MA in International Relations 2008
Assistant Private Secretary to the Governor at the Bank of England
I’d always wanted my Masters degree to feel like an issue of The Economist – a vibrant mixture of economics, politics, security studies, and above all, a critical approach to international relations. Thankfully, I didn’t have to choose, since the Warwick MA allows you to literally pick and choose: I pursued modules in political finance, international relations theory, and critical security studies! The vibrant mix of nationalities represented in the course is remarkable: I still vividly recall discussing counter-terrorism with my Briton, Pakistani, German, Kazakh, Indian, Norwegian, American, Chinese, and Kenyan classmates – led by our Australian professor!
I'm currently working as Assistant Private Secretary to Sir Mervyn Allister King, the Governor at the Bank of England, and no two days in Governor's office are the same. My job is simply to ensure that the Governor is never unprepared. He could be walking into a dinner with the Chancellor, a chat with the CEOs of the UK's biggest banks, or on a plane to China to sign a swap agreement with the People's Bank; my job is to make sure he knows the right things and speaks to the right people at the right time so he can make the right decisions. The exposure to different strands of economics and politics is extraordinary. Most of all, I'm proud to say I work with people much smarter than me. You learn simply by sitting in the same room as the people I work with - let alone when they challenge you to think up new solutions to the issues we face.
My only advice to people considering work in public service is to ask themselves a simple question: "Do you want to make policy, or do you just want to read about it in the news?