Friday, April 15, 2016

Chris tells us how attending Explore Sky helped secure his graduate scheme!

Explore Sky

Attending Explore Sky in September 2015, for students keen on Software Engineering and Technology, wasn’t just an enjoyable day out - it secured me a great graduate job that will be the first step in my technology career.
When applying for graduate schemes, it’s one thing to go to careers fairs, where you can have a nice chat with current graduates and fill your bag with brochures and free pens. Certainly, I would have felt lost without the broad overview - and would probably have spent a lot more on pens. Checking websites is good too, where you can pick up a little on their ethos.

But another thing entirely would be going to headquarters for a good look around, asking questions to directors, getting a feel for the company culture, getting the low-down on the application process (with very handy tips), and working with current employees in a hands-on afternoon group session. And this is exactly what Explore Sky is all about.

While still quite engineering-focused, Sky is in the middle of a huge transition into ground-breaking technology. Indeed, the first thing I thought when I walked onto campus - not office block, campus - was, “isn’t this a little more ‘Google’ than ‘BT Tower’?”. With onsite restaurants, a cycle shop, gym and many cafes, it’s immediately clear that this is a good place to work. (I got to try one of the coffees after ignoring my map and ending up in the wrong place, where I got offered one for free. No regrets.) It’s also worth mentioning that while the dress code for this event was smart-business, Sky employees tend to wear casual clothes to work, which helps create a very pleasant atmosphere.

On the day of Explore Sky the first place we entered was the sparkling-new award-winning Believe in Better building, with its huge, colourful, open atrium. (Incidentally, this is where the assessment centre was held when I came back - it’s certainly easier on the nerves when you’re in a familiar place.) Once there we were led into our room for the morning, where we were welcomed by the very friendly recruitment team and given a few presentations, along with ample opportunity to ask questions. It’s hard to imagine a better way to get ahead of the game than asking business questions to directors, getting the low-down on the application process from recruiters, and networking with current employees over a free lunch - and this all happened in the same morning.

The afternoon was made up of campus tours and a group challenge, the nature of which was kept as a secret, but it was a lot of fun and even had prizes at the end. The tour is quite remarkable too: you’ll see how Sky fits developers, restaurants, studios and much more all onto one campus. You may even catch a few celebrities - but try to stay professional!

All in all, the experience was instrumental in getting me the knowledge - and enthusiasm - to succeed in Sky’s graduate scheme recruitment process, and I’d certainly recommend it to anyone interested in a career in technology.

Good luck with your applications!

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