What impressed me most about starting work at HM Treasury was the sense of teamwork. Everyone here brings something to the policy-making process, regardless of background, regardless of experience.
How do you explain your role to your friends and family?
I describe my role in the Strategic Projects Team as being similar to a consultant but within the Treasury. Like a consultant, you’re required to work flexibly on a wide range of high-profile projects that are either cross-cutting across a number of teams, require additional support or require independent challenge in order to deliver Ministerial priorities.
Can you tell us about specific policy-related projects you’ve led or made an impact on?
During my first role within the Pensions and Savings team, I led on including peer-to-peer loans in Individual Savings Accounts (ISAs) which resulted in a new ISA type (the Innovative Finance ISA). This involved building constructive working relationships with stakeholders, advising Ministers on the policy design issues, drafting the government’s response to the consultation and supporting HMRC’s implementation of the new ISA.
Currently I’m working on Antimicrobial Resistance and developing the Treasury’s position on the governance structure of a finance mechanism that aims to encourage the development of new antimicrobial products and monitoring and ensuring successful delivery of the Treasury’s international strategy on Antimicrobial Resistance.
What is your team like to work with?
The nature of the Strategic Projects Team means we do not spend much time working together as we are spread across different projects in different teams in the Treasury. Despite this, the Strategic Projects Team is still very sociable and we all make an effort to spend time together by sitting together on Fridays and going for team dinners and drinks regularly. One of the great things about working in this team is you get to experience how other teams work together and learn what approaches work best.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
The best part of the role is working on such a wide variety of topics and, within each, seeing different aspects of the policy-making process. When you join a project you might be jumping in at the beginning and developing the policy from scratch or you might be seeing it to a conclusion in a Bill team that’s working on getting the Bill through the Houses of Parliament. So much variety in your job, in addition to moving role every 18 months means you can never get bored.
What’s been your biggest challenge so far?
I think one of the biggest challenges is the tight deadlines around fiscal events and the pace at which the policy can change. This requires you to think on your feet and be ready to turn around a submission at short notice. I received lots of support during these times as the team pulls together to get the final policy over the finish line which leads to a real sense of achievement but can mean a few late nights in the office! As we have flexible working, you can claim the time back later.
What’s been your proudest moment so far?
I was really proud to see the Personal Savings Allowance make all the major newspaper’s headlines at Budget 2015 as getting the final product over the finish line required lots of long hours and last minute advice. Seeing the final product make the headlines made it all worth it.
Finally, what would you say to someone thinking of applying?
Don’t worry if you don’t have policy experience or a degree in economics. What makes the Treasury such a great place to work is the variety of its people and different skill sets they bring to the policy-making process – it’s what makes the final product so robust!