As Laura from Corporate Affairs Work Experience says: "This isn’t your average work experience"
"My Work Experience got me a job in public affairs"
Role: Corporate Affairs Work Experience
This isn’t your average work experience
There was a great deal of responsibility, and we were asked to really help out, which made me think, that this isn’t just any old work experience making teas and coffees. From the moment you arrive, you’re treated as though you work there, you’re immersed in all things Sky. You get to meet people in other departments, and everyone was so helpful in terms of giving advice. Also, Sky isn’t like any other company - the atmosphere is brilliant, the campus is wonderful and the people are just so, so friendly.
Corporate Affairs is sort of like PR across the whole business
Corporate Affairs basically is promoting Sky to relevant stakeholders, and people and companies who work with or are relevant to Sky. You’re responsible for promoting the whole of Sky. So some will work one day on Sky Sports stuff, next minute it’s Sky News, Sky Q and products, or our content. You’re overseeing all the deals, and promoting the business. There are all different departments within corporate affairs - corporate communications deals with journalists, there’s external comms, which is communication with companies and people working with Sky, internal comms, which is working with the employees and making sure they know all about things that are happening in the business, and I was on the public affairs team. It was really interesting - basically we lobby politicians, MPs and political groups, we build relationships with them, and try to influence them to help the business, and the industry.
We went to parliament to see how it all works
There were select committee hearings in parliament, and people from Sky presenting in front of various committees, and we would support the relevant people, making sure they had everything they need. I shadowed a lot of the team, and when there were news campaigns relevant to Sky, we saw how those worked. Because I was doing a politics and international relations degree at the time, it was great to see how it tied in with my degree.
My work experience got me a job in public affairs
I came away from the work experience really wanting to work for Sky, and applied for the grad scheme, but didn’t get it. I was so, so disappointed, but did get quite far in the application, so started just applying for entry level jobs. A lot of my friends were going travelling, but I knew I wanted to work, and I knew I only wanted to work at Sky. Everyone told me to try other options, to look at other businesses, but I didn’t! I wanted to prove everyone wrong. So when an entry level job in public affairs came up, I went for it, and the interviewer was the person who had managed me during my work experience. It was clear, though, that I didn’t have enough experience for the job and I came away really disappointed, again. But then, he called me up the next day and said that my passion for Sky and how much I wanted to work for the company outweigh my lack of experience - and now I’ve been working here a year and a half!
If you get knocked back, get up again
My biggest piece of advice is, no matter how many times you’re knocked back, you should keep rooting for it. It sounds cliched, but lot of people said to me I should think of other options, and I ignored them and kept going. Don’t be afraid to show passion and excitement! Let your personality shine through, too - people tend to freeze up and act all corporate in interviews, but they want to see you.
Public affairs is for you if you’re good with people, and can learn on the job
The Corporate Affairs work experience is a good starting point for anyone who has skills in communication, who is good at talking to people, personable, and has good writing skills. You’ve got to communicate over email and write letters and press releases. But also someone who is confident. You do learn on the job. In terms of where you’re place for work experience - when I applied, I talked about politics in my cover letter, which is why I got put in that team. They’ll place you in the department they think will suit you best, so it’s good to research what teams there are, and tailor your application to what you’d prefer to do.