Name: Adam Brinley Codd
Degree and university: Imperial College London, MSc in Mathematics and Computer Science
Work Title: Started as a Note Issue Policy Analyst and is now Fan Chart Analyst at the Bank of England
What do you actually do? My first job at the Bank of England was to help protect the public’s confidence in banknotes. The Bank does this by working with the commercial cash industry to make sure the banknotes in circulation are genuine and fit for use.
Day to day, I was involved in a varied mix of analytical, policy, and operational work. What does that actually mean? Well, I could be involved in anything from analysing trends in banknote usage (are people using cash more than they used to, or are people increasingly using debit and credit cards?). This could feed into policy discussions on the future of cash and our relationship with the commercial cash industry. Or I might be working with the Bank’s cash centres on operational matters. For example, helping them plan to make sure they have the capacity to store and destroy the old design £20 banknote as it is replaced with the new ‘Adam Smith’ design.
I now work on the UK Forecast Team, helping to prepare the Monetary Policy Committee’s (MPC) projections for inflation and growth. I use my mathematical background to put a probability distribution around the MPC’s forecasts. The role has given me a fascinating insight into the heart of monetary policy in the UK. I have been lucky enough to have the opportunity to interact with the MPC members and senior Bank officials, for example, helping to brief the Governor of the Bank ahead of the Inflation Report press conference.
Why did you decide to go into the Financial sector? I was drawn to the Financial sector because it suited the skills I learned at university. But I also wanted to work in the public sector because the nature of the work – the chance to get involved in national policy – is very exciting. The Bank of England is a public sector organisation with a unique role in the financial sector, and so it suited me perfectly.
How did you find out about your job? I found out about the Bank of England through their recruitment website. I had half-heartedly applied to a couple of investment banks, but their websites were not very clear about the type of work a graduate recruit would get involved in, which made it difficult to get motivated by the application process. I found the Bank’s website much more engaging and inspiring.
Would you undertake further training to progress your career? The Bank offers many training opportunities. For example, I recently went on a one-week course about banking and financial markets. But I probably wouldn’t want to leave work to do training full-time. I enjoy the excitement of my job and I wouldn’t want to be away from that for too long. And besides, I’m constantly learning as I’m working, and experience is probably the best training you can get!
What do you most like about what you do and are there any downsides? The Bank, compared to commercial banks, is a relatively small organisation. So as a new graduate entrant, you get given a lot of responsibility from day one. From early in my career, I’ve been involved in meetings with very senior management discussing strategies for conducting a national launch of a new banknote design, and withdrawing the old design as quickly and efficiently as possible. It is incredibly rewarding to work on a project which has a national impact, and working with banknotes makes it very easy to explain what I do to people I meet!
Any job can be frustrating at times, and can involve repetitive tasks, or can occasionally require long hours and late nights. But I believe the interesting and unique aspects of working at the Bank more than outweigh these downsides. There’s a real team spirit, and if we are working late, it is because we all want to do the best job possible.
What skills do you believe you need to succeed in what you do? It is very important to be able to communicate your ideas, especially to people who are busy. No matter how clever you are, if you can’t convince people of your ideas, then it is very hard to have any impact. The Bank offers a lot of training and guidance on this. Local management often have a lot of valuable experience to learn from, and the graduate training program includes lots of courses to improve drafting and presentation skills.
What advice would you give graduates coming into this sector? Think very carefully about why you want to work in a particular organisation. Think especially about the kind of things which motivate you – is it solving ‘real life’ problems, working with abstract ideas, working in a team on operational issues, or doing more long-term research work? Then make sure the job you are applying for matches what you want to do.
Is there anything you wish to add? London is a great place, both to live and to work. The skills you learn in the financial sector are very transferable, both to other financial organisations and other sectors entirely. It’s a great place to start a career.