Treasury staff like Sarah report to the Minister of Finance on issues that have a real implication on the country. Their advice needs to be objective, incredibly well researched, and able to withstand intense scrutiny.
The senior employees Sarah works with are well aware of the pressure that the job brings and they make sure their graduates have the right work load.
“If you’re responding to a query from the Minister, you won’t be expected to have your other work done,” Sarah says.
While the work of a policy analyst can be hard, the challenge of grappling with complex ideas, making sense of them, and relating them back to why and how the world works is immensely satisfying, even if their findings are misinterpreted.
“The things that my team works on are often in the media. We welcome that, but once the information leaves the building, it’s impossible to control how the public receives it. Projections are just that: projections. If someone was able to get them all right, then the economy’s problems would be over. Occasionally, we write an editorial in response to the criticism we receive, but usually, we just grin and bear it,” Sarah says.
While studying politics papers at university sounds like the obvious path to a career in the Treasury, Sarah said the Government values keen minds from all fields.
“There are a range of different degrees held by people at Treasury – my workmates have music, philosophy, and physics qualifications. If you’ve got an understanding of economics, it doesn’t matter what your background is.”
“What I like most about working at the Treasury are the people. There are a lot of intelligent folk working here, they’re interesting to talk to, and they have a lot of knowledge.”
- Policy Analysts usually earn $35−$150k, depending on their experience.
(Source: Careers New Zealand)