Sky: Ailie Henderson

Ailie Henderson is an associate database engineer at Sky


Why did you choose to do an apprenticeship at Sky?

I’ve always wanted to work at Sky as I’ve had it as long as I can remember and absolutely love TV and cinema. I realised later in life that I wanted to get into tech, but with no degree or experience and college not being an option, I had no idea where to start. Sky’s technology apprenticeship meant that I could earn while I learn and was an amazing side door into the technology sector.


What’s the culture like at Sky? How are you supported?

My favourite part of the culture at Sky is the collaborative nature, they are all about working together. Whether this is in your teams or being part of one of our groups, such as Woman in Tech or LGBTQ+. We are also always looking to improve, so working in a fast-paced environment always gives you a challenge. In the apprenticeship you have a whole team of people helping and supporting you through your course. You will also be well supported in your individual teams by managers who want to see you succeed.


What has been the highlight of your apprenticeship?

I’ve had too many to choose! Going down to the head offices in London and seeing the news being filmed, creating my own videos to advertise apprenticeships, or being asked to join the Scottish Apprenticeship Advisory Board. I think also, the first time you are able to do a piece of work unaided gives you a big buzz. This all being said, one of the best things was meeting my fellow apprentices. We all started on the same day so are all going through it together.


What has been most rewarding project or experience you’ve been involved in?

Sky really gives you the opportunity to grow your skills and widen your networks. They also encourage you to follow your passions. Since becoming an apprentice, I felt there needed to be more education around apprenticeships and the opportunities they provide. I created a poster competition to help educate apprenticeships in schools, which I could 100% lead and design. This went out to all Scottish High Schools and was a successful event. I look forward to continuing this project in the coming years.


How has this apprenticeship helped your career?

This apprenticeship has given me so many skills I never had and allowed me to grow as a person. Not only has the course work improved my writing skills, but it has also taught me about different areas of technology that I’m not in. It has also gained me a job within a team I would have required to have a degree on the subject or a number of years’ experience in.


Would you recommend a career in tech?

I 100% recommend a career in tech. Everyone knows that technology is the future and now more than ever is a great time to get into tech. Companies are always looking for more talent. But please don’t let a lack of technical knowledge put you off. I could not code, build a computer or tell you anything how networks or databases work. Just show your love for it and your willingness to learn.


What advice would you give to someone applying for or considering this apprenticeship?

Just apply for it; worst case scenario you will get a no, best case, you may have a job for life. You will get far more hands-on experience in two years than four years of college or university. And not to mention it doesn’t come with the hefty price tag of student debt and loans. You will actually get paid for your work and will get full staff benefits, including free Sky. Advice for applying, just be yourself and do your research on the company.


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