Natalie Davis

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

No. I completed both my GSCEs and A Levels before taking a gap year to decide what I wanted to do next.

 

2. Why did you choose to do an Apprenticeship?

During year 13, I was really unsure what I wanted to do next so I talked to my sixth form teachers who told me it was best to just apply for university. So listening to what I thought was good advice I put my application in to study biological sciences but to take a gap year first. During this gap year I worked at Blenheim Palace, which I enjoyed but also made me realise I wanted to continue working and earning money whilst still learning. In this time deciding what I really wanted to do I was also hearing from friends that were dropping out because they just weren't enjoying it. This prompted me to look at Apprenticeships as this seemed to be the right move to see if there were any in a science area, which I discovered there were!

 

3. How did you find out about your Apprenticeship?

I found out about my apprenticeship from mostly doing research online, especially the GOV.UK website. I did apply for 2 science based Apprenticeships before I got this one.

 

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

I am almost a year into my Apprenticeship and so far I have gained so much knowledge and experience of being a laboratory technician in a really exciting environment with scientists from all across the globe. I have been able to make different media up, make different kinds of agar plates and completing mycoplasma testing all of which I had no idea how to do before starting my Apprenticeship. Also gained experience of seeing what goes on in an actual Oxford University Biomedical practical class, which was very interesting.

 

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

My proudest/ best moment of my Apprenticeship so far has got to be when I took part in a practical class with all the Oxford Uni students! Whilst I wasn't the smartest or most scientifically knowledgeable, I completed the practical and got one of the best set of results.

 

6. What do you plan to do next?

Not sure at the moment but I would like to either move on to a higher level Apprenticeship or hopefully stay where I am currently.

 

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

Hopefully I will continue to progress gaining more knowledge and experience as a Laboratory Technician whilst growing in confidence.

 

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

My advice would be to just go for it, whilst Apprenticeships aren't really advertised as an option by schools/sixth forms you should do what you want to do as Apprenticeships are definitely the best option if you want to earn money whilst still learning. Also don't worry if you apply for university and like I did, change your mind as it's totally fine to have a change of heart about what you really want to do.

 

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

I would say to definitely consider an apprentice! It is a great opportunity to train a young person up in a role that they most likely won't have had any experience in which means you can train them how you want someone to do the job. Potentially they will be the most valuable member of your team as they will always be willing to learn

 

Top tips

- Don't feel pressured into going to university by teachers or even your friends just because its the 'norm' to go or its what everyone else is doing, do what you will feel most comfortable in doing.

- Keep on going, you may not get the first one you apply for but just keep going - the right one will fall into place.

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Apprenticeships Team

T: +44 1865 270536

E: apprenticeships@admin.ox.ac.uk