Adam Pullinger (Analysis, HM Revenue & Customs)
I'm currently working as an Assistant Analyst in the Knowledge, Analysis, and Intelligence department of HM Revenue & Customs. I work within the benefits and credits team, which is responsible for analysis of the tax credit and child benefit systems. My responsibilities include forecasting and monitoring effects of changes in government policies to the benefits system using analytical software such as SAS and SPSS.
Alongside my day-to-day tasks, I can take on specific projects of interest. I'm often given a free rein whilst working on the project which I particularly enjoy. I have learnt the skill of self-management; a skill that shouldn't be under-rated when working to deadlines.
An example of a role I hold within the team is the Parliamentary Question coordinator. This requires a 24 hour turn-around of requests and questions direct from MPs. As coordinator I am responsible for making sure the response is submitted within the time limit and the provided information is correct and consistent with HMRC publications.
Why should you do a placement?
Doing a year placement is the best decision I've made so far, it's given me a goal to aim for when completing my degree. If you don't know what career path you would be interested in or how your degree will help you with your career then apply for a placement. It will give you a feel for a working environment and give you a better perspective on why you learn what you do on your course. With the experience I have now gained, I feel I can confidently and quickly find a career path that suits my strengths and the skills that I have developed working as an Analyst. As a student who isn't always the smartest in the class, you can get yourself noticed and ahead by expanding your knowledge through hands-on experience.
Any tips on applying for a placements/ performing at interviews?
Don't pin your hopes on one or two applications, apply to any and all that interest you. Pre-prepare strong examples of you showing key skills from university and in the workplace beforehand and tailor them to the company you have an interview with.