Aysha Taylor

Country: Canada, United Kingdom
Sector: Movies, TV and Music
Job title: Metadata Executive / Script Reader
Subject of study: English Literature
Year of graduation: 2019
Type/Level of study: Undergraduate

Current Employer/Organisation Name


What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?

In final year I secured myself a position as a QA Operator at Sky for a week after graduation. On starting at Sky, my manager agreed to make time for me to explore different departments. As a result, I dipped my toe into different parts of the organisation, and found that I loved working in development – which combines my English degree with my love of TV and Film. I subsequently started working part time as a Script Reader for Sky Original Film on top of my job in QA. From there I got a promotion from QA to an executive role in Metadata, working as an account manager for a portfolio of channels copy editing and writing their synopses.

Why did you choose this career? And what do you enjoy most about your work?

I am obsessed with film! I’ve wanted to work in film production for many years, but these two roles in particular allow me to access the film world while using my personal skill-set – writing and editing. My favourite part of my work is reading scripts from famous writers that get sent into Sky Original Film. I’ve got to work with writers I love, and I’m being paid to do it!

Please tell us if you were a member of any societies, groups or sports clubs?

I was on committee for XTV (the University’s TV station) which gave me the TV production background I needed to get my first job at Sky. I was also an active member of the Classics Society.

What did you enjoy most about your programme and what was the biggest highlight?

I loved my final year modules – particularly Dr Naomi Howell’s ‘Encountering the Other in Medieval Literature’ and ‘African Narratives’ taught by Dr Kate Wallis. An exceptional moment for me was getting to write a piece for Dr Wallis’ online publication ‘Africa in Words’ and having the opportunity to interview one of my favourite directors Wanuri Kahiu for the article.

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

I loved my time at the University of Exeter. I’m not just saying that. Exeter offered an opportunity to grow – both academically and personally. I met wonderful people who are undoubtedly friends for life, I re-thought my outlook through the literature I studied and built up my confidence in a sheltered, safe environment.

Why did you choose to study at Exeter?

I didn’t want to just study Shakespeare and Milton in my English Lit degree. I was aware at school that I wanted a degree that allowed me to explore current literature from around the world alongside older texts. For that reason, more traditional courses like that at Durham or Oxbridge weren’t a good fit. The choice was really between Warwick and Exeter – both of which have great postcolonial studies deps within their English departments- but Exeter seemed happier.

What skills and experiences have been most useful for your career?

I’ve gone into a very literary field, so my degree has had a huge impact on my ability within the workplace. I spend a lot of time analysing scripts, and I couldn’t do that without my degree. I also hugely benefited from my participation in XTV.

What advice would you give to a current student who wishes to pursue your career?

If you want to pursue a career in film or TV I would really recommend checking out XTV – they have loads of equipment you can play around with and there are always shoots running which you can join. Or make your own stuff! That can be a really great way to try loads of different roles. I would also really recommend getting some running experience for your summer in between second and final year. Most people start as runners, and if you can get a foot in the door before graduating that will really help you out.

What are your plans for the future?

I’ve only been script reading for 8 months, so I’m hoping to get another year under my belt with Sky and freelance with other organisations. Once I’ve got enough experience I’m going to try to secure an Assistant Script Editor role, and I hope to eventually progress to a full time Script Editor position. Fingers crossed!


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