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Jessie Weavers-Medina recognised in Oxford Apprenticeship Awards 2023

February 24, 2024

Jessie Weavers-Medina, Apprentice Centre Administrator for the Global Centre on Healthcare and Urbanisation (GCHU) was recognised with a University of Oxford Higher Apprentice Award which celebrates the achievements of apprentices undertaking Levels 4, 5, 6 and 7, including Technicians.

Jessie joined Kellogg College as the GCHU Centre Administrator in Spring 2021 after working in various roles across the University’s central administrative service functions.

She writes here about her role at the centre, balancing her studies alongside gaining professional experience, and what the apprenticeship means for her:

I am very grateful to have been nominated by the GCHU and Kellogg for the Higher Apprentice award at this year’s University of Oxford Apprenticeship Awards Ceremony which took place in December 2023 at the Museum of Natural History, and even more delighted and surprised to be announced as the winner!

I was very excited to commence this position in 2021 as the Centre was newly established and the opportunity to join as their first administrator and establish new processes and procedures whilst contributing to and influencing the development of the GCHU was unique, exciting, and challenging.

I am responsible for the general administration and research facilitation of the GCHU, which includes management of research awards and donations, financial planning, governance, websites and social media management, event planning, process improvement and office management.

I have always enjoyed undertaking varied roles and I embrace the challenge of balancing conflicting commitments and priorities. However, I was aware that the Centre was established with a strong, ambitious, and demanding mission for achieving growth and impact. Whilst I was confident in being able to become proficient in all operational areas the Centre required, the opportunity to grow my skills and capabilities in line with the GCHU’s growth was appealing, particularly with regard to strategic projects and management.

In discussion with the Centre’s Co-Directors and senior postholders in Kellogg, I attained approval to apply to undertake a professional apprenticeship through the University’s Work Learn Develop programme. Fortunately, I was successful and commenced a three-year degree programme to attain a BA(Hons) in Business and Management Practice which will be followed by an end-point assessment to be awarded membership to the Chartered Management Institute (CMgr MCMI).

The support I have received from the GCHU and Kellogg to join such an intensive and demanding course with significant time and resource requirements has been tremendous and demonstrates the College’s commitment to making lifelong learning accessible and achievable.

Having never previously studied at an undergraduate level and not holding qualifications higher than GCSE level, I had never expected to have the opportunity to enrol on a degree programme and am incredibly grateful to have received Kellogg’s trust and encouragement to find the confidence to push myself further than I thought possible.

I am currently in my third and final year of the degree programme element of the apprenticeship and am completing the last of the more than twenty modules that make up the course alongside the work-based project (dissertation) which will focus on organising and delivering the GCHU’s first Strategic Planning process. Encompassing a wide range of areas, the modules have covered everything from project management and leadership capabilities to accounting and marketing.

The highlights of my time at the GCHU so far include developing and delivering a unique communications strategy for the Street Voice project, organising what has become a recognised and valued public seminar series, designing and building the GCHU website, and collaborating with highly experienced colleagues to establish the Centre as a pillar of the research community in Oxford with substantial links to local authorities and other organisations that share our vision and values.

An unexpected benefit of joining this apprenticeship programme was the opportunity to become a Student Governor at Abingdon and Witney College where my lectures and tuition is delivered. In my three-year term, I have had the opportunity to engage in high-level discussions with colleagues who each have their own wide breadth and depth of experiences and skills. This has allowed me to observe, practice, and develop confidence in becoming an active and valued member of the Board.

“Jessie has contributed a significant amount as a Student Governor at Abingdon and Witney College, with a level of participation and insight more in keeping with a full board member than many of the students whose involvement we have appreciated in the past. Jessie has attended as many committees as her time has allowed and has actively contributed to the discussions in all areas, but her particular focus on governance and sustainability has been significant in helping the Corporation Board with its deliberations in these areas and shaping real change going forward. We have been incredibly fortunate to have Jessie as a Student Governor.” – Gavin Maitland-Smith (Chair of Governors, Abingdon and Witney College, July 2023)

I look forward to finishing my degree in what will be a very hectic and challenging few months and am eager to put more of my management, strategy, and leadership skills into practice as the GCHU and Kellogg continue to grow and embrace new opportunities.

Find out more about the 2023 University Apprenticeship Award winners here: Apprenticeship Awards 2023 | University of Oxford Apprenticeships