Christopher Sewell

Christopher Sewell

University of New South Wales
Christopher studied BA/Bcom (Hons) at University of New South Wales

In my work I analyse the performance of government programmes. My team conducts regular analysis on a specific programme, and I assist in applying statistical techniques to our analysis. I am also given the opportunity to work on smaller projects that can involve work such as extracting specific data regarding programme performance for other areas of the Department or undertaking short research projects. A lot of my work requires me to use statistical software (primarily SAS). I contribute to writing code in SAS, but my primary responsibility is in understanding and using its statistical functions. As my work is highly technical, a significant part of my job is to explain our results to non-technical people. When I write reports and summaries, I need to ensure that they are written at a level such that non-specialists can understand and use the information.

My work draws heavily on my studies of econometrics, and my knowledge of regression analysis, in particular, is essential to my work. I had no knowledge of SAS before I started working in the Department and all of my SAS skills have been developed on the job. My work also requires writing skills, and I have been given opportunities to improve these skills over the course of my work.

From the first week, I have been able to make a contribution. My team put a lot of effort into developing my technical skills early, and, despite the highly technical and specialised nature of the work, I was making important contributions after the first couple of weeks. I really appreciated that, in many cases, I was able to apply many of the techniques that I learned during my study, which is something that I know wasn’t true for many of my classmates.

Moving to Canberra has also been easier than I expected. Being part of a graduate program made it easier to make friends, and there are plenty of opportunities to meet graduates from other Departments, too.

I really like working here, and I would definitely recommend that people apply for the Quantitative Analysis discipline. I enjoy working with numbers, and it has been a great opportunity to develop my skills.