Rugby mad Rory shares his experience with us as a Finance Grad
Name: Rory Woodland
Job title: Assistant Financial Analyst (Finance Graduate)
What area of Sky do you work in? Finance Delivery - Actuals Reporting Team (ART)
How did you get to where you are now? Cardiff University. This is my first job since graduating in 2016 with a 2:1 in Accounting and Finance. It turned out to be a wise choice of degree because I’m exempt from 8 CIMA exams!
Describe a typical day… The nature of the role in ART is that during the financial month-end I have to work at a fast pace to prepare the monthly profit and loss figures, perform accounting adjustments and analyse any variances to forecast. We work to strict deadlines so we can report quickly to our Group and Commercial Finance colleagues. During the mid-month period much of my time will be working on the KPI and Broadband Tech Team Dashboards, improving process and ensuring a smooth invoicing process with our Logistics and Repair providers.
What do you specialise in and work with on a daily basis? I work in the Reporting team supporting Home Serve and Supply. I look after the costs for the Van Fleet, SMobile Logistics, and overheads. During month-end I work closely with commercial finance to explain any variances in actual spend compared to their forecast and look to provide insightful commentary for the P&L and balance sheets which in turn will help drive business decisions.
Describe your work/life balance at Sky? The work life balance is really good, which is especially important to me when balancing work, studying for my CIMA accounting qualification, playing rugby and having a social life!
What’s the most enjoyable thing about your job? Being given responsibility to take ownership over your areas early on, making a positive impact in your area, and when you get the chance the odd game of table tennis in the office!
What would be your advice to someone who’d want to do what you’re doing? Apply! Working here is a great opportunity - fully supported studies with lots of study leave, great networking events at Quarterly Grad Forum, and opportunities to work across Europe. It’s an exciting company to work for with new products, projects and opportunities launching all the time.
An interesting fact/something no one else knows about you? I was lucky enough to play Scottish Premiership rugby and reach the quarter finals of the Scottish Cup with Boroughmuir RFC.
“From the Toe 2 Toe podcast to the state of the week in the bulletin show, I got to see how the department creates content for the audience."
Name: Emmanuel Fayeun
Job title: Production Junior
What were you doing before joining Sky on a Mama Youth placement? I knew I always wanted a career in the TV/Film industry so I was working in a retail job and freelancing. When the Mama Youth Opportunity came to me I took it with both hands.
Describe the type of day to day activities that you conducted in the department that you joined on your placement. I enjoy sports in general and I was lucky enough to be placed in Football (Soccer AM), and Boxing. In the production meetings is where you really start to see the vision for the show. I was researching and finding information that could be used. As the show is live, I had the chance in rehearsals to observe what was going on and even be a stand-in guest at times. Boxing has guests in every Wednesday so I was given the role of looking after them and get them to where they need to be on time. From the Toe 2 Toe podcast to the state of the week in the bulletin show, I got to see how the department creates content for the audience. They have huge events throughout the year, so you see first-hand the planning and get to see it all come together in the gallery and studio.
Are there any pieces of work/projects that you were particularly proud to be a part of? One particular part I enjoyed was the preparation for the James Degale vs Badou Jack fight. I knew both boxers quite well so it was interesting finding out new things about them leading into the fight.
How would you reflect on your placement in terms of training and development? The placement for me was more about watching and learning from the people who have experience. I want to be in their positions so watching what they do closely really helped me learn a lot in the amount of time I was there.
How did you transition from your placement to a role at Sky? I told my placement manager that I was keen to stay on and work at Sky Sports. I feel that the fact that I showed a keen interest while I was on my placement helped me a lot. I was given a few test shifts as a runner, shadowing those I would work with for a few shifts. After that, I was confident and started to do shifts on my own and now the rest is history.
What does your role now see you doing? As a Production Junior, my duties are to help production in any way I can. This can be making teas for the gallery or doing autocue for a live show, you take the weight off production and keep everyone happy.
