'Oxfordshire Apprentice of the Year' winners share their tips for success

In 2015, the Oxford Clinical Trials Research Unit (OCTRU) in the Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences (NDORMS) hired Katie Chegwin into the position of Apprentice Clinical Trials Support Officer, studying both Level 3 & 4 Business Administration Apprenticeships. This was a huge success, so when Katie completed her training and moved into another role within the Surgical Intervention Trials Unit (SITU), the department decided to take on another apprentice into the same role. Teya Agnese was next in the role, and Katie become Teya's mentor throughout her Apprenticeship.

The Apprenticeships team couldn't be more proud of our apprentices ambassadors. We've spoken to both Katie and Teya to see how they both won the prestigious 'Oxfordshire Apprentice of the Year' Award and the benefits of mentoring and networking.


Teya and Katie, apprentices in NDORMS

Teya (left) and Katie (right), apprentice ambassadors in NDORMS

Katie's story

'Teya started with SITU NDORMS in November 2018 – I was on her interview panel and decided to mentor her throughout her Apprenticeship having just been through the University of Oxford Apprenticeship scheme myself. I completed a level 3 and 4 business administration course. 

Katie Chegwin, University of Oxford Apprentice Ambassador

Katie Chegwin, apprentice ambassador at the University of Oxford Expo and Awards 2019

I have always tried to make certain Teya gets involved in anything and everything (ensuring she wants to!) - if there was something that I missed out on during my Apprenticeship or something I think would have been useful for me whilst I was going through mine, it was on the list for Teya!

As a mentor, I am a constant source of motivation and hope to guide Teya through the ups and downs of her own Apprenticeship journey. It is my job to ensure Teya realises what she is capable of. 

I have connected with Teya on a personal level and provided emotional support so she recognises I am available when she needs support and this in turn this will hopefully encourage Teya to reach out when she needs to. 

I believe my success has come from networking - I have drilled this into Teya from day dot and believe this is one of the many reasons I was named Oxfordshire Apprentice of the Year 2018. One of the most important roles as a mentor is to help mentees build strong professional relationships by introducing them to your own networks. I remember taking Teya along to her first Ambassador event at BMW with the University of Oxford Apprenticeship Ambassador team. She has shown an abundance of personal and professional growth over the past 2 years, which has allowed her confidence to shine through. Teya now thrives at any given networking opportunity.

I believe my success has come from networking [...] and believe this is one of the many reasons I was named Oxfordshire Apprentice of the Year 2018

- Katie Chegwin

I could not speak more highly of Teya and it is a pleasure watching her grow professionally and achieve great things. Mentoring is one of the most rewarding and exciting aspects of my role within SITU. The more you give, the more you get back.'

Teya's story… 

'After winning the Oxfordshire Apprentice of the Year Award 2020, I felt honoured and couldn't thank my team enough for their support. Not only did it take my own hard work and dedication, but I also truly enjoy my Apprenticeship and working with SITU.

Teya Agnese, apprentice business administrator wins 2 Oxfordshire Apprenticeship awards

Teya Agnese, Apprentice Award winner, Oxfordshire Apprenticeship Awards


Having Katie there as a mentor/ previous apprentice/ role model, who has been through it all, for her to guide the way has been extremely helpful. After many meetings full of chats and giggles, we'd get down to business; she has been there to offer me advice and suggestions, looked at pathways of personal progression for us both, been there with open arms to answer any questions I had - no matter how silly I thought they may be, she taught me that there are no stupid questions, all questions are good questions - and introduce me to many opportunities which I was excited to get on board with (such as Apprenticeships events and networking sessions). 

As Oxfordshire Apprentice of the Year 2018, Katie introduced me to her knowledge about Apprenticeships, infected me with her passion and then led me on the path to success.'


Katie and Teya set up, manage and run the SITU blog.

Read about what it's like being a University of Oxford apprentice here.


For more information about all of our Apprenticeships, head to the University of Oxford Apprenticeships page.