Queen Anne’s Alumna Shares Experience in the Civil Service

Wednesday 6th February 2019

On the morning of Friday 25 January, our upper school students were joined in assembly by Queen Anne’s alumna Sinead McCarthy, for a presentation about working in the Civil Service.



Sinead left Queen Anne’s School in 2015, so a number of our current students remembered her from when they were in the lower years. Following her time at Queen Anne’s, Sinead studied Geography at the University of Exeter (thanks to her favourite teacher, Mrs Little!).


Whilst at university, Sinead still had her career options wide open, and applied for a summer internship programme with the Civil Service. During this internship Sinead worked in the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs.

Sinead’s enthusiasm and work ethic earned her a positive appraisal during her summer internship programme, which allowed her to apply for one of the Civil Service’s Fast Stream graduate programmes. Sinead applied for the Civil Service Graduate Scheme whilst in her final year at university in September 2017, but did not pass the assessment centre first time round. However, her application was impressive enough for the Civil Service to offer her a job!



Sinead began her role as a Higher Executive Officer Policy Advisor for the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy straight after graduating Exeter. Sinead decided to re-apply for the Civil Service Graduate Scheme again in September 2018 and this time was successful, Sinead will continue her current role until September when the Fast Stream programme begins.

She now currently works under the Minister of State for Energy and Clean Growth, Claire Perry MP, and must come up with ideas on how to make government policies happen. Sinead, and her colleagues in the Civil Service, have to remain politically impartial in their roles to make important decisions and choices that would benefit the country most.


“Every day I get to be a part important decision making processes which have a real-life impact.” Sinead explained. “I get to see the decisions I make discussed on the news, and the fact that I am doing something that matters is really important to me.”


Although the application process is difficult and competitive, around 57,000 applicants applied for just 1,300 places, Sinead emphasised that she is more than happy to help any Queen Anne’s girls who want to apply for internships in the Civil Service.



Queen Anne’s are very grateful for Sinead giving up her time to return to the school and speak to our current girls. Queen Anne’s alumnae are an important part of our school community, and we are very proud of their achievements and successes.


You can find out more about the schemes and internship programmes that the Civil Service offers here.


Read more of the latest news from Queen Anne’s School here.