Updating Results

Department of the Treasury

  • 1,000 - 50,000 employees

Andrea Macleay

It’s very rewarding to know that your capabilities are recognised, and that the Treasury is willing to encourage greater responsibility.

What did you study? What university did you graduate from and when?

Bachelor of Economics, University of Sydney. Graduated in 2018. 

Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Rozelle, in the Inner West of Sydney. I attended the nearby all-girls school, St Scholastica’s College in Glebe where I formed strong friendships with women who I draw my inspiration and strength from every day. Prior to starting university, I took a 10 month gap year backpacking around Europe. This was a definitive experience for me, the responsibility and independence from solo travel really pushed me out of my comfort zone, but it taught me confidence that I could do whatever I put my mind to. Throughout university, I had several different jobs (pharmacy, hospitality, retail, childcare) which were all very valuable experiences in developing soft and hard skills, from cashing out the till to assisting customers. I continued to travel abroad in my university holidays, a second Europe trip and a trip to Central America – both experiences that I hold close to my heart and for all the close friendships overseas travel brings. Throughout high school and university, I rowed competitively, it was a challenging sport that required commitment, but the discipline, focus and drive from rowing were valuable traits that I continued to apply to my life and my work. 

How did you get to your current job position?

I’ve been in my role at the Treasury since February 2019. The first time the Treasury crossed my mind was during my intermediate micro-economic and macro-economic units at university which explored the role of fiscal policy. I had always had an interest in government affairs, paying attention to when the budget was released but my curiosity becomes stronger desire to learn and understand the fiscal role of economics during these units. In particular, I was intrigued by how fiscal policy had such an influential impact on the everyday economy and wellbeing of Australians. During my final year at university, between the many career fairs and career advice sessions, I knew I wanted to work in a role related to my degree, I felt eager to put the skills and knowledge I learnt at university into action and looked into what workplaces would offer me this opportunity. The Treasury really stood out to me, working on an economic and fiscal policy on a macroeconomic scale to achieve better outcomes in an evolving economic environment really excited me. When going through the Treasury graduate website I was really surprised by the number of different areas within the Treasury and I thought, this is just too much of an incredible opportunity not to take the plunge for and I applied! 

What was your interview process like?

The interview process was very straight-forward and exactly what was expected which was fantastic as I felt prepared and confident. At the interview stage, the questions were asked by a panel, the panel members’ calmness was really appreciated as it helped with my nerves. The questions were focused on my experiences, so for example explaining a time when I was in a situation when things went wrong and what was done to resolve the situation. The final question was related to what is key policy issue for the Treasury that I think is important and why – which my response was about the low wage growth in Australia. 

What does your employer do?

As a central agency, the Treasury analyses a range of issues from a whole of economy perspective, working with the government, stakeholders and community to address issues and respond rapidly to current circumstances. 

The Treasury has many different roles in serving the Australian Government – from providing economic and fiscal analysis, policy advice on topics that are the Treasurer’s responsibility such as taxation, superannuation and international economic policy, producing the budget and working with other departments and the private sector to deliver policy and outcomes. 

What are your areas of responsibility?

My area of responsibility works on facilitating the government’s fiscal strategy and macroeconomic balance by managing the Commonwealth’s budget process and advising Treasury ministers on the overall strategy for the budget and tracking the budget aggregates in real-time. 

Can you describe a typical workday?

My typical workday involves coordinating and communicating with other areas in the Treasury and other departments and working in my close-knit team to provide policy advice on various Government proposals and the real-time tracking of budget aggregates. 

What are the career prospects with your job?

The career prospects are endless for a graduate at the Treasury - whether you chose to stay at the Treasury and experience the many different divisions and what they have to offer. You could move across to different Government departments and work on a range of careers in economic, legal or policy roles. Outside of the Australian Public Service, the private sector highly values Treasury experience, the quantitative and qualitative analytical skills, understanding of Government processes and experience in fiscal policy is an incredible asset to add to any career. 

Could someone with a different background do your job? 

Yes absolutely, as long as you have an appetite to learn and be challenged, my role would suit anyone with the enthusiasm for a challenge and enjoys working in a team environment. 

What would your career be if you weren’t doing what you’re doing now? 

If I didn’t go down the path of studying economics and moving into that field as a career, I have always had an interest in midwifery. I was very inspired by the television show, ‘Call the Midwife’ but also have always loved babies, I spent my Friday and Saturdays all throughout my teenage years babysitting the kids in my neighborhood before becoming a nanny in university. 

What do you love the most about your job?

I really enjoy the daily evolving challenges in my job, no two days are ever the same! Often we have pressuring timeframes to work to deadlines, and it’s great when you have a strong team behind you that comes together to rise to the challenge and get the job done. 

Working in a team environment is very motivating as a graduate, my managers have delegated tasks to me that I was surprised to be responsible for. It’s very rewarding to know that your capabilities are recognised, and that the Treasury is willing to encourage greater responsibility. I also love the work culture of the Treasury, having a good work-life balance is a priority, taking time for yourself is encouraged and most importantly, everyone has a great attitude and respect for each other. 

What’s the biggest limitation of your job? 

I haven’t experienced any limitations in my job as a graduate at the Treasury, some days may be more challenging than others, but those days are valuable opportunities to learn and reflect.

Which three pieces of advice would you give to a current university student?

  • Remember to enjoy the university experience outside of academics. My personal experience during interviews was that people were most intrigued by my experiences outside of university, interviewers often want to get to you know as a person and having a passion, whether it’s a sport or a hobby, or you work a job, it really shows that you can be an all-rounder. 
  • Don’t sweat the small stuff, when you make a mistake, learn from it and move on. Life goes on and most importantly, if you can show that you’ve learned from your mistakes and taken the steps to move forward – that is a valuable asset in all aspects of your life.
  • If you don’t understand something, don’t be afraid to ask for someone to explain. It took me an entire year of university before I got the confidence to speak up in lectures and tutorials and ask questions and it made a world of difference. Lecturers and tutors are there to help you, they want you to ask questions, to clarify what wasn’t explained well, to have you to test their understanding and you’ll find that when you ask the question, many others in the room were thinking of the same thing!