I feel incredibly empowered and proud of what I do. We work on a wide range of issues, from public spending to the rates of taxation. But we’re united by our ability to shape and deliver government policy – whether that’s through supporting Ministers impartially, working collaboratively, or consulting with stakeholders openly.
Tell us more about yourself, your background and how you came to be a Policy Adviser at HM Treasury.
I studied Economics with Politics at Loughborough University. I’ve always had a keen interest in government, so I completed a two-month internship at the Home Office. I found it really exciting and loved feeling I was making an impact. After, I knew I wanted to become a Civil Servant. I never anticipated I could make it to HM Treasury, as I had always assumed that successful applicants would have attended a particular university or had a certain social background that I did not have. I was proven incredibly wrong!
How do you explain your role to your friends and family?
The easiest way to explain what I do is to point to the front-page of a newspaper on Budget day and say ‘I helped to make that happen’. Specifically, I work in the team that focuses on how we communicate and present the Budget. Friends and family are constantly impressed by things I’ve been involved with and what I’ve already achieved – because so often it impacts on people’s lives.
Can you tell us about specific policy-related projects you’ve led or made an impact on?
I helped to deliver two major events (an Autumn Statement and a Budget) by focusing on how we communicate policies to the public. To explain complicated individual policies and shape the overall narrative that tied them together, I worked closely with our Press Office and Special Advisers. It’s great to hear that our colleagues felt supported, as well as seeing the thinking behind our policies is publicly understood.
What is your team like to work with?
My team is brilliant to work with. It’s a collaborative working environment and there’s a great team spirit, which means we pull together when we face any difficult challenges. My manager is also incredibly supportive, and always keen to let me take the lead on high-profile work, as well as helping me develop as an individual.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
No two days are the same, which makes things very exciting. In particular, I really enjoyed supporting Ministers in Parliament with legislation. I briefed them before the debate and supported them in the chamber. I was surprised about the level of responsibility so early in my career, and I really enjoyed the buzz of a lively debate.
What’s been your biggest challenge so far?
It can be daunting to quickly tackle a whole new policy area and become the government expert. But it’s become easier each time and I’ve always felt up to the task, thanks to the support of my line manager and team. I’ve also had the help of other graduates in the exact same position – and it’s been useful having this network to share advice and experiences.
What’s been your proudest moment so far?
I’d been working hard to successfully deliver the Autumn Statement 2016, my first fiscal event. When I heard the Chancellor was happy with the way it went, and all our planning and policy work had paid off, it all became worthwhile. When I saw the words I helped to write printed in the press and spoken on live TV, I was so proud and excited – I knew I’d made the right decision to join.
Finally, what would you say to someone thinking of applying?
Disregard any pre-conceptions you have about the Treasury as an institution or a place to work. I’m consistently pleasantly surprised by the extent to which it’s a very modern, diverse and welcoming place. Your background really doesn’t matter – if you’re proactive and passionate, you’ll succeed!