By Zoe Fleming

Working as a vacationer at William Buck has allowed me to experience the type of personal growth and professional development that many undergraduates do not experience until after they graduate.

I first heard about interning at William Buck through Monash University’s Work Integrated Learning (WIL) program. The WIL program aims to place students in internships for a semester in order to provide opportunities to gain valuable industry work experience in their area of study. After this internship I was invited back as a vacationer in the R&D incentives team.

In my opinion an internship allows undergraduates to experience working in an industry that they may not have had an opportunity to previously experience. Benefits of undertaking an internship include creating contacts, networking within the industry and developing your professional skills prior to graduating.
My time at William Buck has allowed me to gain beneficial insight into the professional and corporate industry, which prior to this experience I would not have had the opportunity to encounter. I have had the opportunity to work on several clients in varied industries and in my opinion, meeting clients and understanding the research they are undertaking is one of the most interesting aspects of working in the R&D incentives team.

Being a science student, it is commonly expected that your study will lead into a research role and although I do enjoy studying science, I cannot see myself working in a research or lab type of setting. Working in Research & Development (R&D) tax has kept me connected to current research in several fields – primarily manufacturing – and keeps me interested in current research advancements. I think having a science background can be beneficial in the R&D space as my education has allowed me to develop my skills in critical thinking, problem solving, data analysis and scientific methodology. These skills are essential in understanding the R&D tax incentive and to interpret and accurately convey the purpose of the client’s R&D work in an R&D application.

Before beginning at William Buck, I didn’t know about the R&D tax incentive. Through my experience I think STEM students should be informed about the R&D tax incentive and the eligibility criteria around it. It is important to increase talk around the R&D tax incentive at the university level as a large portion of STEM students will potentially go onto jobs that will involve R&D.

The R&D tax incentive provides companies with a much-needed cash-injection, especially for those in the start-up area. It is important to support companies that are undertaking R&D so they can continue to advance their work.

Innovation in Australia should be fostered to keep economic prosperity and growth alive. The work of companies in R&D is interesting, important and without R&D our society would not have experienced the advances that we have had. Efforts to keep research and manufacturing thriving in Australia is crucial and to feel like I am contributing to companies that perform R&D is worthwhile.

Overall, my time at William Buck has afforded me an opportunity to experience an industry I can see myself working in post university and to develop my professional skills through the R&D incentives team.

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