Sibeal Dempsey

13 November 2017

I joined the Ofcom graduate scheme in 2015 on the economist pathway, and have recently transitioned into an Associate role in Ofcom.

I studied Economics at Trinity College Dublin (BSc) and Economic Policy at University College London (MSc). I specifically chose to study a more policy-oriented masters degree as I knew that policy was where my true interests lay. When I heard about the Ofcom graduate scheme it was a natural fit for me and I applied straight away!

Ofcom has allowed me to practically apply microeconomics in a number of projects across telecommunications markets, spectrum and broadcasting. Some areas I have worked on include:

  • Assessing the inconvenience and disruption caused to consumers when communication services, such as broadband fail, as part of our proposal to introduce a system of automatic compensation;
  • Analysing the competitive conditions in wholesale markets underpinning landline (and other fixed voice services) for a market review;
  • Reviewing the literature on price, non-price and strategic discrimination by a vertically integrated provider; and
  • Developing our guidance to ensure that the way the BBC trades with third parties does not distort competition or give its subsidiaries an unfair advantage over competitors, in our capacity as the regulator of BBC.

Over the last two years I have developed a range of skills by taking advantage of the development opportunities available and the knowledge of experienced and supportive colleagues. I have attended a range of training courses on topics from behavioural economics to Excel and Stata which have allowed me to contribute more effectively to the projects above. Working in multidisciplinary teams of lawyers, policy professionals and others has enabled me to develop my communication and other soft skills, while also giving me an insight into other areas of expertise.

Ofcom’s values are also an important part of the culture. For a new employee to the organisation/workforce, ‘empowerment’ in particular is worth a mention. This is demonstrated by the type of work graduates are given from day one, allowing us the room to add real value to a project. The culture also allows time for non-project work, for example, I volunteer for a reading scheme at a local school which I really enjoy.