Ellie Knight is a Business Administration Apprentice in the University of Oxford Finance Division.
Why did you choose to do an Apprenticeship?
I always liked the idea of earning whilst learning and I am a hands on learner, so I felt it was the perfect fit for me. Whilst being in Year 11, it felt like all that was spoken about was exams and what to do next. I was never sure what I wanted to do once I had left school and I never had a dream job in mind.
Once I learnt a bit about Apprenticeships, I realised (maybe a bit late) that was what I wanted to do. I couldn’t initially find an Apprenticeship as most of them had already been filled, so I settled for what I could easily do (sixth form or college). When I saw my Apprenticeship advertised in Jan/Feb, I realised it was perfect and exactly what I wanted to do. Despite still being at college, I applied and got offered an interview and now here I am!
How did you find out about your Apprenticeship?
Through the University’s website.
What does your job involve?
A variety of different things: sending out finance communications, managing diaries, setting up meetings as well as changing/rescheduling them, placing orders and liaising with suppliers, helping out other teams within my division with admin support, generating reports each month and consequently sending reminders to others in my division, completing a number of tasks when an employee leaves the division or starts with the division and many more things.
What’s the coolest thing about your job?
I think I would have to say how different each day is and also that I learn something new each day.
What have you gained from your Apprenticeship?
Firstly, my communication skills have massively improved within the past 7/8 months. I have also developed PA skills as I currently manage the Director of Finance’s diary and liaise with various people to get meetings booked in the diary. Problem solving is another skill I have worked on quite a lot. Many issues come up day to day that need to be dealt with and sometimes I have to use initiative and problem solve. I have also gained great planning and organisational skills, learning to prioritise and manage my workload, experience ordering various equipment due to the pandemic, extensive use of HR and finance systems.
What do you plan to do next?
I would like to find a Level 4 Business Administration Apprenticeship or find a permanent role. Either way, I would like to stay working for the University if possible.
How will your Apprenticeship help you achieve this?
My Apprenticeship will not only give me the qualification I need but also the experience. Having this Apprenticeship on my CV will show any future employer that I know what I am doing and I won’t need a massive amount of extra training (saving them money and time).
What advice would you give a young person who might be thinking about an Apprenticeship?
Make sure the type of Apprenticeship you are thinking about will help you in your future career path. Look at the other options you have and be certain that an Apprenticeship is right for you. I also think it is important to find out what the Apprenticeship you want to do entails so you will have an idea of whether you will enjoy it or not. Knowing all the facts you need is vital. Otherwise, I would say go for it!
What’s your top tip?
My number one top tip is to apply for multiple Apprenticeships. It is better to have 3 options than none. I would also like to add that it is important to be happy with what you’re doing/what you want to do. I find that if you enjoy something and are happy with it, it is so much easier to go to work and do your job. Being happy with something also gives you the motivation to do it in my experience.
How do you feel about becoming an Apprenticeship Ambassador?
I feel that it is a great opportunity and I would feel silly to say no! I am really enjoying my Apprenticeship and I feel like I am very suited to my job role. Encouraging and talking to other young people about them sounds like a great thing to be able to do.
Watch Ellie talking about her Apprenticeship in this short film.