PLACEMENT EXPERIENCE METADATA COORDINATOR AT SKY UK LIMITED - MARY SMITH

The project that I worked on - Sky Glass-2

Mary, a BSc (Hons) Television and Broadcasting student, is currently on her placement year at Sky UK Limited. Her role as Metadata Coordinator has given her the opportunity to explore something different and learn about her strengths and weaknesses in a professional environment.

  • 09 March 2022
  • 5 min read

How did you find your placement role?

This placement was advertised by the Creative Careers team to CCI students only. I received an email with the job description and decided to apply right away after doing some research about the company and some key words in the job description. I started by ensuring that my CV was up to date and got it reviewed by some professionals in the careers team. Then, I proceeded to write my cover letter and after being confident that I had everything covered, I attached it to my reply. 

 

How many applications did you make (approx.)?

This was my one and only application for the placement year. I was interested in other positions in different companies, but I did not apply for them because I did not feel that they were meant for me. I was not confident about them after reading the job description. Also, I didn’t want to pressure myself by applying to many different jobs without genuinely being interested in them. However, when I read the job description for Metadata Coordinator, I told myself, “Yes. That’s the one!”, and I believe that my good instinct and research brought me where I am today. 


How did Creative Careers support you in your placement search?

The Creative Careers team sent me daily emails with a list of job vacancies that fit my interests, so I always had a lot of options. If anything caught my attention after reading the details but I had more questions about something, I knew I could always contact anyone in the careers team. Students can always schedule a 1-2-1 meeting with a member of the team to discuss the process, how to improve your CV, what the key information is to put in your cover letter, how to remain calm and look professional in an interview and much more. What is convenient is that all this information can be found on the Moodle site with videos and templates for the students to review at any time and it really helps you in your decision and preparation process. 


Company

I work in the Metadata Operations department at Sky UK Limited. Sky is a British media and telecommunication conglomerate, which is a division of Comcast, which is an American multinational telecommunications conglomerate. It has operations in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland. The Metadata Operations team manage and maintain all the metadata that powers content discovery features and EPG listings across Sky Glass, Sky Q, Sky +, Sky Go, Now and Sky.com. 

Mary at her workspace at Sky

Mary Smith at her desk 

Placement role

I am a Metadata Coordinator on the project side of the Metadata Operations team. My priority duties consist of processing critical tasks of manual matching and initial quality assurance for VOD/OTT/Linear content within Comet systems. I also do some quality control for entertainment programmes and raise any missing or unwanted information. 

In doing so, metadata content ingested from our suppliers for events are confirmed against the scheduled programmes so that Sky customers can view key information influencing the choices made, and recommendations received. 

Since my debut in the team, I have been treated equally like any other employee most of the time. I receive new opportunities and feedback on my work to improve my performance. I blended so well in the team that people were very surprised when I revealed that I was still a university student on a placement year. I did not feel very confident in certain tasks from time to time but I have always received support from my seniors in moments of doubt which helped me improve a lot. In a big company such as Sky, I would say that the key is to find the perfect balance between putting yourself forward and admitting that this is only the beginning of your career. 


How is your placement related to your university degree? 

As this role is a non-production one, it is quite different from what I learned in my first and second year at the university. However, it is still relevant as I learned about the importance of accuracy in data and information such as synopsis, title, runtime and much more, which is very important in post-production. Moreover, I have improved my time management and organisation skills which again are crucial if you want to become a good producer.

This role gives me the opportunity to explore something different and learn about my strengths and weaknesses in a professional environment.


What are the benefits of being on a placement? 

Being on a placement gives you a clearer image of what works for you and what does not and that is exactly what it did for me. It brings you ideas for future professional opportunities, and in which direction you want to take your career. A placement is full of surprises and an eye opener, you can realise that this is where you belong or that it is not meant for you at all, and I think it is better to realise this while you are still a student rather than when you have already graduated and have a permanent position in a company. You are not only going to learn a lot about your subject but also about yourself and your character. How you react to situations and how to interact with different types of people. 


Being on a placement can also open other opportunities in other departments or you can get a good recommendation for another company that you are interested in.


What’s been the biggest highlight so far?

I would say that my biggest highlight so far was when I got my contract extended without having to mention it first. It really demonstrated that my consistency in the job was recognised and appreciated by my seniors. I also received new responsibilities which showed trust and motivated me to do even better. I also had the amazing opportunity to be interviewed for a higher position in the team. Although I did not end up getting it, the feedback on my interview was good and demonstrated that I had capacity to achieve more in the future.