Lauren Tilley, Sky



Finance Analyst

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I'm 22 and I grew up in West Sussex, where I went to school and college. I moved to London in 2017 to be closer to work.

Tell us about your current role and organisation

I work at Sky, the telecommunications company and UK's largest Pay-TV broadcaster. My current role is in the Technology Finance team, where we manage the headcount budgets for all of our Technology divisions (upwards of 5,000 people), as well as the hardware and support contracts which underpin our tech infrastructure. My previous roles have included Sky Vision (the division focused on the distribution and production of both Sky and third-party content), and Trading consolidation (month end reporting and risk management of Sky UK's customer trading) in the Sales and Marketing department, where I spent my two years as an Apprentice.

What was your background before becoming an apprentice?

I went through college knowing that I didn't want to go to university, but instead begin work or find an apprenticeship/ traineeship in Finance. While I was searching I started a job at a local estate agent as a compliance assistant. I knew it wasn't the field I wanted to stay in but it taught me valuable skills that I was later able to use at Sky, like problem solving, stakeholder management and timekeeping.

Why did you choose an apprenticeship?

For me it was the best of both worlds; gaining experience and a qualification, whilst being paid a salary. I also started college in the year that university fees increased to £9,000 a year, which played a big part in my decision too. I felt I would be better earning and learning than leaving Uni with high student debt and no real guarantee of a job afterwards.

Why did you choose this particular apprenticeship?

Sky's Finance Apprenticeship scheme sits in the Commercial Finance function which is an interesting and challenging area. Instead of the traditional tasks you'd normally associate with accountancy it provides support for all the commercial decisions the company makes; the launch of a product, purchase of a show or production company or the development of a new building.

How has the CIMA qualification supported you in your role?

It has encouraged me to consider the wider impacts of the work I do. Particularly as I have progressed the case studies at the end of every level require you to think strategically about the impacts of commercial decisions, much like the decisions I help to make in my day-to-day roles.

What's the best part about being an apprentice?

The experience you gain - being an apprentice means that you're always learning and being challenged and at Sky you're given plenty of opportunities to do that. That being said, earning a wage isn't bad either!

Why would you recommend CIMA and an apprenticeship?

An apprenticeship route for Accountancy/Finance is a real, viable alternative to becoming a qualified accountant.

Ready to start your CIMA Journey?

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