posted on 23 Sep

Mark is based in our Livingston office and has just started his 2nd year of the Technology Graduate Programme. Before joining Sky, Mark was studying Electronic Engineering with Music in Glasgow. Read on to find out more.

Applying for the scheme

I wanted to find a graduate scheme for the training opportunities and the flexibility this would bring. I came across the Sky Technology graduate scheme while searching for graduate programs and although it wasn’t one I had previously been aware of, after looking into this more I decided it was definitely worth applying. A few weeks later and I was a new Sky technology graduate!

The idea with the rotations is to get a grounding in everything – Testing, Development, Support and Analysis. So far I’ve done testing, support and more recently I’ve gone in to an environment management role which is totally different from any work I have done previously. While I have enjoyed the more technical side of problem solving and fixing things when broken from support – getting to know a totally different role gives me the opportunity to expand my knowledge base on different subjects. 

Some people have this kind of stigma about grad schemes – “oh you’re a graduate, they’ll give you all the boring stuff to do.” however in my experience I’ve always been treated as a real asset and an important team member.

Every day I’ve been learning something new. The time I spent at University was useful but looking back it was more for developing how to learn rather than what you’re actually learning. Whereas when you’re here in Sky, you know it’s all relevant and actually being used. Sometimes I felt at university, “I’ll never use this, I don’t need to bother too much” but still realizing that the method of learning is important.

It is certainly different, being in full time work to education however the previous experience helps in the adjustment. The seven week training was itself like a small university course with a lot of information to get in! We trained down in West London, and worked with the graduates from England. We’ve kept in touch since to find out what we’ve all been up to and this has been a great way to network and get to know about different parts of Sky and how they work.

Highlights and proud moments

The people. It’s quite a social place to work. It’s not like you come in just to go home again. It’s all about meeting new people, and it’s a massive workplace with so many different areas, so it’s a good place to do it. I’ve even organized football games between departments and a table tennis tournament.

There are so many different projects, so many opportunities to learn different things. I chose Sky over other options also because of the size of the company.

It’s a really open place to work. And I remember hearing this myself – and it really rings true now – what you put in, you’ll get back out. So if you put a lot in, you’ll get the rewards. I think it’s easy in a big company to shy away and not get involved but getting stuck in means you really get to have a great experience.

 

 

posted on 23 Sep

Jess studied Maths at Newcastle Uni and joined us on our Technology programme last year - read her story here.

Sky Careers

What were you doing before you worked at Sky?

Studying Maths at Newcastle University 

What do you do at Sky?

I’m a Technology graduate so it changes every six months. I’ve helped with the releases of mobile apps, tested the Sky iD pages and now developing the Find and Watch pages. 

What’s the best thing about your job?

The chance to meet lots of people and to see a variety of what goes on behind the scenes in the tech world

What has surprised you most about working at Sky?

Just how fast moving everything is as things come in at such last minute!

posted on 23 Sep

Find out how Graham went from studying Biology at St Andrews to joining our Technology programme and is now working on real-life Sky projects.

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After leaving university my degree meant that there was only one career option open to me, saving the planet one tree at a time. I subsequently ended up working for a sub-contractor to the oil industry. Fail.

I’d always been interested in technology and was the “go to guy” at university for lost files, broken machines and those minor niggles we all suffer with computers. So when I came across the advert for the Sky Technology grad scheme I thought, “how hard can it be? It’s got to be a lot more interesting than what I’m doing now.”

6 months later and I was responsible for ensuring that any one of Sky’s 11million customers were able to contact us by phone, and that the person who talked to them could access all the information they needed. A lot of responsibility very very quickly.

Jump another 6 months and I’m the end to end business analyst for a part of one of Sky’s top 6 projects. Another 6 months I’ll be somewhere else, and that’s the beauty of the gradaute programme. You have 2 years to work out what you want to do, and in the meantime gain vast amounts of experience from people who are the world experts in their field. I’ve realised that your degree doesn’t define what you will end up doing in later life, it might just mean that the learning curve is slightly steeper for you compared to the people next to you, but as long as you ask the questions people will answer you.

posted on 23 Sep

Find out how Rob came to apply to join us at Sky and what he loves most about his role.

