For the last ten weeks I have worked as an Economist within the central analytical hub of the Cabinet Office as part of the Government Economic Service (GES) summer internship programme. As a Government and Economics student at LSE, the internship provided an opportunity to combine my interests in public policy and economics and to develop my knowledge of the policy making process.
What does an Economist intern in Cabinet Office do?
One of my main roles within the Analysis and Insight Team was contributing to a report outlining trends and obstacles to growth among social enterprises in the UK, in support of the Office for Civil Society within the Cabinet Office. Not only was this an interesting area to research, but I was able to take on real responsibility throughout the production of the report. I learnt how to use an econometric programme to compute the data, before writing up the analysis and creating data visualisation to showcase the key findings.
The wide remit of the Cabinet Office and its unique position at the centre of government has also provided me with the opportunity to work on a diverse range of projects and to collaborate with departments across government. For example, I have attended meetings with colleagues from the Home Office, the Ministry of Defence and Business, Innovation and Skills, as well as a range of teams within the Cabinet Office itself. This experience, together with reviewing Impact Assessments for various policies, has given me a real insight into the policy making process across government.
The working environment
The most enjoyable part of the internship has been the friendly atmosphere of the Civil Service, and the opportunities for development, and socialising, within it. Since my first week I have been well connected with other interns through working together on a group project examining where the UK can build upon its comparative advantage. We later presented this work to Senior Management in the Cabinet Office. I have also been fortunate enough to attend a tour of 10 Downing Street and a lecture by Amartya Sen, a Nobel Prize winning Economist, during my time here.
Overall, I have developed a wide range of analytical skills and gained experience in applying my technical economic knowledge to the real world. I would thoroughly recommend the internship to other economics students, and will be applying to join the GES fast stream when I graduate next year.