Owen Davies

Country: United Kingdom
Sector: Government
Job title: Policy Adviser
Subject of study: Business Economics
Year of graduation: 2019
Type/Level of study: Undergraduate

Current Employer/Organisation Name

HM Treasury

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

I spent the first 6-7 months after graduating doing lots of job applications, interviews and assessment centres! Then I was offered a place on the HM Treasury graduate development programme, and started in April 2020. I’ve been working as a Policy Adviser since then, and am currently doing my second 18-month rotation. My first role was in the financial stability group, focused on managing risks that could have arisen when the UK-EU transition period ended. Now I’m working in the financial services group, developing policy on the UK’s regulation of central counterparties (a niche but very interesting topic!).

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

I wanted to have a career where the work I do has a wider impact. I find it very rewarding to work on issues which could affect many people, and trying to develop policies which deliver the best results for everyone.

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

I was a member of the snooker and pool club throughout my time at Exeter, and was the club captain in my final year. I was also a member of the badminton club and the out of doors society.

Were you part of the Exeter Student Ambassador Scheme at any point during your studies?

Yes.

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

Having the opportunity to study a wide range of topics within the subject, and being taught by really interesting lecturers. The final year module on the 2008 financial crisis was a highlight, and spurred my interest in a career in financial services regulation.

What did you enjoy most about studying here?

Other than the course, I really enjoyed the clubs I joined, the people I met, the city and exploring the west country.

Why did you choose to study at Exeter?

I knew that I wanted to study Business Economics as it provided a bit more flexibility in module choice than a pure economics course, and Exeter’s course appealed to me the most out of the options I had. I also loved the campus and the city.

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

I did a placement year as part of my degree which was really valuable as I got to experience full-time work before graduating, and it also helped to shape my ideas on what I wanted to do in the longer term. The careers team at Exeter were also great at providing advice and helping with things like checking applications.

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

Do plenty of research into the application process and what the interview/assessment centre will involve – for example, civil service interviews tend to be very focused on demonstrating the ‘civil service behaviours’, so it’s well worth taking some time to think of good examples of where you’ve done these in any previous experiences you’ve had. If you’re a bit earlier in the process I’d recommend considering a placement year or summer placement – this doesn’t need to be exactly where you want to work long term, but it’s really useful to have this experience to draw on in your applications.

What are your plans for the future?

I plan to stay at HMT for the foreseeable future – after I’ve finished my current rotation I can decide to go for a promotion, or build my experience in another area.

 

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