What’s your role at HM Treasury?
I am in the Markets branch which is part of the Enterprise and Growth Unit. As part of the team, I lead on Consumer Policy and co-lead on Economic regulation matters. My job is to make sure that Markets work well for both consumers and investors and to ensure this interaction produces economic growth for the UK. To do this, I have to work with other departments such as Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) as well as the Competition Market Authority (CMA)
Tell us more about yourself, your background and how you came to be a policy adviser at HM Treasury.
I am from an aviation background. I completed a bachelor’s degree in Aviation Management and Operations (Pilots Pathway) and I completed my professional commercial qualification as an Aviation Transport Pilots Licence (ATPL) in 2014. I went on to manage aspects of Ground Operations at Heathrow Airport for 6 years. I was drawn to the Treasury by my desire to make real difference to people’s lives and I have always loved debates and dialogues about governance, so I thought what better place to do that than at the Treasury!
What’s been your experience of working at the Treasury as someone who has previously had a career in a different field?
When working in Ground Operations, I had to be able to utilise data, Ground Service Equipment and manage teams in an ever-changing operational environment to ensure planes were ready to take off. As you can imagine, if a Boeing 777-300ER with a full passenger load and 21,000kg of cargo is not loaded correctly this can have serious impact on the plane’s ability to take off and fly safely – planes can be quite unforgiving if loaded incorrectly! The management structure in aviation also tends to be hierarchical. The Treasury is a different world altogether, the management structure seems flat, more open and definitely more 21st century! There is a lot more emphasis on interaction, collaboration and intellectual empathy. These are skills that also apply in aviation but with different application. I am now having to learn to prioritise and apply them differently which is a great development opportunity for me
Having joined the Graduate Development Programme during the Covid-19 pandemic, how did you find this experience?
The experience of starting in April 2020 was surreal. All 42 of us in the programme joined virtually, which is something that has never happened before so we can proudly lay claim to being the first! The whole induction process was handled so well I thought, and I was still able to get that new job buzz feeling! I was a little nervous at first putting cameras on, but by the end of the first day that was gone. Allowances for the virtual nature of the programme was built into the whole GDP process, more time given for IT set ups, completions of E-learning assignments, virtual class room sessions were a lot more interactive and we had plenty of virtual access to inspiring seminars and talks with Senior Civil Servants and Directors. My advice to new joiners in a similar position is to participate as much as you can, ask questions – lots of questions – one of the best things I have discovered is how open and willing people are to help.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
Markets is something I knew nothing about, so I find it really new and exciting grappling with the subject of economic regulation, competition between markets, consumer policy and trying to make sense of how these three interact and provide economic growth throughout the country
What’s been your biggest challenge so far?
Condensing hundreds of pages of information into one! Having all the relevant pieces of information on one page is a fine art I have discovered. My line manager has been great though, in the past few months he has given me small pieces of work to do, which I have used as a learning platform.
What has surprised you about working at HM Treasury?
I was pleasantly surprise by how relatable Director Generals, Deputies and senior Civil Servants are. Their management style seems really open and inclusive and there is a very high level of interaction and dialogue between senior and junior grades.