Amelia Banton

Country: United Kingdom
Sector: Government
Job title: Tax Specialist Progamme Trainee
Subject of study: History
Year of graduation: 2022
Type/Level of study: Undergraduate

Current Employer/Organisation Name

HM Revenue and Customs

What have you been doing since leaving Exeter, and what are you doing now?

When I graduated I started HMRC’s training programme in London where I am currently in the Individual and Small Business Compliance team. The programme has an integrated degree so I spend two days a week studying and in tutorials and the other three days doing compliance casework.

Why did you choose this career? And what do you enjoy most about your work?

I wanted to be a civil servant due to the sheer volume of roles and locations I could do and work in, and applied for three civil service graduate schemes. I enjoy the investigative nature of compliance work and the balance between work and study that my training provides. Job security and a good pension were also important to me!

Please tell us if you were a member of any societies, groups or sports clubs?

During my time at Exeter I was in The Chorus Acapella choir and played lacrosse. In my second year I was President of History Society which won Most Improved Society of the Year at the Students’ Union Awards that year.

What did you enjoy most about your programme and what was the biggest highlight?

I enjoyed that my small cohort size meant all of my academics knew me by name and had time to talk to me about my work outside of contact hours. My academic highlights were my second year Landscape History module and my final year modules on the First World War and Mythology. My personal highlight was giving the student vote of thanks at my graduation ceremony.

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

I loved living in Falmouth with all its independent shops and the beaches. I also really enjoyed getting involved in the Students’ Union, first as a rep then as Subject Chair, President Student Experience and Chair of Council.

Why did you choose to study at Exeter?

Exeter was the first university open day I went to and everyone I spoke to was so friendly, from student ambassadors to academics that I knew I wanted to apply before I’d even looked elsewhere.

What skills and experiences have been most useful for your career?

Running a student society and working at the Students’ Union during the pandemic taught me how to balance conflicting demands, and the part time jobs I had whilst I was studying have been useful for the public facing part of my current role.

What advice would you give to a current student who wishes to pursue your career?

The civil service is so broad and there are so many jobs you didn’t even know existed. At interview for the graduate schemes, I found I was asked really open ended questions so make sure you have lots of different experiences that you can talk about that demonstrate the Civil Service behaviours. I would also encourage applying to several roles with similar application processes as you will get better at the online tests the more you do them! I also utilised the Career Zone’s mock assessment centre before going to the real thing which helped me know what to expect.

What are your plans for the future?

I intend to finish my tax degree and then work in HMRC’s Counter Avoidance team for a couple of years. After that, I am unsure, but I will potentially look at transferring to another government department.


Similar Alumni

Eilish Calnan

Cornwall Council. I have continued my career in the cultural sector, specifically in museums and heritage. I have worked with Cornwall Museums Partnership as a project officer and continued voluntary roles as a trustee at the Museum of Cornish Life and Kids in Museums.

Katie Taylor

HM Treasury. When I left Exeter, I joined the Treasury’s graduate scheme (called the Graduate Development Programme). For my first rotation, I was based in the department’s Financial Services directorate. I’ve now moved into one of their tax directorates, where I work on VAT policy.