National Apprenticeship Week is taking place between the 4th and 8th of March, and the NCTJ is proud to support the campaign. Each day throughout the week, we will be sharing first-hand accounts from apprentices and employers to demonstrate how apprenticeships work for them.
Maddy Morrison, apprentice with Sky Sports News and Press Association Training, shares her story below:
I was lucky enough to be accepted onto the Sky Sports News apprenticeship scheme back in 2017 and having had the option to go to university, I can honestly say it has been the best decision I have ever made.
Within four months I had gone from studying my A-Levels at sixth form to working full-time at Sky. Entering the newsroom as an 18 year old was quite daunting, however thanks to the teaching and guidance from my colleagues, I’ve been able to grow into a confident member of the team and enjoy coming into work every day.
Having looked into potential careers whilst I was at school, I always had a drive to work in sports journalism and after careful research I felt that the apprenticeship was an unmissable opportunity that would allow me to go straight into the industry and gain first-hand experience.
Part of the scheme was to obtain the NCTJ Diploma in Journalism and 100 words per minute shorthand which I studied at UCFB college, before entering the newsroom. I have rotated around the key areas of Sky Sports News - planning, digital and production teams to see how they work and all fit together to create a 24 hour news channel.
I realised that each department involved work that enabled me to pick up different skills. The individuals on the planning department are incredibly creative and organise the content to be broadcasted on the channel. The production team cut this picture and write the scripts, whilst the multi-platform department write online articles and produce the Sky News sports bulletin.
However I realised that with every team, you always experience the excitement and adrenaline rush of reacting to breaking news - no day is the same. Feeling the buzz of working in a live environment under pressure to deliver accurate news as quickly as possible is a novelty that still hasn’t worn off.
I also had the opportunity to travel to Sky Germany to understand how their channel works. Another brilliant experience was attending Wimbledon tennis. Enjoying the sunshine was certainly a highlight, but asking questions to some of the biggest tennis stars from Serena Williams to Rafael Nadal is something I’ll never forget.
Ultimately seeing work that I’ve created on different platforms is hugely exciting. Whether it was in the gallery, producing video or writing scripts - it’s humbling to see my own ideas and work out there for others to see.
It’s such a unique experience that I am hugely grateful for and realise how lucky it is to have a job that I enjoy so much. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is passionate about sports journalism.