A Day in the Life of / Life / Life after law school

A Day in the Life of a … Treasury Vote Analyst for Science and Innovation

Name:  Danielle Lucas
Job title: Graduate Analyst (specifically the Vote Analyst for Science and Innovation)
Employer, city/country: The Treasury, Wellington, New Zealand
Length of time in current role: Five Months
Where and when you studied law: Studied law at Otago University, graduated in 2016.


Describe a typical day in your job

A typical day in my job involves a lot of calls, emails and meetings. Most of what I do involves a range of other people, from within the Treasury, the wider public sector and the general public. This means I never spend a full day at my desk, or even in the building.


How did you get into this job?

I have always been interested in politics so the public sector always had a certain appeal. During law school I really enjoyed the conversations about why we make laws – not just how to apply them. This led me to pursue jobs that involved policy.


Are there any particular study subjects or working experience you would recommend to prepare for a similar role to yours?

There are no particular subjects needed to work at the Treasury. My graduate cohort has studied a wide range of subjects and had some vastly different work experience.

At Uni I studied a BA in Philosophy, Politics and Economics alongside my law degree. Although these subjects helped me prepare for my role, my law degree was just as important as it provided me with research and analytical skills.


What are the highlights of the job?

One of the highlights of my job is the exposure I get. I meet so many people. Not only within the Treasury (I still meet a new person everyday), but across many different agencies (such as the Ministry of Business Innovation and Employment, Te Puna Kokiri and Ministry of Primary Industries) and different members of the public (from scientists to farmers). The Treasury trusts you to attend meetings on your own with managers and CEOs. I have even been to several Ministers meetings since starting.


What are the challenges of the job?

Relationship management is a big challenge in this job. When you are meeting so many people, with a range of different views, it is hard to accommodate everyone.

Another challenges is the information overload. Not only do you have to learn about the public finance system but there’s accounting, cabinet conventions, government policies and all the different initiatives in your particular vote, for me that’s Science and Innovation.


What kind of personal qualities are suited to this job?

Being flexible and adaptive are key skills for this job. Every day is different and sometimes issues will pop up with no warning. It’s essential that you are able to cope with these and then get back to what you were working on earlier.


What one thing do you wish someone had told you at law school?

I wish someone had told me that I don’t have to get a job in law. There are so many options out there for law graduates. Just do what you are genuinely interested in, do well in it and you will be fine!


Any advice for students wanting to get into a similar role?

Get involved in your university, do things in your community travel and try new things. Life experiences mean just as much as good grades.