“This experience will provide me with tangible skills I can apply to future jobs and refer to in interviews. I am also building up a network of contacts from who I can learn from and who could aid me in any future career path I plan to take.”
Charlotte Lamb, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
BA Economics with Industrial Experience
Charlotte wanted to find a placement that would allow her to put economic theories into practice and feels her placement at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills is offering her just that.
“I picked the University of Exeter Business School because it gave me the opportunity to integrate a year-long work placement into my course. I felt this would equip me with practical skills and experience that would help my future career.
I have undertaken a placement within the Civil Service at the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS). I am working within the Labour Market directorate in the National Minimum Wage and National Living Wage team as an analyst.
This role primarily involves using software packages to extract and analyse data from data sources such as the Annual Survey for Hours and Earnings and the Labour Force Survey. Alongside this I am responsible for maintaining a core pack of briefing lines and up-to-date figures which outline our policy rationale, supporting evidence and defensive lines for commonly asked questions from correspondence cases and MPs.
I wanted to have a job that gave me the opportunity to apply my degree in a very practical way, and working in a government department has provided just that. I apply theories and economic concepts on an everyday basis and the work completed in the labour markets team has a large impact on society.
I have learnt what taking on a role of responsibility within a team really is: I am in charge of collating a master pack of briefing lines for our policy, and to be on top of any figures published in the media which differ to our own analysis.
I have also gained awareness about the writing style required in the Civil Service. This is quite different to academic writing; removing technical and convoluted wording to get a clear and concise message across to your audience, whether ministers, stakeholders or the public.
The best thing about my placement has been working in a high-profile organisation in the heart of Westminster with an office just around the corner from the Houses of Parliament and Downing Street! It’s been really exciting to attend talks from Secretaries of State, and visit other departments and establishments for seminars and learning opportunities. I even had the opportunity to brief a Lord in preparation for a Lord’s Oral questions session in the House, which was both a daunting and exciting experience.
This experience will provide me with tangible skills I can apply to future jobs and refer to in interviews. I am also building up a network of contacts who I can learn from and who could aid me in any future career path I plan to take.
The best advice is be organised, plan ahead and know the deadlines for your applications! Although research can be an arduous task, it is key for interviews. While on placement, don’t be afraid to be proactive and push for the opportunities you want to shape your year.”