Applying for this role was really a fortunate coincidence – I happened to be researching something on the internet and stumbled across an advert for Sky’s graduate opportunities. Reading the various job descriptions, it became obvious to me how Sky was an exciting place to work with lots of chances to contribute to real applications that millions of customers use on a daily basis.

As soon as I started, I went on a 4-week training course that covered all technical aspects of what’s required to be a successful software engineer at Sky. Some of the material was covered by my course at university but there were lots of new areas that were completely new to me – all of which I am now using every day.

Once I’d completed the training, I started working on a new project, based for the first time in the main office. Joining a small team of graduates, we were assigned our first project – to develop an iPad application for capturing the details of people who attend various careers and recruitment events around the country.

From day one, I have felt that I am totally empowered to make my own opportunities here at Sky. Within my team, we had the freedom to make our own decisions, both from a technical perspective and in regards to project management, and it’s great to be respected by all colleagues as an individual capable of making valuable contributions.

I’ve now been working for Sky for just over one year and am continuing to enjoy my work and the challenges that come my way. After finishing the 7-month programme, I joined a team in the business who are responsible for building and maintaining the sales platform.  This has proven to be a great opportunity to gain exposure to some new technologies and I continue to learn a great deal, particularly now that I am working alongside others with a lot more experience.

 

My advice for anyone applying to Sky, for any role, would be to be confident in your opinions, open to new perspectives and enthusiastic to make your contribution.

posted on 23 Sep

We asked Rebecca, James, Chris, Christopher, Claire, Mayur and Tara, several of our current Finance graduates some of the most commonly asked questions we receive and found out more about their time at Sky and experiences on the graduate programme. Read on to find out more.

Sky Careers

What were you doing before you worked at Sky?

Rebecca - Before starting on the grad scheme, I was studying for a music degree at the University of Nottingham . This may seem like a strange transition, but the transferrable skills you learn in any degree can be more important than a background in accountancy: like teamwork, communication, time management and independence. Apart from not getting any CIMA exemptions, I haven’t found my degree to be a hindrance at all.

James - I had just graduated from Cardiff University having studied Civil & Environmental Engineering and after a summer of SCUBA diving and part time work I applied to Sky after speaking to a current graduate. Two months after completing the initial online application I was then offered a place on the February intake.

Tara - I was at Strathclyde University studying Economics and International business. Part of this involved a semester abroad in North Carolina, USA. I work in Finance in Accounts Payable. I mainly deal with expenses and debt collection for American Express.

What's your role?

Chris - I perform lots of analysis on things like call volumes, resource and other ad-hoc things like overtime required for a big Box Office boxing match. I send out weekly reporting to various stakeholders and have been involved in preparing documents which are sent to the CFO and CEO to approve spend.

Christopher - I work in the Actuals Reporting Team under the Overheads & Corporate cost section. My role revolves around the accounting behind the Payroll costs, for example – posting of payroll journals to all Business units so they can compare forecasts to actuals. Additionally, my role revolves heavily around project work which means that each day is unique and challenging.

James – Now in my 2nd year, I work in Group CAPEX taking responsibility of managing the financials of our larger projects. The role requires you to take an overview of all areas in Sky giving you a diverse knowledge of the business.

What’s the best thing about being on the Finance programme?

Rebecca- My role in first year was always challenging, and instead of being given prescriptive tasks, there was an opportunity to think for yourself and experiment with the best way to present your findings. Even as a first year grad, your opinion is valued. I have now rotated into Investor Relations, where I will do things like monitor the share price and movements in the share register as well as summarising how the City view Sky and their competitors. There are a huge variety of possible roles, and the rotations process ensures you get a wide range of experience during the grad scheme. 

Claire -  The people, I have a great team which I work in, everyone was very welcoming and friendly. My first year also involved moving to Scotland for a year which meant I got to experience a different part of the business which I think will be beneficial in the future. 

Tara - I really like the team that I am in. We all get on really well and it helps when there is a lot of work as we all help each other out.

Chris - Knowing the work we do in some way contributes to what millions of people watch on TV and chat about down the pub is a good feeling. Given lots of responsibility so I feel like the work I do makes a difference.

What has surprised you most about working at Sky?

Rebecca - The level of responsibility you’re given early on and that each role offers a really varied viewpoint on an individual area of the business, or even a wider view of Sky as a whole.

