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Name: Chloe Lawson-Duffy        Grade: Band T

What is your current role and what does it entail?

I am currently in my first placement as a Fast Stream Operational Researcher in the Knowledge, Analysis and Intelligence (KAI) Directorate of HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). My work focuses on providing analytical support to issues surrounding counter avoidance. This includes providing analysis of Budget policy measures, modelling operational workflows, and developing new data sources. The role also requires contact with other areas of HMRC to see how our analysis can be used to increase compliance. It is a fairly technical role and so I have lots of opportunities to develop my OR skills.

Why did you apply for this Stream?

When I graduated I was unsure of what career I wanted but I knew I wanted it to be challenging and have lots of room for progression. The Fast Stream appealed to me because of the wide range of departments and roles available and so I didn’t feel restricted to any set path. The Civil Service also offers amazing career potential and tons of training opportunities. When choosing a scheme I decided to apply for OR because I had studied Maths at university and so thought it was the scheme that best aligned with my skills and interests.

Where do you hope to be at the end of the Fast Stream scheme?

In five years I hope to have experienced a wide variety of roles across different departments and so have a clear idea of the career path I wish to take. I hope to feel confident enough in my analytical skills to be able to lead a team of my own. Also to be able to give a satisfactory response when someone asks what OR is.

What advice would you give to a new Fast Streamer?

The first few weeks can be pretty intimidating. There are lots of acronyms and lingo to get used to and it can be a bit overwhelming. I understood very little in my first few meetings. Don’t let this intimidate you. You pick up the terminology as you go along and soon find yourself speaking in acronyms (if it can be shortened, it will be). Also don’t be afraid to ask what something means, even in a meeting. Not understanding a key term can really hinder your ability to follow a meeting, and nobody expects you to know the terms already.


Read more about The Government Operational Research Service and about fast stream entry.