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Student flying high at BSkyB

Completing a work placement as part of a degree course provides the opportunity for valuable hands-on experience in a chosen career, immersing the student into the world of work, with the benefit of on the job learning. Students can enhance their experience by building useful contacts for future opportunities. University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) student Adam Zullo undertook a work placement at broadcaster Sky (BskyB) as part of the content and strategy research team.

The Experience

Marketing Management student Adam, 21, had applied for several placements before discovering an opportunity at broadcaster Sky (BskyB). After a telephone interview, test and face to face interview he was offered the job.

His role within the content and strategy research team involved reporting directly to a line manager, as well as completing tasks assigned by team members and other departments within the company, developing and strengthening his communication skills. Adam was able to utilise his BARB (Broadcasters Audience Research Board) training, an important tool in the industry.

Keeping an eye on Sky’s competitors was part of Adam’s duties, with the compilation of reports for teams across the company making up a key part of his workload. He conducted research in advance of the commissioning of new television programmes, seeking to gain an idea of the public’s perception of current Sky content, as well as opinions surrounding schedules.

The Benefits

Adam recognises several areas within his personal development that have benefited from undertaking the placement. “I now understand that integrity and accountability are traits that are valuable when working as part of a team. By the end of my placement I understood what the consumer wanted from a television channel in far greater detail, as well as the level of research required before a marketing campaign can begin,” he says.

“We were fortunate enough to be invited to numerous networking events, something I took full advantage of and made sure to get my face about, as well as making an effort to form connections via social media, such as LinkedIn,” he added. “It’s not just about being presented with an opportunity, you have to use your initiative to take as much as you can from it.”

The Outcome

Adam’s placement experience has certainly impacted his outlook. “I am a different person now to the one I was when I first applied to work at Sky,” he reflects. “My soft skills have vastly improved and I feel much more confident and committed to taking on assignments and challenges now. On top of this, my grades have noticeably improved.”

Alison Lucas, Division Leader, Lancashire Business School said: “Students greatly benefit from work placements when it comes to entering the graduate jobs market, as it gives them the competitive edge. Businesses can also benefit as it’s an opportunity to find new talent.”

Businesses interested in offering work placements can contact Glenn Challenger at UCLan for more information -