Univ Dates: 2011-2014
Degree: BA PPE
Degree Level: Undergraduate
Occupation: Policy Adviser in Civil Service Economics Fast Stream, HM Treasury
Biography: Since 2016 Laura has been a Policy Adviser for Annually Managed Expenditure (AME) at HM Treasury. Prior to that she was a Policy Adviser for Local Growth at HM Treasury (2014-2016). In 2014 she was a Summer Student at the Institute for Fiscal Studies, based in the Direct Tax and Welfare team, and completed an Economics internship in the Child Poverty Unit at the Department for Work and Pensions in 2013 (jointly sponsored by the Department for Education, the Department for Work and Pensions, and HM Treasury). She also completed an internship at KPMG in the Competition Economics team in 2013.
At Univ Laura was Hall and Accommodation Officer on the JCR Committee, a Student Ambassador, Secretary of Univ Boat Club (2012-2013) and rowed at bow in the First Eight. She also rowed at two, three, and five at different bumps races. She received a Tacchi-Fisher Vacation Bursary in 2011, and a Univ Scholarship in 2012-2013 and 2013-2014.
Do you recall your first day at Univ?
I do, but some is a bit blurry – I remember all the people who had been here for Maths Week coming and helping me move in to my room and trying desperately to remember their names; my ‘College Parents’ came and found me in the JCR and took me down to Hall for dinner. I remember us all standing around awkwardly in the bar – all so tired – a big day. I also remember being really excited and eager to get going!
What were your preconceptions?
I always thought that Oxford was full of people who weren’t like me; I thought they would be super, super clever and just in a different league. I always thought that at some point they would find me out, that they would realise I wasn’t supposed to be here, but that I should enjoy it in the meantime.
Actually everyone was equally nervous in those first weeks and everyone was so friendly and went out together. It was only later that everyone admitted how terrified they had been.
How do you think College shaped you?
From a career perspective some of the skills that I learned at Univ were helpful. You only realise later how well the tutorials prepare you for going in to the workplace; having to defend your views or express your opinions and learning a lot of information quickly are all vital skills.
More broadly I just had an incredible time at Univ and made lots of friends, who I still see regularly. You realise what a big part of your life Univ is and what a community it is.
What advice would you give to new students at Univ?
Just try and enjoy it. I remember just being super busy and so tired by the time I got home from the end of that first term. Just remember that everyone else is just going to be equally as nervous, even if they don’t show it.
Can you tell us what you do now?
I’m a Civil Servant. I left Univ and applied for the Government Economic Service, which is one of the analytical fast-streams, and through that I was placed in the Treasury; I’ve been there for two years and I do policy advisor-type roles mostly.