Former Oxford Apprentice


One of our own apprentices from Oxford is now working at CERN! 
We recently caught up with Fay Chicken who's a former Apprentice of Oxford University. 
We asked her a few questions and here's what she had to say! 

  •  Why did you choose the apprenticeship at Oxford? - I applied for an apprenticeship with Oxford, but actually got a position which wasn't originally advertised! Chemistry had put the advert in looking for an electrical/electronic apprentice and a mechanical one. Materials then jumped in too, looking for somebody.
  • Which department did you work in? And what was the best part about working there? - I worked for the Materials department, in the electron microscopy suite. I was able to develop many skills as my work involved mechanics, electronics, plumbing, photographic developing, and lots more. This was the best part as I rarely had the same day twice due to different problems occurring.

  •  What was the highlight of your course?
    - The highlight for me was probably the moment when students/users of the instruments began to trust that if they came to me with a problem/questions that I could actually help them. That’s when I knew I could start applying my experience and skills fully to the job. Plus I worked with a great team of people which always makes any job nicer.
  •  How has your career progressed since your apprenticeship?
    - Once I finished, my position began to evolved and I became more involved in the user support and training of the instrumentation rather than just fixing it and assisting with their questions. Since April last year I am now working for CERN in the radiation protection group, working for the instrumentation and logistics section. This has been a great learning curve again, and due to my work I have visited most of the major experimental areas of CERN!
  •  What advice would you give to someone currently doing their apprenticeship at Oxford? - For anybody currently completing an apprenticeship, keep learning! Always see if there is anything else you can do, further courses/training etc. I asked to go back to college to get my HND, which with some flexibility of working hours, my department agreed to. Plus if I hadn’t left for CERN then I was looking at enrolling to complete my degree. It never hurts to ask your supervisor/administrator what else there is beyond your job description.

  • Describe your apprenticeship at Oxford in 3 words. 
    Fun with big machines J (sorry that was 4)

       Its been lovely hearing about Fays success after completing her Oxford Apprenticeship and we wish her all the best with her exciting new career with CERN in Geneva. 

   Apprenticeship really do open up worlds of opportunities for young people in Oxford. 

      Read More about Fay's experiences here: 

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Created by Sophie Bebb, University of Oxford Apprentice at the Said Business School.

Managed by Frances Murray, Apprentice Librarian Assistant at the Bodleian Libraries, and Megan Janes, Apprenticeship Administration and Communications Apprentice.