Stephanie spends her days figuring out how Sky can be a bigger and better business. Planning and problem solving, she's already worked on huge deals with Facebook, and other top secret projects that we'll all hear about when they're launched! If you're good at strategic thinking and solving problems, maybe consider being a strategy analyst...
First, you might help filter start-ups who want to work with Sky
The grad scheme is split into three years, and you work in three different areas - at first, I was working to filter all the new startups who want to work with Sky, looking at them initially, checking them against all the criteria - you’d look at how developed they are, who are the others invested in them, etc. If a startup gets through that phase, you’d look at who from the business you have to speak to, and have an initial call to find out more about them before introducing them to Sky.
Then, you could work with companies like Facebook and Snapchat
I somehow ended up working with start-ups for nine months, then I did the other part of Business Development, which involves Tech giants and commercial distribution. Tech giants look after our partnerships with five big tech companies: Snapchat, Apple, Google, Facebook and Twitter. We can’t compete with them because we’re really different, but we can gain a lot of things by partnering up with them. That team is only two people, and I was supporting them.
For the second part of my year, I would do both commercial distribution and helping the tech giant teams. They do all the deals, try and make sure Sky is the partner of choice whenever they need to work on something. One of the deals I worked on was with Facebook, which was really exciting. I can’t tell you exactly what it was, but I got to extend the deal to other countries.
Or maybe even start working on Sky Mobile
I’ve just moved from Business Development to the second part of my grad scheme, which is Planning and Strategic Implementation, and that’s the team who deal with the huge projects that run across Sky. For example, Sky Mobile. It’s huge, and we have a programme director who looks after all the different strands and groups involved. Obviously that’s a huge new thing, and we have to drive it forwards and manage everything. I’m currently working on a big marketing project at the moment that is top secret and should be pretty exciting for Sky customers!
You get to see how people make the huge decisions across Sky
I haven’t done the third part of the grad scheme, which is the Strategic Planning Group, yet, but they do the big thinking behind everything, Any big decisions the execs come up with, they will figure out what would happen if we did this, and monitor all our competitors, analyse what they’re doing and how we should respond. They do the Premier League auction bidding, and were behind NOW TV, Sky Mobile, everything. I’m looking forward to going over there!
It’s a bit more fun than your average strategy job at a finance company
I prefer working at Sky rather than as a consultant in the City, for example. A lot of my friends are in consultancy, but what I preferred at Sky is that you’re part of it. People want to work together, and you feel part of a team. One of the other big reasons I chose Sky is because it’s an industry I’m genuinely interested in! I like their programmes, I like the shows, you can actually sit and watch what they deliver. If you’re working for a finance company, the job may be similar; it’s not quite as exciting.
There isn’t a typical day
The role I just came into is bit more organised, although it does tend to differ wildly. I do status reports, project updates, those sorts of things. Some days I’m chasing people for updates, making sure we’re hitting milestones, making sure everything is moving along.
There’ll always be elements of chasing partners, start-ups, in the morning. And I’m often ringing round or emailing to get information, doing some research on whatever project I’m working on at that moment. In SPG, they do more of the overall planning and really strategic thinking, proper research. You’re often brainstorming and creating presentations, deciding what the business should do. You get back together with the team, swap updates, see how everyone is doing, and figure out the next step.
If you like problem solving and planning, you’ll enjoy this
I never knew what I was going to do at uni, so I did a business degree, but it’s so broad! That’s why I did it, I just didn’t know! I liked economics, and I liked some elements of business, but within my degree you get a choice of modules and I really liked the strategic ones. The thinking behind businesses, figuring out how to remain competitive, all of that. At uni I did two placements at the serious fraud office, and another was a food company - because all businesses need strategy roles to make sure they stay in the game. After uni I travelled, went back to uni and randomly ended up doing work experience at Sky in the strategy team for a week. I loved the company, I loved everything about it. When I asked if there was an entry level role, they recommended the grad scheme, and while I didn’t think it was the normal entry route for me, I then figured why not? I’m just going to try it. I think it’d be great to get a year experience in all the different areas. And it really has been - I couldn’t recommend it enough.