Alexandra’s Placement at HM Revenue and Customs
Alexandra Jenkins is a BSc Economics student who completed her placement at HM Revenue and Customs as a Government Operational Researcher within Knowledge Analysis and Intelligence (KAI).
Tell us about your placement.
I completed my placement at HM Revenue and Customs, working as a Government Operational Researcher.
During my placement I worked alongside other badged data analysts, including economists and statisticians, in the Inheritance Tax team. I worked closely with colleagues from the HM Treasury to provide data-driven analysis to inform policymakers' decisions.
During my time at HM Revenue and Customs, I was fortunate enough to be trusted with projects and roles of high importance such as leading on the Inheritance Tax Forecast ahead of the Autumn Budget 2021 and the Spring Statement 2022. I presented at budget responsibility challenge meetings and returned deliverables ahead of government publications including National Statistics. Additionally, I led the monitoring of monthly Inheritance Tax receipts and amending our receipts projections for subsequent months accordingly.
I was involved in numerous corporate contributions including working within the KAI Wellbeing Team to coordinate initiatives such as monthly step challenges. Furthermore, I also acquired the role of organising team celebrations each month throughout the year.
What areas of your placement did you find most rewarding?
I felt a great sense of achievement when I was able to overcome challenges that I struggled with at the start of my placement. In my first few months of working in the team, I found coding extremely challenging. When I successfully amended and ran the complex code needed for the Inheritance Tax liabilities and receipts forecast model ahead of the Chancellor's Budget in Autumn last year, I felt very proud of myself!
Overall, knowing that the work I was doing was fundamental to policymakers' decisions, and working on official government publications, was very rewarding.
How has placement helped to shape your future career?
Undertaking a placement year has accelerated both my personal and professional development.
I have gained the confidence to speak up more and share my thoughts when working with others and I have learned the value of asking questions to strengthen my understanding of concepts and processes. These are the skills that I anticipate being advantageous as I embark on my professional career and the final year of my undergraduate studies.
The placement year has opened my eyes to the opportunities that are ahead of me after university. My employment has enabled me to reflect on the strengths that I should leverage, and areas to develop upon, when applying for future roles.
What advice would you give to a future student starting their placement?
Say yes to opportunities that come your way. Take the time to chat to people and ask them about their career path. Ask questions and speak up. When someone gives you a job it is because they trust that you can do it - you are much more capable than you think you are!
Find out more
- Securing a placement
- Queries about placement
- Are you a business looking to hire a placement student?