So there I was – a Yorkshire girl, with good intentions and high ambitions making a temporary two-week move to the big city for my dream internship. The problem, I hear you ask? Well, I’m terrible at being far from home, I strongly dislike living out of a suitcase and – worst of all – I couldn’t, for the life of me, figure out how to work the tube.
Basically, I was pathetic. I was a typical example of a Northerner who has only ever been to London a handful of times to see West End shows and do other “touristy” things. Not that there’s anything wrong with that – like many people, I am an unashamed fanatic of all things LDN – but that just made the concept of navigating in a foreign land alone, and adopting words like “commuting” and “underground” into my everyday vocab, all the more terrifying.
But I had to get over it. I mean, what is two weeks in the grand scheme of things? It’s just 14 days. 336 hours. 20,160 minutes. And, even if I was a long way from home, if I was going to be spending that time working in the phenomenal place that is Sky Sports News HQ, what had I really got to complain about?
My first day was nerve-wracking. I got on the train with a bunch of strangers, who all looked so comfortable and certain; a copy of the Metro in one hand, and
a take-out coffee in the other. They all had this same unstoppable confidence; asserting their authority to get on and off the train first, leaving little old me, suddenly feeling remarkably shy and speechless (completely out of character, I know), to follow on behind.
Luckily, my usual spirited self was restored upon arrival at Sky Studios at 10am. I was greeted by a welcoming team, and introduced to three other interns who would be working across the different departments of Sky. We were given a tour of the complex, which naturally led to a fangirl-style photoshoot of the group in front of various Sky-related backdrops.
What grabbed me straight away was how friendly this environment was. Here,
there were people wandering around the building who I was used to admiring from the silver screen. Presenters whose style I often mimicked in the hope of one day being as talented and successful as them. Celebrities who are literally world-class legends in their trade. And yet, there they all were; holding doors open so I could pass, eating their lunch right next to me, smiling at me and saying “hello” as if I were really a part of the Sky family. They were all as human and down-to-earth as anyone else. My first sporting celebrity meeting came on Day 7 when I met Thierry Henry.
I spent three days with the planning team, learning how to research and file stories for the reporters to use when they’re out on location. This was followed by two days on digital media, enabling me to write stories for the website and the mobile app – and earning me my first few Sky-By(lines). Days six to 10 were with production; here I learnt how to edit video footage, write scripts, and even sit in the gallery to watch the programme go out live from ‘behind the scenes’.
My final day of the experience was spent out with a reporter – the part I had most been looking forward to. Again involving a certain amount of travel-sense, which is something I have never been gifted with, I made my way to the Chelsea training ground for a press conference with interim manager Guus Hiddink. It was…
When I think back now to two whole weeks ago when I first packed up my bags and waved goodbye to all of my home comforts, it’s hard to imagine that I felt so scared and nervous about this small, yet huge, step in my life. Although my time down here in the wild and wondrous south has flown (as they say happens when you’re having fun), it feels impossible that so much has happened in such a short space of time.
Being here has been one of the single most amazing experiences of my life so far. I’ve met some great people, I’ve smiled more than ever, and I have learnt so many wonderful lessons that I will carry with me forever:
- Taking a big step doesn’t have to be a scary step – it can be totally enjoyable too, and having the bravery to make that move is so good for you;
- It’s not true that high expectations only lead to disappointment – I left Sky with the same, if not a greater, amount of respect and love for the company that I had when I arrived, and the same goes for the role models of mine that I met while I was there; and
- As much as it’s easy to doubt myself sometimes, and feel down about not being good at something, now I know that I can work the tube when I really put my mind to it, I know I can do just about anything.
Featured image: Ross G. Strachan/ Flickr.