I’ve now been here around six months so I thought I should tell you a bit more about what I do! My role is in the Contributory State Pensions Analysis team, which means we are responsible for providing analytical support on any issues relating to the state pension system. We carry out some analysis on the current system, and answer any parliamentary questions on it, but our main role at the moment is in relation to the pensions bill which has been working its way through parliament for the last year.

This work involved all of the analysis which went into writing the bill, and now that it is being debated in parliament we are often there in support of ministers to help answer any analytical questions. I have found this the most exciting part of the job. I really enjoy the whole parliamentary process with its conventions and irregularities, how you can and cannot address opponents etc and although they can be frustrating at times I do think they are part of what’s great about the British parliament; some of the exchanges in the House of Lords have been particularly entertaining. I also feel quite proud that some of the work I have been doing will be used in a pension reform which will last for decades, even to my own pension.

Another interesting aspect of the job has been seeing how party politics works. Stuff is starting to appear in the press now which is openly political manoeuvring for the election in just over a year and, working in a department with both Liberal and Conservative ministers, it will be interesting to see how things pan out over the next six months.

Check back in a few weeks when I will talk a bit about the placement and grad schemes here, and why they offer excellent opportunities.