“I’m able to choose where to work based on what would suit me and the team best, whether that’s from a lifestyle or work perspective”
Name: David Turner
Job title: Retail and Partnerships Marketing Controller
What area of NOW TV do you work in/do you manage a team, if so what one? I lead the retail and partnerships marketing team which is part of marketing and planning group.
What do you love most about your role? I get a lot of autonomy in my role and can express my creativity and expertise in retail.
What’s the best thing about working at NOW TV? The people! Everyone I work with is great at their job so when you’re working with someone on a project you know it’s going to be a success!
Give us a short play-by-play of what your day looks like, from waking up to heading home: I get up, drink coffee, get the train to work, and on my way in I listen to loads of audio books usually fiction and business. First thing I do when I get here is plan my day. Then the rest is a whirlwind of working with lots of different people across a variety of teams, reviewing and approving creative and planning all the great things we’ll be doing 2 quarters time!
Your favourite moment at working at NOW TV to date? Launching the NOW TV cards as they came out of the retail team and opened-up a whole new way of selling our products to our customers. This allowed us to start selling our products as part of the video game console bundles, which opened up a channel to which you wouldn’t have before.
What’s your favourite NOW TV benefit and why? Getting access to Sky Q/NOW TV and being part of a larger corporate group which gives me access to great benefits and onsite facilities. For instance being able to go for team breakfast at one on the onsite restaurants without it costing a fortune.
What’s your secret talent? I can do Wing Chun Kung Fu!
Do you work flexibly – if so, tell us about it…I’m able to choose where to work based on what would suit me and the team best, whether that’s from a lifestyle or work perspective. If I need some quiet time to get my head down, I can work from home or one of the quiet booths around the campus. Or if I need to leave early to get to training that’s fine, or again could work from home. Here, you’re 100% trusted to manage your time and workload.
"You know you’ve found a job you love when you wake up and feel genuinely excited about what you’re going to do that day"
Name: Steve Ladlow
Role: Director of Pick & Challenge
I started my career here almost 14 years ago. During that time the business has helped me grow and realise some amazing opportunities. It sounds cheesy but I genuinely love my current role running the Free to Air Entertainment channels Pick and Challenge. With this little blog post I wanted to give a brief insight into the journey I’ve made here so far, including a big (and slightly terrifying) move.
When I started here, my very first job was Sales Assistant for Sky Media, working in spot advertising. It was my job to look after Universal Music’s account where I found myself trying to persuade colleagues to let me drop their client’s advert from The Simpsons in favour for the latest 50Cent album. It often took some serious persuasion skills but what I learnt there has helped me in so many other areas.
I loved the entrepreneurial buzz of Sky Media and realised that sponsorship was an area that I was most suited to as it included things that I enjoyed like negotiation and the creative process. In time, I became the Sponsorship Controller allowing me to work closely with Sky’s Entertainment team securing brand partnerships with our biggest channels and content. I found this area fascinating and through building relationships with various departments gained an insight into how it operated.
When I heard about the opportunity to run Pick and Challenge I was excited, but also filled with doubt as to whether I could do such a big job. Ultimately, I trusted my inner voice and decided to go for it! Taking such a big leap, you have to accept that you can’t be the master of everything on day one. My approach was to be patient and learn from those around me allowing me to shape a much more effective strategy in the long term.
I’ll always be grateful to this organisation for the investment it has made in my development. I’m glad for my time spent growing at Sky Media, it set me up with the skills to make an amazing career move. You know you’ve found a job you love when you wake up and feel genuinely excited about what you’re going to do that day.
If I could offer any advice to people starting out, it would be to take opportunities when they come up – you’ll meet so many interesting people and learn a lot. Nick Milligan once said to me: ‘Have lunch with somebody different each day’, and I’ve tried to remember that. Whether it’s a colleague, someone from a different department, or someone from another company, the connections you make are invaluable.
“I’m now able to focus more on the strategic direction for insight across a business function”
Name: Trevor Roberts
Job title: Head Of Insight - NOW TV Prospects & Propositions
What area of Sky do you work in? Insight & Decision Science – NOW TV
Previous Job title before promotion: Insight Controller
How do you think you achieved your promotion? Now TV is a company which is growing fast, as such there are always new opportunities. It’s also a company that rewards hard and focused work. I felt I had a career path and that by demonstrating that I had over-performed on my objectives and setting new challenging ones for my new role, the promotion was imminent.
How has your role changed since being promoted? I have a larger team, more responsibility and I’m able to step away from the day-to-day tactical work and focus more on strategic direction for insight across a business function.
What advice would you offer people challenging themselves to get a promotion? Have open and honest conversation with your line manager. Ask what you need to do to be promoted and sit down with them and work out a development plan with clear milestones and measureable objectives. If this is agreed up-front and you over-deliver on them, it’s difficult not to be rewarded the promotion.
If you decided not to look externally, what was it about the NOW TV team that has encouraged you to stay here? NOW TV is a dynamic company that has a real start-up feel about it. We all celebrate in each other’s success, work towards common goals and are encouraged to be bold – there’s no blame culture. The structure is very flat and everyone is very approachable right from the MD, through the leadership team, down to recently joined grads.
Interested in joining our Operations team? http://bit.ly/2hChhxw
"We need to build our pipeline of future talented leaders and ensure we're balanced right across the organisation - including our technology areas which are more challenging, yet have the greatest opportunity for growth."
