Leanne tells us how joining the IGEES graduate programme has ensured the best start to their journey as an economist and how being part of the Irish Government Economic & Evaluation Service (IGEES) network allows for a lot of flexibility and change within their role.

Please tell us a little bit about your role.

I joined the Department of Finance in 2022 after completing an MSc in Economic Analysis. I am currently part of the Economics Division where I work within the fiscal analysis team.

My main areas of work are predominantly focused in taxation policy – this includes areas such as corporation tax, tax expenditures and anything income tax related. I also work closely in assisting the Tax Division on tasks such as pre- budget publications, data queries or any general economic analysis considerations.

Being part of the Irish Government Economic & Evaluation Service (IGEES) network allows for a lot of flexibility and change within my role. I had previously worked in the Macroeconomic Analysis and Forecasting Unit where my work focused on analysing and forecasting Ireland’s labour market.

What were your reasons for applying for your role?

While studying for my MSc I knew the public sector is where I wanted to start my career. My values lay in contributing to better public policy formation. I held a strong interest in the wider economic, political and social environment and I knew my expertise could widely contribute in making a change to real life everyday economic issues.

What do you value most about your job?

I value the contribution my analyses make to national policy development. I also appreciate that my contribution to appraisals and evaluations is highly regarded. I am encouraged by the value that’s placed on my opinion in relation to tasks such as briefing and advising senior officials and Ministers on current affairs but most importantly, I value the constant development both professionally and personally that IGEES offer me as well as the flexibility that is allowed within my role.

What are some of the benefits and supports available to you?

As well as flexible working hours, a pension, and job security - IGEES realises that the key to development is continuous learning. Various learning courses are offered in all areas that help you develop your skills and knowledge, be that in modelling software, excel or personal development. Any area where I feel needs work or development is catered to which gives me the confidence that my skills, knowledge and development as an economist are constantly expanding.

What opportunities has this role provided for you?

Through IGEES, I have participated in a one year graduate programme, which ended in a permanent job for me within the Department.

The graduate programme offers core competencies required for working effectively in the Civil Service. It also involves induction training as well as attendance at advanced training modules, master classes, further academic qualifications, etc.; I have taken part in many training courses and I will be completing a professional diploma in taxation policy next year, which is provided by the Irish Tax Institute and is fully funded by the department.

I have also been afforded the opportunity to work in various roles such as forecasting Ireland’s labour market.

My role has also afforded me the opportunity to be resourceful and creative, and generate original approaches when solving problems and making decisions to ensure a constantly evolving school of thought coincides with constantly evolving economic issues.

Many other opportunities exist within my role such as the option to attend conferences and seminars where I showcase my work whilst receiving feedback from talented economists, be that internal or external.

What aspect of the role do you particularly enjoy?

I enjoy the flexibility that allows me to work on different tasks of varying levels of complexity.

I also enjoy the social aspect of my job which involves attending events and seminars but overall, I enjoy my work environment, I enjoy the morale within the Department and the IGEES community and the positive relationships that exists between colleagues.

Would you recommend a career in the public sector and why?

If you’re motivated to make a positive contribution to a well-run economy and society then yes, absolutely.

Anything else you would like to share?

Choosing your career can be a daunting choice, but joining the IGEES graduate programme has ensured the best start to my journey as an economist.