How important has the Mama Youth Project been to your personal and professional growth? It’s given me the confidence to walk into the TV/Film industry and be seen as a professional. They have equipped me with the vital skills to flourish and take the industry by storm. Being a researcher and learning at the same time has opened my eyes to what it really takes to succeed in the industry. I see myself as a professional now, and it’s my job to be proactive and keep to the level Mama Youth taught me.
What would you say to someone thinking about getting involved with the Mama Youth Project? Take the opportunity with both hands! I can guarantee that you will take a lot away from being part of this beneficial programme. Learning while getting production credits is wonderful and the opportunity can put you on the platform to do great things.
"Taking yourself out of your comfort zone is a great way to learn and develop."
Name: Rob Poderoso
Job title: Head of Commercial Strategy & Business Development
What area of NOW TV do you work in? I work in the Strategy & Propositions area and lead the Commercial Strategy & Business Development team. Some of the areas we look after include distribution, apps on our very own NOW TV devices and the management of commercial & strategic partnerships. Basically, making NOW TV available and visible to more and more people so we can continue to share the WOW of brilliant TV!
What do you love most about your role? Too many things to list! However, if I had to pick one it would be building our commercial & strategic partnerships which are essential to long term success.
What’s the best thing about working at NOW TV? Being part of a dynamic and ambitious team that relentlessly focusses on our customers to offer them a world-class streaming entertainment service.
Take us back to when you were little, and tell us what you wanted to be when you grew up? To be a professional sportsman, a doctor, or a pilot!
Give us a short rundown of what your day looks like, from waking up to heading home: I usually get the train into the office which is an opportunity to watch the occasional box set, read the paper, catch up on industry news, emails and use the time to get a head start on my working day. Typically my day is a whirlwind of meetings that can cover a complete variety of topics ranging from planning for a particular commercial deal or project, 121s, meetings with partners, or collaborating with colleagues at Sky. I try to work flexibly whenever possible, including utilising my commute to make it home to see my kids before bedtime. One of the great things about working for NOW TV is we are creating a culture where people are judged on performance and output, with the flexibility to work where and when you want.
What is your top tip for someone looking to ‘move on up’ in their career? Be open to lateral moves and look for opportunities that take you out of your comfort zone to support your development and to broaden your experience.
Who has inspired you most in your career and why? I’ve taken great inspiration from quite a few people, including one of my best mates who was a fast rising pro-footballer who unfortunately suffered a major injury that meant that career path was no longer a long term option. His relentless positivity and ability to adapt enabled him to create something brilliant out of his situation by launching a successful football academy that inspires and develops young talent. His story always reminds me that there is always something positive to be gained out of any situation, it’s just up to you to find it and go make it happen!
Tell us about a project or time where you were working at 110%, and how did it feel to complete it? We recently extended our long term partnership with an important content partner. We had a tight deadline to hit and everyone had to work flat out to get the deal finalised in time. Signing on the dotted line was hugely satisfying as it secured a fantastic range of new content for our customers to enjoy.
What’s the most useful bit of feedback you’ve received? Being encouraged to trust my own judgement, to take calculated risks where necessary to drive the business forward and not be afraid to make (and learn from) mistakes.
One thing that has surprised you about working at NOW TV? The open and honest culture where feedback is embraced to ensure we never stand still and drive continual improvements. That makes NOW TV a great place to be!
Jack shares his tips for learning on the job
Name: Jack Cornwall
Job title: Senior SEO Specialist
What area of Sky do you work in? Digital Analytics & Optimization
What’s your career journey been like up until now? Lots and lots of learning. I studied Theoretical Physics at University so never had any formal training in digital marketing, optimization or anything to do with websites; I’ve just learned on the job, by making mistakes and trying new stuff. The kindness of colleagues and willingness to share their knowledge both here and in my previous jobs has been essential to where I am now.
What does a typical day working here look like for you? Varies wildly. Some days can be just me, my headphones & a spreadsheet all day long editing Meta data. Some days I can have 10 different meetings across Leeds/ London/ Scotland with different teams and suppliers, negotiating budgets, coming up with creative ideas, starting new and exciting projects or discussing the content of my awesome spreadsheets that I spent days working on.
