Tiffany Cox, Williams F1

Tiffany is moving on from UTC Oxfordshire to be an engineering apprentice for Williams Formula 1.

What was the process you had to go through to get considered for the apprenticeship?

“It’s really competitive – I’ve been trying for years to get in. It wasn’t really until the UTC helped me get a three month extended placement with Williams F1 that I got a real chance of getting the apprenticeship. It was the best three months of my life! With the placement on my CV, when I went to apply for other apprenticeships it made me look a lot more desirable. I was lucky enough to be offered more than one engineering apprenticeship and I took time to make an informed decision. The school and the employers were very helpful in this process.”

When does the apprenticeship start and how long does it last?

“The apprenticeship starts in September and is for four years, and I’m also on a car scheme. I get a free A class Mercedes!”

Do you know what kinds of things you’ll be learning?

“I will go to Newbury College once a week to begin with and then alternate between college and the plant throughout the rest of the apprenticeship. I get the opportunity to go to Barcelona with the race team and there is a part exchange with Jaguar Land Rover as well.”

What made you decide this was what you wanted to pursue?

“I am a very practical person; learning through writing is a very difficult method for me to understand. Due to this, I thought an apprenticeship was the only way really. I need to learn for doing and making mistakes. Since I was little, I never really knew what I wanted to do. I started off doing sports and then went on to do art and design at Abingdon and Witney College. While at the college we had to team up with engineers for a project, to make a chair. Through working with them, I knew this was a career that I wanted to pursue.”

What are your plans for after you have finished your apprenticeship?

“I’m hoping they will take me on after I have completed the apprenticeship.”

When did you join UTC Oxfordshire and what made you decide to join?

“I joined two years ago, when it first opened. I was studying advanced engineering at City of Oxford College and I was really enjoying it. Then I saw this advert for a new UTC and I thought that would be perfect, especially with all the partners the school has and companies that are involved with UTCs.”

Are you glad you decided to join the UTC and do you feel it has helped you prepare for your future?

“Definitely! The Williams F1 placement came through the school. If I didn’t come to this school I wouldn’t have got the opportunity to work with Williams. I have the staff to thank as well. When the Williams opportunity first came through, I didn’t actually apply for it as I knew it would be a risk as I would have to change from the extended diploma to a diploma and drop A-level maths. My teachers and Sue actually approached me and were asking why I wasn’t applying as they knew me so well and knew that this would be exactly what I needed. They talked me through the risks of taking the work placement and helped me understand that this would be the best option for making my CV look more desirable, especially as I have moved from place to place which can be off-putting to employers. The fact that the teachers know you as an individual and you’re able to discuss important decisions with them makes studying and planning your future much more enjoyable.”