Chris -The scale of the organisation, you wouldn’t believe how many departments and people are required just so you can contact us with an issue, watch the football on a Saturday, or catch up on Game of thrones!

Christopher - How welcoming everyone at the firm are on a daily basis & the relaxed working environment so long you make sure your deadlines are met (this is not always the case!) I was also surprised to find there was a ping pong table in my office, great way to let off some steam! :)

Mayur - Busy & hectic at times but it is still an enjoyable place to work because of the people around us.

Rebecca stepped in to answer our final question – What’s it like completing CIMA?

Having had no exemptions, I had to complete certificate level in the first 6 months, which involved a quite tight turnaround between attending college and sitting the exam (typically less than 2 weeks). Adapting to the style of exams and BPP’s learning style was the hardest part for me, as well as motivating yourself to study after a day at work.

You then start attending weekend classes about 6 months in, which can be quite tough when you are working during the week too. Thankfully college is quite social and a good chance for all the grads to get to know each other. On the whole CIMA is a big time commitment, especially in the month before exams, when revision will take over, but in general it is possible to have a social life at the same time. Our intake would stay at work and study in meeting rooms for an hour or so, which definitely made studying more manageable. My advice would be little and often rather than cramming.

 

 

posted on 17 Sep

We had a quick chat with the new director of Sky Atlantic, Zai, read on to see what he loves about his new job at Sky.

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Hi, I'm Zai Bennett and I'm the new Director of Sky Atlantic. And when I say new, I'm literally four weeks into this amazing job. Prior to joining Sky, I was Controller of BBC Three and before that Controller of ITV's digital channels so TV is firmly in my DNA.

I have been a Sky customer for many years and a huge admirer of Sky Atlantic since it launched. I'm an avid viewer of Boardwalk Empire, Game of Thrones and Mad Men so when the chance came to work with such world class shows, with all the impressive teams, plus the opportunity to shape Atlantic's truly ambitious originations strategy, I was desperate to join.

I've started at a really exciting time in Atlantic's story. When you look at our autumn/winter schedule you start to see the fruits of Sky's investment in content. Not only do we continue to have the best of the US but with Fortitude, our original crime thriller, you begin to understand the scale of our ambition. Like every stand out show on Atlantic, at the heart of Fortitude, is a brilliant story. It's gripping, intriguing and provoking. Beautifully shot and with standout performances from a talented cast that includes Stanley Tucci, Michael Gambon, Christopher Ecclestone and Sofie Gråbøl, Fortitude sits shoulder to shoulder with our HBO content.

HBO has always been the backbone of our enviable schedule and this autumn we've got its latest drama, The Leftovers, starting. From the genius that is Damon Lindelhof (he of Lost fame), The Leftovers is the story of what happens when 2% of the world's population all disappears at exactly the same time, on the same day. It's a story of a community coming to terms with its grief and its struggle to try and make sense of the new world. As you'd expect from an Atlantic show, it has an amazing cast led by Justin Theroux, Liv Tyler and Christopher Ecclestone.

Then in October, Steven Soderberg's brutal medical drama, The Knick starts. Set in the 1900s in the Knickerbocker Hospital, New York, it is an unflinching and unsentimental portrayal of the surgeons who saw themselves as medical pioneers, striving for advancement whatever the cost to patients and often themselves. Steven directed all ten episodes and his cinematic touch is evident in every scene. The cast is led by Clive Owen, who plays Dr William Thackery, a medical genius beset with his personal demons. I promise after you've watched this not only will you be hooked but also incredibly happy to be born in today's sanitised medical world.

And then it is with a sad heart that we bid a fond farewell to Boardwalk Empire, the show that launched our channel three years ago.

Such brilliant shows and so many more in the pipeline; with shows this good I'm almost looking forward to winter.

posted on 16 Sep

Our HQ is based in Osterley, West London but just across London in Brick Lane is where Sky Network Services are based. These are the people that look after all of our Broadband and Telephony business. Based in the heart of East London are 200 people in a number of specialist teams:

Sky Careers

The NOC

The biggest group of people work in the Network Operations Centre (NOC). The NOC runs around the clock to make sure our network services are running well and our customers are happy.

Our broadband network is made up of 3,500km of Sky Fibre - the equivalent distance between London and New York!  The NOC monitors, manages and protects this network’s components and resolves any issues. The NOC also manage the data centre; this can be the servers which deliver content for Sky Go or NOW TV or the smooth running of our major online services.

