As a committed BA (Hons) Sports Business & Broadcasting student, Maddison Taylor has landed an incredibly competitive role as a Junior Production Specialist at Sky Sports. From operating teleprompters to designing graphics and logos, the UCFB Wembley student is doing everything she can to pursue her dream career as a sports presenter. Here, she tells us about the role and her time at UCFB so far…

Tell us about your role at Sky Sports and how you landed the opportunity to work there.

My role at Sky Sports is amazing, it’s a great first job to get your foot in the door and work with incredible people. The company know the career path I want to go down, which is presenting, and they push you in that direction in whatever way they can. My day to day role at Sky changes – I do everything from supporting studio work, the gallery, editing, outside broadcast and digital production. I’ve also helped operate autocue, assisted with stats, graphics and logos, greeted and chaperoned visitors, guests and talent around the Sky Campus. Finally, I’ve worked with content teams preparing for upcoming productions and events, logged sport content for edit and archive purposes, and worked with the operations team in and around the office.

I’m never one to sit around and wait for my fate to fall at my feet. I have such a motivation to succeed in the career I’ve chosen and I know I can get there. So with that being my mind-set, I did everything in my power to gain myself a role at a top company. I got the role by contacting a producer on LinkedIn and told him why I am different to everyone who has ever applied for Sky in the past and he agreed and loved it and passed me onto my now manager to hire me.

What have been some of the highlights of the job so far?

Meeting and chatting to Thierry Henry wasn’t a bad day in the office! Due to COVID-19 restrictions, work has been pretty strict in the studios, but one of my main roles is to chat to guests and make them feel welcome. So it’s not just about meeting former and current sporting legends but having normal conversations about life – that is definitely a highlight.

How has your time at UCFB helped prepare you for the role at Sky?

UCFB has helped me massively, from the academic side of helping me to master editing and more of the behind the camera stuff. I’ve always wanted to be a presenter so I always knew how to hold my own in front of a camera, but every good sports broadcaster will tell you that you need to know what goes on behind a camera to really excel in front of it. That has really been the final missing piece of my puzzle as a presenter that UCFB helped me to find. UCFB has taught me that you’ve got to work so hard in this industry if you’re going to stand out from everyone else who wants a career in it. My lecturers have always believed in me and pushed me because they know I can get to where I want to be. As a woman in the sports industry, I’m filled with gratitude by this.

You’ve also just begun a new role as the host of The Women’s Football podcast. Why did you choose to get involved with this?

I love all sports but I have a real passion for football. When the producer of The Women’s Football podcast came to me and asked me to host, I was thrilled but also nervous. I had never done a podcast before but they are really proving popular over the last year or two so knew it would be another amazing stepping stone and further experience in my presenting career.

What do you hope to gain from participating in the podcast?

I mean I’m probably shooting for the stars here, but dreaming small never got anyone anywhere! But if Sky could recognise my knowledge and passion for football, then being involved in some way or other in the coverage of the Women’s Super League (WSL) next season would be incredible.

What have been some of the highlights of your BA (Hons) Sports Business & Broadcasting piece so far?

Everything about UCFB I love! The guest speakers are amazing, as is being inside Wembley Stadium. But for me the one thing that stands out is a second year project where I had to create a promotional video for a team we were allocated. Me and my partner Lily were given Vicky Park Rangers under-7s to under-10s girls’ teams and it was just an incredible experience to see the coaches inspiring these young girls to play football. All the girls were so excited to be in the video and they were so thankful. It was amazing to see young girls wanting to play and having a place to play because for some girls it’s not as easily accessible. It was just so pure and an amazing thing to be a part of and it wouldn’t have happened without UCFB.

Do you have any advice for students looking to study at UCFB?

If you want any career in sports, UCFB is your first stepping stone. There is no other institution that gives you the opportunities and facilities UCFB does.