Harriet Goss

1. Did you go straight into your Apprenticeship from school?

No. I completed both GCSE’s and A Levels and then had some time off before taking on this Apprenticeship.


2. Why did you choose to do an Apprenticeship?

I initially planned to go to university and study English, as I have always liked school and been quite academic. However, when it came to applying for university in Year 12, I realised that university might not be for me. So, I decided to defer my place for a year and take some time out to decide what I wanted to do with my life. During this time, I visited friends at university and also tried my hand at a few jobs, all of which had aspects of both event management and administration. After a lot of soul-searching, I decided that university was not for me. I wanted to work and have money and I knew the rough career path I wanted to go down, but I also wanted to learn and was not ready to commit to work full-time. So, an Apprenticeship just made sense to me.


3. How did you find out about your Apprenticeship?

The GOV.UK website.


4. What have you gained from your Apprenticeship – skills, experience etc.?

From my Apprenticeship, I have gained a great deal of general business knowledge and etiquette. This is my first ‘proper job’ and I am still fairly new, so have got a long way to go, but I’m enjoying having the freedom to make mistakes and learn from them. I’ve also learnt that it’s ok to try out lots of new things and find out what I like/dislike.  I’ve made many connections with some really interesting and inspiring people, such as our director, Peter Drobac and many other amazing contacts from all over the world, who I would never have met in my day-to-day life had I have not taken on this Apprenticeship.


5. What has been your proudest moment so far from doing your Apprenticeship?

Helping to run our largest event, the Map the System annual competition, and being congratulated and praised for my work by both the delegates that attended and my colleagues.


6. What do you plan to do next?

After my Apprenticeship I would love to take some time out to travel. After this, (hopefully) stay on at the Skoll Centre, or go to university and get a degree or go down a completely different route entirely…. the possibilities are endless. But whatever I do, I know that the experience I have gained from this Apprenticeship will help me.


7. How will your/has your Apprenticeship helped you to achieve this?

By teaching me the necessary skills that I will need for any job.


8. What advice would you give a young person who might be thinking about an Apprenticeship?

You might have your heart set on university, as I did, but things change and perceptions change, so keep an open mind and know that there are loads of options out there. Don’t fall into the trap of thinking you have to go straight to university after college/sixth form. You can always return to a degree later in life, but whilst you're young, why not gain experience and earn at the same time? It’s a win-win situation in my opinion!


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

Definitely consider hiring an apprentice. It’s a great opportunity to take on someone who might not necessarily have much experience in the job world but will be willing to learn and give their all to their trade. Train them up, watch them grow and be confident that in a few years, they will know the company inside and out and can then even go on to train the next apprentice.


Top tips:

  • Practice, practice, practice! If you’re going to start applying for jobs and going to interviews, it’s important to think beforehand about the kind of things you’ll say. Maybe have a few ‘mock’ interviews beforehand to prepare. Also, do your research! There’s so many options out there, so really have a think about what career path you want to go down and then start looking into what’s around and slowly start to narrow down your choices.
  • Be unapologetically yourself! Don’t change who you are to fit in, be 100% yourself and treat every failure as a learning experience, bringing you one step closer to where you’re meant to be.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Jumping from school to the world of work can be daunting, so don’t expect to get it straight away. If you’re struggling to fill in applications, write your CV, know what to expect for an interview etc, ask a teacher, parent or friend.


Why not gain experience and earn at the same time? It’s a win-win situation in my opinion!



Contact us

Apprenticeships Team

T: +44 1865 270536

E: apprenticeships@admin.ox.ac.uk