Katie Chegwin

Katie has recently completed a Level 4 Business Administration Apprenticeship as an Apprentice Clinical Trials Support Officer at the University of Oxford Botnar Research Centre. She has since been appointed as a Personal Assistant to a senior academic in the University of Oxford. The Medical Sciences Division is an exciting and challenging place to work; it’s an internationally recognised centre of excellence for biomedical and clinical research and teaching and is the largest of the four academic divisions within the University. 

Why did you choose to do an Apprenticeship?

I did not know what I wanted to study at university and enjoyed Business Administration as a subject at A Level. I took my parents advice and went on the gov.uk website and searched for Apprenticeships in Business Administration. I chose to do an Apprenticeship as they allow you to develop and apply your knowledge and skills on real projects in a workplace environment, whilst being paid, and believe this is a fantastic way to start a career.

What have you gained from your Apprenticeship?

Since starting my Apprenticeship in October 2015, I could not have imagined all of the personal and professional growth that I have experienced. I have turned my weaknesses into strengths which subsequently has enabled my confidence to shine through. 

During my Apprenticeship I was awarded with the title of Oxfordshire’s Apprentice of the Year 2018, as well as winning the Higher Apprentice of the Year Award. This again was a great experience, from being initially nominated and then shortlisted, having an interview with Nielsen and then attending the awards evening at Blenheim Palace.

What do you plan to do next?

I have recently been appointed as a Personal Assistant to a Senior Academic in the University of Oxford.

How will your Apprenticeship help you achieve this?

My Apprenticeship role has been so varied and therefore this has allowed me to gain the experience and skills needed for the Personal Assistant role such as time management, problem-solving and prioritising skills. Having worked on clinical trials within the department for 3 years, I already have an established network and also am an experienced user of the University systems, all of which is valuable when applying for jobs.

What advice would you give to someone thinking about doing an Apprenticeship?

My advice would be to go on the gov.uk apprenticeship website and search for apprenticeships that suit your skill set and interests, and then apply for those positions that match your key qualities. It is also important to research the company you are thinking of sending an application to, so you have an idea of the business they provide and whether this would interest you.

What advice would you give an employer who is considering employing an Apprentice?

Employing an Apprentice can add huge value to your organisation. An Apprentice can bring innovative ideas and provide a new take on the way an organisation runs. Both of which are essential for any business to grow and progress. This is a great opportunity to make them your organisation’s ‘success story’ and be assured both parties will reap the benefits.  

How do you feel about being an Apprenticeship Ambassador?

I feel honoured to become an Apprentice Ambassador and I am excited to share my stories to help inspire the next generation with their future careers.