Network Implementation

This team actually builds and maintains the Broadband and Telephony network in London and South East England. A big part of this is looking after the physical hardware in the Brick Lane data centre, where enormous computers and servers house the millions of pieces of data. The team also has a state of the art ‘Test Lab’! Here they build and test the next generation of Broadband and Telephony products and services.

Mechanical & Electrical Operations

This team works day and night to keep the lights on in Brick Lane. This team is essential to the seamless running of our power hungry Brick Lane data centre. They work very closely with Implementation to provide power and to maintain a cool temperature, as the machines can get quite hot!

Switch & Voice Development

This team designs, tests and integrates all of our telephony services for customers and corporate use, which includes our internal phone systems and audio conferencing.

posted on 16 Sep

We caught up with Mark, a producer of European football on Sky Sports 5, we found out a lot about exactly what goes in to producing a match on a European scale.

I started thinking about the UEFA Super Cup right after the final whistle in Lisbon back in May. Gareth Bale had scored a crucial goal in the Champions League Final and knowing the Super Cup was in Cardiff, he would be heading back to his home city. I spent the flight home brainstorming with our reporter – ‘can we go to Gareth’s school? How did his football career start?’

My television career at Sky started in 1992 in tape dispatch. These were the days when we only used tapes. After that I moved into the archives when the Premier League started in August that year. I guess you could have called me a librarian and I was only meant to stay a week. A year later I found myself out of the libraries and into the Sports department as a junior. After that I worked as an editorial assistant and worked my way up to producer over about 10 years, which I’ve been doing now since about 2001.

As a producer, it is my job to decide what goes in the programme. For the Super Cup we had 1hr 45 mins of build up before the game and I’ll write the running order for that and work out how we film it. It’s my job to tell the story before the game and after it. That could involve the guests that we choose and what features do we put into the show whilst keeping it interesting and accurate.

Take a step forward in time to the Super Cup, we started rehearsals at around 3.30pm before going on air at 6pm. There were 135 people involved in our production team that day – 25 cameras, 20 cameramen, technicians, engineers, riggers, production staff, a statistician, graphics team and 13 trucks!

And although we plan as much as possible, things still change at the last minute. We wanted to film some segments of the preview outside and had to decide at the last minute to go ahead with it. Luckily the rain stayed away for another 10 minutes before the heavens opened – quite heavily.

We were host broadcaster too, which meant covering the match for UEFA and the feed that would be going to the rest of the world.  That meant a lot of the team had arrived in Cardiff a couple of days earlier to start setting up. They’d be staying in Cardiff well into the night after the game too (and that isn’t just for some well-earned beers).

We got the channel off to a good start. It was a good game with relatively few issues and that is testament to the team who do this regularly. We’re pretty proud of what we’ve achieved and we’ll see you again soon. I’m now looking to the Champions League proper starting all of which will be on Sky Sports 5 – our new home of European football. 

posted on 8 Sep

Jack's looking forward to conducting his first interview for Sky News having done a broadcast journalism degree at university. Find out more about him here.

Sky Careers

What programme are you on?

Planning, work experience

What’s the best thing about working at Sky?

Ongoing movement and the development of news

 

Describe your role in one word

Research

What’s your favourite Sky show?

Sky Sports News

What were you doing before working at Sky?

I was studying broadcast journalism at university.

What do you do at Sky?

Make calls, and set calls. I have also been out with a reporter and will be performing an interview myself.

What’s the best thing about your job?

The people I have met.

What surprised you most about working at Sky?

How calm everyone is at stressful times.

posted on 8 Sep

She loves Game of Thrones, and recently spent a year living in France as part of her degree, find our more about what makes Pearl tick here.

Sky Careers

What programme are you on?

I’m a Marketing intern in NOW TV.

What’s the best thing about working at Sky?

The people

Describe your role in one word

Social

What’s your favourite Sky show?

Game of Thrones

What were you doing before working at Sky?

I had an international studying year in France as part of my degree.

What do you do at Sky?

Currently working with social media and marketing, by creating social refonts and shadowing.

What’s the best thing about your job?

Learning new skills and meeting new people in a variety of roles.

What surprised you most about working at Sky?

The office structure and mixture of roles and hierarchy.

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