Claire and Cristina's inside track on the civil service

Cristina Clopatofsky, MA Economics (2017) and Claire Maginnis, LLB (2012)

In this special two-part episode get the inside track on working in the civil service from two recent graduates who both made early career changes into policy roles.  

Neither Claire nor Cristina did the Civil Service fast stream programme. They found their own paths. In this episode, we take a deep dive into what these unconventional routes can look like: what inspired them to work in government, the application process, and important knowledge and insight learnt along the way.  

Claire found the application and interview process clear and simple, but it took her a few attempts before landing her first role. Taking on feedback and persevering paid off, resulting in an environment she finds supportive, open, and filled with opportunities. Claire shares her tips for mastering the STAR approach to applications and how to build up a bank of examples that showcase your skills and experience.  

Cristina has worked in several high-profile departments including the cabinet office and the treasury and hasn’t shied away from challenging policy topics, such as crisis including Brexit, covid and climate change. Throughout the episode, she shares her knowledge of government, introduces us to civil service culture, and explains what team dynamics she thrives in. As she's progressed, Cristina has learnt to have confidence in her knowledge and skills whilst not being afraid to ask questions of the experts. Her advice to herself? Put less pressure on yourself, be kinder, and avoid comparing yourself to others. 

Take your next steps

Read the UofG Careers guide to the STAR technique    

Search for UK Civil Service jobs