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Apprentice awarded distinction in lockdown against all the odds

The government lockdown has been a testing time for hundreds of thousands of people across the UK. For student Victoria Oki, it was the final hurdle, in a long list of setbacks, that stood in her way of achieving her Business Administration Advanced Apprenticeship.

Apprentice awarded distinction in lockdown against all the odds

Working at North Middlesex Hospital as a Ward Clerk, Victoria is studying her apprenticeship through Capital City College Training and the College of Haringey, Enfield and North East London. By sitting her exam during lockdown after a series of setbacks and achieving an impressive Distinction, she proved that with grit and determination, not even a pandemic could hold her back from achieving her dream of becoming a project manager.

Like many people across the globe, the arrival of Coronavirus meant life as we knew it was put on hold as the world dealt with this unprecedented crisis. Student Victoria Oki had her heart set on completing the Business Administration Advanced Apprenticeship last year but due to unforeseen circumstances this was not to be. A three month illness meant Victoria was unable to study or work, setting her behind. Looking back at those months Victoria said, “It was a difficult time because I knew I was really falling behind and I had my heart set on finishing by September 2019. Sometimes things are just out of our control.”

On the road to recovery, Victoria worked night and day to catch up. However, in December she faced another setback when her handbag was stolen. Inside her bag was a flash drive holding her entire project to date. Devasted, Victoria sought a way to come back from this major setback. Realising that she’d sent a rough copy to her tutor a while back she was able to utilise her project management skills and piece her project back together.

“I have a good relationship with a fellow student who I worked closely with. We have the same drive and work ethic and we push each other. Together we set a goal to get a distinction and we went for it!” With lockdown now in place they set up study groups via Zoom, hit the books and practiced for the final assessment, a critique of her project.

The day of the assessment came and Victoria spent an hour face to face with an assessor on Zoom. “I was able to share my screen on Zoom and talk through my portfolio. It was tough and she asked a lot of in depth questions. I had worked really hard up to this point and after everything I’d been through, this was the final hurdle,” Victoria said.

Victoria passed with an astonishing Distinction. She is currently working a Ward Clerk at North Middlesex Hospital and has been throughout the lockdown. She said, “I am so pleased. All of my hard work has paid off and I never gave up. You can do anything if you put your mind to it. I’m really proud of myself. My end goal is to be a Project Management within the NHS and after everything I’ve been through, I know I can achieve it.”


Queen's Award for Enterprise