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Lucy tells us why she joined the Ofcom Economist graduate scheme

Book open Reading time: 3 mins

We caught up with Lucy after she secured her Graduate role with Ofcom to discover how she found the application process, what life is like there, and her top tips for other bright members wanting to apply!

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

I’m originally from a small town north of Liverpool and studied Economics and Business, Maths and Art for my A-Levels. I then moved to Edinburgh where in 2018 I graduated from Heriot-Watt University with a degree in Economics and Business Management. 75-80% of my course was economics, with the rest being made up of law and business courses.

What inspired you to apply to Ofcom?

It sounds corny, but I was initially attracted to the thought that the work that I do could make a difference to the UK population. Additionally, whilst a lot of my university peers wanted to go into banking/finance I was against a job that was quantitative heavy, so the more policy/qualitative side of economics which is used at Ofcom also interested me.

Tell us about the Economist Graduate Scheme

I joined the economist pathway in October 2018 and was originally based in the Edinburgh Office which was great! We have a prime view of the castle and with the smaller numbers (around 30-35) compared to London, you get to know everyone who works there. After a year in the Edinburgh office, I moved down to London, to get to know colleagues I wouldn’t otherwise meet in person and network more.

In October 2020 I will transition off the graduate scheme and become an Associate Economist. My role is really varied depending on what project I am working on. Currently, I am working on a post-project where I am modelling predicted revenue based on different scenarios that the wider team inform and also a spectrum project looking at the competition concerns with auctioning a spectrum band. Previously, I have also worked on a competition investigation and out of contract pricing for broadband customers amongst other projects. Some work is more qualitative, reviewing literature or thinking through theories of harm whereas other work is more quantitative, modelling certain scenarios and their cost/revenue implications.

What has been the single most important thing you learnt so far in your job?

That no question is silly and you shouldn’t be embarrassed to ask for support when you need it.

What do you find most interesting with the sector you’re in?

I like how economists are needed on almost every project so you gain such a wide breadth of knowledge and you can either pick to stay broad or pick a sector/skill you want to focus on.

What is the culture at Ofcom like?

I think Ofcom culture is great! Everyone is so friendly and wants the best for you (both whilst you’re at Ofcom and after). I think colleagues take a genuine interest in what others are doing and its great to work in a place where other colleagues enjoy working there. The work-life balance is also brilliant – we were supported so well at the start of lock-down with funding to set up our own home offices and other resources were made readily available with colleagues at every level looking out for each other.

Have you had the opportunity to get involved in any activities outside work?

As part of being a graduate, you get to attend away days with stakeholder organisations. For example, in September my cohort went to Sky HQ for the day! I’ve also attended several conferences and training seminars both at Ofcom and other locations.

I think my favourite activity was earlier in 2020 when myself a few others from my post-project got to go to a Royal Mail centre in Hemel Hempstead for a day learning about their operations and going on a delivery round with the post workers!

We also attend fun activities with our teams/groups and the grad cohort – ranging from a day on virtual reality machines to mini golf, ping pong and pizza!

Finally, any tips for anyone who is thinking of applying to Ofcom?

Think about some questions you want to ask colleagues interviewing you and do research the work we do and recent publications – don’t just type Ofcom in google and read the first few search results, we can tell!

Interested in following Lucy's footsteps? Find all opportunities with Ofcom here.