|Politics, Economics and Philosophy|
|Philosophy politics and economics|
|Intellectual Property Office|
|Government and civil service|
|Large business (250+ employees)|
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A day in the life of a Economic Advisor in the United Kingdom
After my Masters, I reflected on what was important to me in my work and what fundamentally motivated me. I chose a career where I could have a positive impact, but also do intellectually stimulating and diverse work.
Briefly describe the organisation you work for
The UK Intellectual Property Office is responsible for granting and regulating intellectual property rights such as patents, trademarks, copyright and designs. The IPO also sets government policy relating to IP.
What do you do?
I am responsible for providing analysis to support policy changes. I advise on the possible economic impacts of changes in law and policy. My role involves conducting quantitative and qualitative analysis and presenting to non-technical audiences.
Reflecting upon your past employment and education, what led you to your current career choice?
After graduation I studied a postgraduate law degree, and ended up working in legal recruitment. I spent 3 years working in executive search and recruitment before returning to education to complete my MSc in Economics. After my Masters, I reflected on what was important to me in my work and what fundamentally motivated me. I chose a career where I could have a positive impact, but also do intellectually stimulating and diverse work.
Is your current job sector different from what you thought you would enter when you graduated?
Absolutely. I had initially planned a career in the City and had not considered the Civil Service as an option.
Describe your most memorable day at work
Presenting a piece of analysis I had led on and produced to a working group across government departments. I was able to explain my work in non-technical terms and answer challenging questions. The work informed an important government policy position. It was important to me as this was the first piece of work I had led on independently and I was fully accountable to policy colleagues. None of my more senior economist colleagues were present as I was trusted to deliver the analysis on my own.
What’s your work environment and culture like?
I have worked entirely from home since the pandemic, and my organisation has handled it very well and treated all employees with respect and with the utmost concern for their safety. Previously I worked full time in the office, but this was my choice, as the IPO offers flexible working. I have an excellent work/life balance and have no core hours so I can choose when to start or finish my day.
What extracurricular activities did you undertake at university and what transferable skills did you develop through these?
At university I was a member of the Ballet Society, and in my third year was the Chair of the society. Over the summer of my second year I was an au-pair in Madrid, despite not speaking any Spanish at the beginning! From this I learned how to work in situations out of my comfort zone.
What would you like to do next with your career?
I plan to stay in the Civil Service and move up the ranks to senior leadership roles. I would like to work across different policy areas and in different departments.
What top tips do you have for York students preparing for today’s job market and life after graduation?
Think about what is important to you and what motivates you. You will have to make trade offs in your career - what is essential and what are your deal breakers?
For applications - be specific and give real examples. Focus on what you have achieved rather than unsubstantiated adjectives.
Finally, it's ok to not walk into your dream job straight after university! I don't know anyone who secured their perfect role immediately after graduation. It takes time to figure out how you like to work and what you enjoy in a professional context. This is especially true in this current economic climate; future employers will understand that this is a tough time.
What topics from students are you happy to answer questions on?
Careers as an economist, the civil service, recruitment. I worked as a recruiter for 3 years so am experienced in interview coaching and application and CV feedback.
If you like the look of Jessica’s profile, the next steps are down to you! You can send Jessica a message to find out more about their career journey. If you feel you would benefit from more in-depth conversations, ask Jessica to be your mentor.