What’s your role at HM Treasury?
I’m the Head of Economic Risk policy and governance, which means I work on emerging economic risks within the Economics Group. This role means I work with a wide range of colleagues across the department; analysts and economists, central coordination and strategy teams, and colleagues who specialise in particular policy areas (such as financial stability or business sectors).
Tell us more about yourself, your background and how you came to be a Policy Adviser at HM Treasury.
I studied History of Art at both undergraduate and Masters degree levels (a world away from economics!), but decided that a career in the arts sector wasn’t for me. Before applying for the Policy Adviser role, I didn’t know much about the civil service or what it would be like to work for HM Treasury, but I recognised that the sort of work I would be doing would fit with the skills I wanted to use in a day to day work environment. I applied for the Graduate entry Policy Adviser programme and started working for HM Treasury in 2015. Since then I’ve worked on a wide range of really interesting and challenging policy areas, and five and a bit years later I’m still here!
What has been your experience of working flexibly at HM Treasury?
I work full time condensed hours, which means I work five days spread across four. I have a fixed non-working day each week, which for me is a Monday. I’ve had this working pattern for almost two years now, in two different roles I’ve had in the Treasury. I use my non-working day to pursue my passion for landscape painting. I’ve found HMT to be an excellent organisation in which to work flexibly, my teams have been incredibly supportive in making my flexible working arrangement work for everyone, and the boundaries between work and my creative pursuits have consistently been respected. I’m incredibly grateful to work for an organisation that takes such a flexible and collaborative approach to working patterns and styles, it’s incredibly important in encouraging diversity and openness, something I know HM Treasury cares deeply about.
As someone who has now graduated from the graduate programme, what do you think you have gained from completing the programme?
The GDP has really developed since the years that I joined, but for me, the most valuable thing has been the network of colleagues (some of whom are now good friends) that I developed during those first weeks on the programme that have really stuck with me over the years.
What do you enjoy most about your role?
It’s hard to boil it down, but every day is very different and there’s such a variety of things to work on. For me, I love that the work is really intellectually stimulating and the officials I work with are genuinely brilliant and wonderful to work with. The collegiate and open atmosphere, the calibre of the work, and the ability to be involved in decisions that impact the entire country is something I’m really proud to be part of.
What’s been your biggest challenge so far?
I’ve had to teach myself that a career is a marathon, not a sprint! Flexible working has definitely helped with that.