I'm lucky to work at a company like Sky, where gender balance is a key part of our business strategy. Our leaders understand the value having a balanced workforce can bring, drawing on different perspectives and ideas to ensure we serve our customers effectively. Our Women in Leadership programme was set up back in 2014 to do just this. With 40 percent of our senior leaders now women, we're going in the right direction - but we still have more to do. We need to build our pipeline of future talented leaders and ensure we're balanced right across the organisation - including our technology areas which are more challenging, yet have the greatest opportunity for growth.
My role as Head of Women in Leadership has been to design and execute the strategy to help achieve our vision. This has ranged from reviewing our processes on how to recruit talent, building a sponsorship programme to progress & retain our female leaders and working across the business to create a workplace which enables everyone to be at their best.
One of the most rewarding parts of the role is the feedback I get from women after they have been to an event. It could be the inspiration they have received from hearing someone's story, or a valuable connection they have made with a person in another part of the business, or just finding that someone who they can relate to - realising that we are all human. We have great role models all around us and we often just don't see it!
That’s why I’m really excited about two big things that are happening this week at Sky. The first is that once again, we’re supporting International Women's Day, which provides us with a moment in time to celebrate great women and also to reflect on where we are with creating gender equality, both in the workplace and in society. The second is that we’re launching our very own WomeAtSky network, which is another big step forward for us. The network provides everyone at Sky the opportunity to connect with others right across the company and extend the value that women on the leadership programme have gained deeper through the organisation. It's an avenue for real people to share real stories.
And it's not just about women. I had a lovely email from one of our male product designers asking to attend an event so he can showcase inspirational role models to his five year-old daughter. That made my day because it shows how everyone is supporting a more inclusive workplace, now and in the future. I've also had men express interest to be a part of the network because they are passionate about developing people and creating inclusivity. This is the essence of the network - it's about people. The network is open to everyone to get involved - and I'm looking forward to seeing how it evolves as we launch it on a bigger scale.
To find out more click here.
"The assessment centre is where you can really show your personality, so make sure you just be yourself! Be a team player"
Describe Sky in 3 words? Fast-paced, welcoming and motivational.
Tell us a bit about yourself Jake… I'm 20 years old and from Northwood. I studied Business, Tourism and Computing A-levels at St Clements Danes School. I also have a Saturday job at John Lewis. I have been working at Sky for 5 months now.
So what motivated you to apply for an apprenticeship? I had offers to go study at University but I was also keen to research more into apprenticeships, as some of my friends were doing apprenticeships at various companies. Actually my school really pushed us to consider all options, so university and apprenticeships.
What drew you to apply to the Sky Marketing apprenticeship? I came across the Marketing role on the Sky website and found it interesting, so I applied! I've always been interested in the Media sector and had previous work experience in TV production.
Tell us more about your role I'm part of the entertainment marketing team. Essentially I support campaigns, general administration tasks, and contract approvals with our external companies such as HBO.
So what do you think your strengths are and how have you applied it to this job? Confidence – for example doing presentations at the Sky Call Centres has come natural to me. I’ve never really had trouble with public speaking, and this role has only strengthened it.
Is there anything you have had to improve on? I’d definitely say my creative thinking. For example, before I started working at Sky when I would look at a picture in the newspaper, I wouldn’t really look into it in detail.
Tell us about the challenges of this role Getting to grips with the job and the business in the beginning, was quite hard. Also, there are a lot of stakeholders within the company.
What advice would you give for future applicants? Be confident but don’t be too overpowering. The assessment centre is where you can really show your personality, so make sure you just be yourself! Be a team player.
In your own opinion, what are the perks of the job? The on-site gym which I make full use of, especially the boxing classes and personal trainer sessions. I also really enjoy working with my team, they are very supportive and have even got me to watch the game of thrones. (just episode 1 so far). In terms of my role, I get given real responsibility which I really enjoy and it makes me feel valued.
"I'd definitely recommend the apprenticeship scheme. The variety of learning opportunities and the support offered to me makes me excited for a future here."
Job Title: Broadcast IT Apprentice Engineer
How long have you been in the role? 6 months.
Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship at Sky? I did not feel like going to university, as it did not appeal to me. My school did not encourage apprenticeships, however I saw what Sky had to offer during my GCSE’s and completed my A Levels with that in mind. It appealed to me as I would be working and studying at the same time, whilst being paid to do so. I see the debt that my friends have and I’m happy with my choice! I also liked the idea of mixing training days with hands on experience.
I enjoy watching TV and was interested in learning more about Sky as a product. Sky is a name everyone knows and it made me feel really proud that I had achieved a place on their apprenticeship scheme.
What attracted you to the Broadcast IT apprentice engineer position? I had an interest in networking at school and hoped to use my IT skills. Sky offered me with a supportive and interesting place to do this.
My role is different every day and I am involved with a wide range of projects. We ensure the smooth running of application and systems, and the maintenance and upkeep of storage.
How do you manage your time between studying, working and your social life? I plan my time and find everything is manageable if you find the right balance. My managers are all very understanding if I explain I have a lot of coursework to do and would appreciate spending more time on that rather than project work. I enjoy the social aspects of Sky and socialise with the IT team and my fellow apprentices on and off campus.
What advice would you give to those considering an apprenticeship? I'd definitely recommend the apprenticeship scheme. The variety of learning opportunities and the support offered to me makes me excited for a future here.
"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