If you’ve been here over one year, how have you made a difference in your role? Being one of the few focusing on SEO in the company is hard because I have to win a lot of product owners over in a subject that they might not have come across before. I like to think that I've made everyone more SEO conscious and they now consider it when they come up with roadmaps and plans.
What’s been your proudest moment since working here? Probably working on real “live” projects on the news and sports channels. Such as being awake all night during the general election or Super Bowl to offer support on an ad hoc basis as it is needed there and then. I'm looking forward to being at the studios in London for the General Election as the results come out in just a few months’ time.
What’s the most enjoyable thing about your job? The best thing is when you get the opportunity to work with someone who is as passionate about a project as you are. It means not only is it fun and interesting, but you're able to bounce ideas off each other and come up with a really great product or service at the end of it.
Describe your work/life balance? I've never worked in such a flexible environment and have never had a 9-5 job that is actually 9-5! If your position allows it and your manager is understanding (as mine is) you get to leave early, stay late, work from home, whatever you need as long as you get your job done. As a new dad I appreciate this massively so I get loads of time to spend with my lovely daughters. The business also takes care & helps out with loads of other stuff like pensions, life insurance and a million other things so I just don’t have to worry about them.
What advice would you give to others trying to develop their career? Meddle in as many things as you can. Have your fingers in many pies and always have your learning cap on. You never know when you might need a new skill you learned. Just bug people, ask questions all the time and increase your knowledge.
An interesting fact/something no one else knows about you? I eat lots of food – see photo.
"There’s no typical day in Commercial Finance, we move at pace."
Name: Lauren Moffat
Job title: Commercial Finance Analyst
What area of Sky do you work in? Customer Operations - Finance
How did you get to where you are now? I joined here 4 months ago having previously worked as a Finance Business Partner in RBS and PwC prior to that.
Describe a typical day – There’s no typical day in Commercial Finance, we move at pace. I usually start my day in a messaging scrum where we review the previous day’s performance and agree on tactical short term actions. After that I could be presenting the weekly mobile KPI dashboard to the operation, reviewing messaging projected spend, deep diving into credits raised, working cross team with planning to review budget assumptions or spending time with the team driving actions from recent People surveys. I also make time to be in the operation whether this be in a contact centre or out for the day with an Engineer.
What do you specialise in and work with on a daily basis? Within service I support Mobile and Messaging. Both of which have been exciting new projects and have landed positively. I have been part of the Messaging project team since launch in March, specifically supporting the data and insight work stream. This has involved defining and developing key metrics so we can measure success.
Describe your work/life balance at Sky? Our team promotes flexible working and my preference is to start early so I can get away at the end of the day and enjoy my evenings. I’ve just completed my first half marathon so working flexibly has benefited my training schedule!
What’s the most enjoyable thing about your job? I enjoy working for a company where I can be passionate about our products. My family has always had Sky and I love being an advocate for what we do.
What would be your advice to someone who’d want to do what you’re doing? My role is about being challenging and inquisitive, so if you enjoy being in a fast paced environment and being hands on then I would recommend working in Commercial Finance.
An interesting fact/something no one else knows about you? I’m afraid of bananas!
"I arrived on the Monday morning and was immediately made to feel extremely welcome - and they never once saw my blindness as an issue. In fact, most people saw it as a positive as I had my guide dog, Iggy, with me – who would complain about having a cute little dog in their workplace for a week?"
Customer Service work experience, Leeds
As someone who’s completely blind, I was quite nervous attending the Customer Service work experience at Sky. When you have a disability like blindness, it’s always interesting how people react. When I tell them I’m studying software development and programming, a lot of people are shocked that I can use a computer, let alone create a program for one. Thankfully though, this was not the case at Sky. I arrived on the Monday morning and was immediately made to feel extremely welcome, and they never once saw my blindness as an issue. In fact, most people saw it as a positive as I had my guide dog, Iggy, with me – who would complain about having a cute little dog in their workplace for a week?
The work experience started with the induction, learning about Sky as a company and meeting some of the people we’ll be working with. We met Sky Retail managers and also spent time in the Save department, which were more difficult jobs than I expected. The advisors have to make sure they work out customer’s exact interests and manage to sell them Sky, or in terms of the Save department, try and find them better bundles and deals to prevent them from leaving.
