UCFB Etihad Campus student Georgia Stevens spent time working with Sky Sport News this year, one of the UK’s leading sports broadcasters. Here, the BA (Hons) Multimedia Sports Journalism student tells us in detail just what the experience was like…

I applied for work experience at Sky Sports News towards the beginning of the year. The application process was daunting at first and required some research to ensure that it was the best it could be; I was very fortunate that my lecturer double-checked my application, CV and online portfolio.

I found out I was successful about a month or so after the application and was told that my placement would span two weeks, whilst I was based down south at the Sky HQ in Isleworth, London. Living in London for two weeks was an incredible experience itself and gave me some valuable tools for life going forward.

On my first day, everyone who was on work experience were given a tour of the Sky Campus, which is amazing. It boasts 11 different buildings, the most impressive being Sky Central - it has its own cinema, Waitrose and amazing restaurant. The food in general at Sky was amazing; there was a festival food truck during my first week and a sushi festival during my second!

I was based in the Rupert Murdoch Building, which is composed of studios and the home of Sky Sports and Sky Sports News, of which the latter was my office for the duration of my placement. It was surreal to be working in the background with live TV happening right in front of me, but it was an invaluable lesson on how things work on a live TV set and the protocols involved.

As well as studying at UCFB, Georgia also plays for Fylde Women FC

During my first few days, I was placed with the multi-platform department, who are in charge of all content that is put out online for Sky Sports News. I was fortunate enough that the FIFA Women’s World Cup was just beginning in France and I shared with my superiors that women’s football was somewhat my expertise. After being given the opportunity to sit in on some important meetings I was tasked with writing a few articles for the website, seven of which were published online. Having my name attached to a piece of work that was published by Sky Sports News was a dream come true. The skills I learnt with multiplatform are things that I will take with me throughout my career.

I then moved into the planning department, which is where all of the guests, reporters and external shoots are organised and delegated. On top of that, it is also where the diary for each Sky Sports News programme is created. This was an amazing insight into the work that goes on behind the scenes to make the programme possible. It also showed just how important networking and contacts are in the media industry. As part of my time with the department, I organised a reporter shoot at a screening of the Women’s World Cup at the Festival of Football. I sourced, contacted and planned the shoot and it was something that remained part of the show throughout the World Cup.

After asking, I got the opportunity to work an extra day on the weekend of my first week where I shadowed and helped update the live blog during the England vs Scotland match. This allowed me to work alongside writers at Sky Sports Football. I also got to shadow Alice Piper and watch how a podcast was developed, recorded and published which was fascinating.

My final days were spent within the production department. This is where pretty much everything that is seen on Sky Sports News is created and put together. After learning the software and how videos were edited and cut as well as script writing, I finally got to see the ‘belts’ I created be aired on TV. This was another unforgettable experience for me, but the department moves at such a high pace that there is no time to revel in what you have accomplished.

I also got to spend time in the gallery. This is where co-producers, directors and co-directors actually make sure that what is airing is correct and everything that is queued up is ready to go. It was brilliant to see how breaking news is dealt with and how everybody has to be so adaptive to the what is going on. Any mishaps are dealt with as quickly as possible and the gallery was one of the most intense and high-pressure environments I have ever experienced.

I am so grateful for my experience at Sky Sports News and to everyone that I met there and have kept in touch with. I hope to go back near the end of the year after being asked to do another week by certain departments.

To anyone thinking of applying for work experience or unsure of doing unpaid work, I can only encourage it. My work experience has not only given me invaluable tools for the future in the career I want to pursue and for my education, but it has also steered me down a more focused career path and given me the motivation to keep pushing towards my career goals.