Sky Sports: Making The Most Of Your Work Experience

Mitch Waddon

Mitch on the famous Soccer AM set

After doing work experience at Sky’s iconic Soccer Saturday and Soccer AM, Falmouth University student Mitch Waddon writes about some of his highlights…

My time at Sky Sports has been demanding, rewarding and immensely fun. There has rarely been a dull moment and I’ve had the chance to carry out a wide variety of duties – ranging from finding a Brazilian chef to cook everyone World Cup party food to dressing up as Roy Hodgson for a VT filmed at Brentford’s Griffin Park.

Whilst it may all sound like a great laugh (and trust me, it is) you should also never lose sight of why you are there. Make sure you remain professional no matter how bizarre the situation (I’ve also played a crying John Terry and, on another occasion, been covered in Champagne byAndy Carroll). Enjoy it – but remember, you’re also there to show that you can do a job.

Working hours can be long – if you work with Soccer AM or Soccer Saturday you can be sure of a late finish on Friday night. Depending on the required props and how segments are coming together, finishing after 11pm is not uncommon. Add in a 7am start on the Saturday and you can see why it takes a certain sort of dedication and commitment.

My advice would be to try your best to maintain that smile and drive during those long hours. It can be tough (believe me, I’ve been there) but it is during those long and difficult moments that you can prove your worth to the team.

Show day is always good fun, if not for the banter on the studio floor then for the interactions with the guests and the audience. Even if you haven’t had much sleep, the adrenaline of the occasion inevitably carries you through.

The guests during my second show were Burnley manager Sean Dyche and the band Kasabian. Both were incredible to work with. Dyche in particular pleasantly surprised me. He had always come across as quite a stern person but he allowed his personality and wit to show during his interview, across the various segments and after recording had finished.

And that brings me to my next point – remember that the show is live as well, so be careful what you say and to whom you say it. And don’t be surprised if you are asked to help by providing refreshments and collecting coffees. You are there not only to learn the way the industry works, but also to help out wherever you can.

You get to work with various celebrities and sports stars like this regularly, so it’s important that you don’t let yourself become star-struck – particularly with the presenters. After a few days you’ll find yourself accustomed to the recognisable faces in the Sky Sports corridors, and will quickly come to realise that they are simply employees doing a job. Most are very pleasant to work with and will appreciate being treated like everyone else, rather than as the superstar you know from that show on the television.

I’ve had a few people ask me what some of the well-known personalities on the show are like, including Rocket and Tubes. I can reveal a hard fact about each: Rocket takes sugar in his tea, and Tubes very kindly got me breakfast on Saturday morning.

They are, as is everyone else in the office, very down to earth and genuine. It is hard to think of them as celebrities when you work with them and experience them on that kind of level. They’re humble and enjoy the banter as much as the next ordinary bloke you’d meet down the pub.

So to summarise – the most important advice I have to offer if you get a placement at Sky Sports is to enjoy it and remember why you are there. Jobs are hard to come by today, so work hard and earn the praise of the team you work with. They remember the hard workers, which will be in your benefit should the opportunity of employment arise.

If you want to read more from Mitch, check out his blog, where he muses about sports among other things. You can also follow him on Twitter, @MitchWaddon

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