketing to understand and inform the performance of our new customer propositions. Having gained knowledge across the company, I moved into Financial Services, becoming a Senior Insights Leader for the Royal Bank of Scotland’s retail bank. This gave some valuable perspective on the best practice in Analytics and technology available in other industries, but ultimately, the pace was a bit too slow and I yearned for the less risk adverse, and speedier, our ways of working.
Describe a typical day… I get up, I look at the work my team are doing, clarify the direction we’re heading, and I realise we’re delivering a truly world class Learning Insights capability. My ‘to do’ list is constantly changing as my team span multiple Directorates, and the priorities for each can change on an hourly basis. The bulk of my time is spent ensuring that all new demand is aligned to, or reshaped to fit, our strategic direction, which is to be demonstrably the best Learning Insights function in the world.
What do you specialise in and work with on a daily basis? My key function is simple, I need to ensure that the right people are getting the right training, in the right way, at the right time to maximise business results, to ensure employee engagement remains high, and make certain that our customer needs are met. This is increasingly seeing me look at employee segmentation, applied Behavioural Economics, massive data sets, A/B testing, external best practice, and all sorts of cool ‘data & behaviour stuff’
Describe your work/life balance at Sky? I‘ve 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. Senior leaders are very supportive, and take proactive steps to ensure that work/life balance is in front of everyone’s mind.
What’s the most enjoyable thing about your job? My team. I work with a group of people who have active and curious minds, who love exploring new technologies and ways of working. Seriously, in terms of aptitude and attitude, the Insights guys here rock. They are thought leaders in their field.
What would be your advice to someone who’d want to do what you’re doing? Learn about what is possible through the use of data. Pull yourself back from looking at excel spreadsheets, and ask yourself, what information might exist which tells me how and why people behave the way that they do, now go find that data, and uncover something new!
An interesting fact/something no one else knows about you? I enjoy exploring new ways of doing things, and recently used Facebook, exclusively, to find a buyer for my previous house, and source my current one.
“I now work as part of our VIP HR team, while previously I supported projects within People Communications, Employer Brand and Careers”
Job title: HR Graduate
What area of Sky do you work in? At the moment I work as part of our VIP HR team giving HR support to our on screen Talent and senior management team. Most grad programmes here have rotations within different areas. So as part of the programme I’ve previously worked in our Employee Experience team, supporting projects within People Comms, Employer Brand and Careers.
Describe a typical day in your current role… I try to start most days with a workout at the onsite gym. After that, my days are usually split between working on a couple of different change projects and handling HR support queries.
Describe your work/life balance at Sky? Work/life balance here is great. Mostly there is room for flexibility in my working hours and my manager has always been flexible when it comes to working from home etc. As part of my graduate programme, the company is supporting me towards achieving a Master’s degree and gaining CIPD qualification and have been extremely helpful when it comes to balancing full-time working and university.
What’s the most enjoyable thing about your role and what surprised you most? The most enjoyable thing about my current role is the variety of different projects I get to work on. The biggest surprise for me as a grad was probably the amount of ownership on projects you get very early on – of course, the support is always there if you need it but you're given enough space to have your own impact on the work.
What is the best thing about working here? It’s an awesome workplace, with a friendly and dynamic working environment.
What advice would you give to others trying to develop their career? I guess being open minded to the opportunities that come along and developing your network, are two things which can really help.