Loughborough Alumni

Our alumni

Christopher Parrott

Organisational Delivery Assistant: Sky Sports

Chris graduated with a degree in International Relations in 2011. Here, Chris shares his journey from his studies at Loughborough to his current role at Sky Sports.

Why did you choose to study International Relations at Loughborough University?

I wanted to study at Loughborough first and foremost. It’s a fantastic institution with a great reputation for Sports and academics. I was interested in Politics, History & languages ( I did French at A Level) and IR seems a great blend of those three disciplines as I was able to take modules in French with the course and do an Erasmus year abroad in Rennes, Britany.

How has Loughborough University inspired you and helped you to progress in your career?

Loughborough taught me as much about life as it did about International Relations. In fact in my opinion it’s the life skills that you learn when you’re away from home for the first time for a long period that stay with you the longest and from which you gain the most benefit. This is particularly true if you study a non vocational subject. Loughborough was particularly good at helping you foster friendships, develop your identity and grow into the adult you’ll become. I liked the way it creates a community spirit within your halls as well as some friendly rivalries with others too.

Would there be one piece of advice that you would give to current or prospective students looking to study the same course that you did?

‘A question you can’t answer is better than an answer you can’t question’ - I’ve always liked this quote and what it says to me is that, as a human but especially as a student, we should question everything. If you ask questions it shows outwardly that you’re engaged in the subject and inwardly you’ll understand it better. There are no stupid questions so don’t be afraid to ask, especially when you’re new and just starting your time at Loughborough.

Did you take part in any extra-curricular activities during your studies? If so, how did this impact upon your Loughborough experience?

I took part in a bit of student radio, IMS rugby and my Erasmus year between my second and third year. However, it is a regret of mine that I didn’t make more of these extra opportunities that were available. 

Can you tell us about your career journey so far?

I did a lot of odd jobs in the summers while I was at university, working at my old school as a sports coach, also coaching rugby on summer camps, even a bit of landscape gardening.

During my first 3 months after university at one point I had 3 jobs on the go. Sometimes you must do a bit of grafting to pay the bills and bide your time until the right opportunity comes along.

One of those jobs, which I got through a contact at Sky Sports, was as a runner. Runners are the bottom rung in most TV production companies, a foot in the door. But it’s a great way to learn about a business’s people and practices and how to make a good cup of tea! After about a year of freelance running I got a full-time job managing a group of freelance runners. I did that until January 2018 when I took a new position which I still hold now.

What do you love the most about your job at Sky Sports and what does your role involve?

Organisational Delivery Assistant is a bit of a mouthful and requires explanation in most cases, sometimes I wish I was a teacher or a Police Officer if only for that reason!

We’re fortunate to be a touch point for almost everyone in Sport and for Sport to the wider Sky Business. We make sure that all 600 people who work in Sports have everything they need to do their jobs. This can range from lockers to the correct training on a new piece of editing software.

We have to do a lot of communicating, delivering important business messages to our staff as well as the little bits of news that help people feel like they are a part of something, like who has had a baby and who is getting married.

We also organise Department wide business and social events to help keep everyone updated with what’s going on and allows a chance to unwind once in a while, which is important too.

Additionally, we act as a link for the 600 people In Sky Sports to the 22,500 other employees at Sky connecting us with the wider business. This context is important, it gives people clarity as to why their role is an important cog in the wheel.

What does the future hold for you?

In 2020, our first child which I’m having with my wife of 3 years who I met while I was at Loughborough. Professionally the work never stops, there will be more training to do, events to organise and newsletters to send. Most corporate structures have clear progression paths so you know what you have to do to earn a promotion or switch into a new role. Sometimes you have to make a sideways move to progress up the ladder that than just reaching for the next rung up, sometimes it will always be out of reach unless you look left or right as well.

What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?

In 2019 we set up an intern programme to encourage women to work in Sports Broadcasting. The industry as a whole underrepresents women significantly so this was an important initiative and one I am proud to be a part of. I was thrilled when the first intern we had on this programme secured a full time position at Sky Sports having completed her intership.

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