Another interesting exercise was spending time with the Sky Engineers, who talked us through what they have to do on a day-to-day basis when installing Sky in customer’s properties, and how certain issues, such as the Sky TV not receiving signal, are repaired. We even got to build satellite dishes, which was great!
The place that interested me the most was on the final day of the work experience, when we visited the Leeds Dock site, where all the technical things such as apps and websites are developed and maintained. It was amazing to see so many talented Designers, Programmers, Developers and Testers working in the same place, and all with the same enthusiasm for their jobs.
Overall, I would say this work experience has been one of the most enjoyable weeks I’ve had. What stood out for me is that everyone enjoys coming into work and enjoys what they do, and always wanting to help people. It’s made me realise that working somewhere like Sky would be great for me.
I’ve also been contacted by Leeds dock to see if I’d be interested in doing some more work experience exclusively with them as an app tester. So watch this space!
"Dipping my toes into Corporate Affairs at Sky has equipped me with an insight into how an Internal Communications department at a massive company runs."
Name: Katharine Gemmell
Corporate Affairs work experience, Livingston
“Believe in better.” Once you hear those words, you know exactly what they’re advertising – and that is, of course, Sky. After completing a week’s work experience with Sky in their Corporate Affairs team, I’ve experienced first-hand that this is not just a stylish marketing campaign but an active practice.
My time at Sky, specifically with the Internal Communications department, has shown me how dedicated the company are to their staff – and not just to those at the very top. The work the Internal Communications team do is all aimed at trying to translate and tell the stories of Sky to everyone at the company in a relatable and honest manner. Through this, I could really see that Sky strived to give its staff the best work-life experience that it could.
My week was busy, varied and highly organised, which allowed me to do so much in the little time I had. Not only did I work beside and experience the Internal Communications side of the team, but I also got to learn about the other Corporate Affairs teams through one-to-one meetings.
I was seriously impressed with the Bigger Picture team and loved hearing all about Sky’s internal Women in Leadership initiative. I also had the opportunity to attend the Sky Sports Living for Sports LIVE day. This amazing programme brought kids, athletes and Sky people together for a day of being active and instilling confidence and motivation.
Dipping my toes into Corporate Affairs at Sky has equipped me with an insight into how an Internal Communications department at a massive company runs. These skills will be incredibly useful to me now as I try and enter into the world of Communications. Overall it also showed me just how great a company that Sky is to work for. It left me really believing in that catchy slogan.
"I’m so proud to work for a company willing to give its people the freedom and flexibility to set up something that they have a passion for."
Name: Jordan McGhee,
Job Title: Customer Resolution Analyst
The sun was high in the, ahem, sky, as thousands of people from all ages, races, faiths and sexual orientations assembled in bright colours outside our Scottish Parliament, for the annual Edinburgh Pride parade.
I’m in the Customer Resolution team and having worked here for just over nine years I’m lucky enough to have been a member of the LGBT network since it started in 2012 with just a small Chatter group. It’s been amazing to watch it grow and now I’m a network lead, meaning I organise different events across a lot of our sites to help promote the network.
I’m so proud to work for a company willing to give its people the freedom and flexibility to set up something that they have a passion for. Taking part in Pride events is such a huge moment and being able to join over 30 Sky staff and friends as part of a range of organisations, walking together with flags, banners, beach balls, whistles, face paints, unicorns, and everything else in-between, to celebrate diversity in our fabulous city is such an amazing feeling! We get such a phenomenal response as we’re such a huge, well-known brand and we love to show how inclusive and diverse it is.
For those of you who know Edinburgh, we walked from Parliament, along past the Cowgate, by our pal Greyfriars Bobby, then onto Teviot Row House. Here, we ran a stall, handing out rainbow face paints and whistles, all while speaking to over 650 people, promoting #LifeatSky. Loads of visitors told us they loved that a big company like us would get involved with this Pride event and they couldn’t get enough of our fabulous “Just Be” branded goodies.