As a politics nerd at university, I always wanted to work in policy making so actually getting to do it has been an amazing experience. Right from my first week in the job, I was working on contingency planning of the UK’s policy response to a possible major international crisis which was really very interesting!
However, I think the best bit of my job is not the just all the interesting work I get to be involved with, but rather those brief moments when I realise that the work I am involved with is shaping the future of the country. That gives me the most fulfilment!
How do you explain your role to your friends and family?
As a policy adviser, I perform the functions that form the basis of the advice that goes up to ministers. This means doing the research, communicating with stakeholders and effectively being the expert in my policy area. After this process I draft the advice based on my findings for the minister’s consideration and put into action the minister’s steer.
Can you tell us about why you chose HM Treasury?
There were a number of different options I was considering after leaving university, including other government graduate programmes and management consultancies. The reason I chose the HM Treasury grad scheme was because of its focus on policy making and strategy rather than implementation.
Additionally, I realised that HM Treasury work is always on the news and it is right at the heart of political debates. I really wanted to work on the most interesting and high profile policies so HM Treasury seemed like a natural fit.
How have you found the transition from being a student to working at HMT?
Life at HMT and being a student are obviously very different- for starters I need to wake up before 11am every day! However, what makes the transition smoother is being part of a cohort which started on the same day and go to the same training sessions. Also, we have a staff network called the New Joiners Network which organises regular post work socials for graduates which is a really good way to make friends across HMT very quickly.
What are your team like to work with?
I really enjoy working with my team. It makes life a lot easier to be surrounded by such competent and friendly people. People always make time to talk each other and there is a very collaborative culture. This makes a real difference when we work on projects together as I can trust colleagues to make a good contribution and we are open enough to challenge each other if someone thinks there are better ways to do something.
As we have a very flat hierarchy, there is not much separation between senior civil servants and graduates which means that you build relationships with people no matter what grade they are.
Finally, what would you say to someone thinking of applying?
I would say that if you have an interest in governing and shaping current affairs then there are very few jobs that would be more rewarding!
Don’t be put off by the name because contrary to popular belief, you do not need an economics or even a quantitative background to be successful here – I am a Politics graduate!