Senior policy and public affairs executive for high profile multi-national media and tech firm

About me

David W.
United Kingdom

About this profile

Group Director of Policy and Public Affairs
United Kingdom
Large business (250+ employees)

About the job

What I do

I am responsible for Sky's Group public policy, government relations and industry engagement across its European markets for all business areas - broadcast TV channels, pay TV platforms and telecoms products. I've also looked after Sky's sustainability strategy and its initiatives to inspire customers and staff in sports, arts, environment and schools.

Skills I use and how I developed them

Political and policy risk analysis, business strategy and leadership, advocacy including written and public speaking, crisis management and public relations. I developed these skills through high profile roles in businesses exposed to political risk as well as from working in politics early in my career.

What I like most

The media, creative and tech sectors constantly change and continually throw up new competitive business challenges and interest from policy makers which require my skills in navigating.

What I like least

I'm not a natural bureaucrat...

What surprised me most

It's much higher profile than I was expecting!

Finding and applying for the job

How I looked for work

When I started it was the days of newspaper ads. Then we graduated to websites but at my level now it is mostly headhunters who come calling.

My career

My career goals when I graduated

I wanted to work in politics, media or business. Luckily I've ended up doing all three!

My career history

I began working in Parliament for the leader of a political party before becoming a consultant for a number of firms. I then went to work on policy for a large financial services company in the City before ending up doing the same in the media.

Courses taken since graduation

Finance for non financial managers at London Business School. Everyone in business should know how to read a balance sheet and understand return on investment even if it's not a core requirement.

How my studies have helped my career

Everything in the modern world is connected to politics. My degree has been useful in providing a basic context for every job I have done.

What surprised me about my career so far

How much fun it's been!

Where I hope to be in 5 years

I'll be in the same field. Perhaps at the same company or in another multi-national organization dealing with complex political and policy issues.

My advice to students

My advice to students considering work

Show that you are interested in the world around you. Gain as much experience of the world of work as you can. Be interesting.

My advice about working in my industry

If you are struggling to find a full time role then volunteer, try internships, write letters, exhaust your contacts. Never give up.

Contacting me

Happy to mentor students who are interested in politics, policy, media, technology, business strategy, PR and social responsibility. In particular if you want help with public speaking or advocacy.

Ask David to be your mentor Ask David a question