3 minute read
Yinxing Zhao, a Masters student at The Australian National University (ANU) College of Business and Economics (CBE), attributes her personal and professional development to volunteering at the ANU Tax Clinic.
The ANU Tax Clinic, run by the ANU Research School of Accounting, assists taxpayers with understanding their tax affairs and meeting their obligations.
Yinxing, who is now undertaking a Master of Business Information Systems at ANU, began volunteering last year as a way to accelerate her professional development.
“I thought the ANU Tax Clinic would be an excellent starting point for me to pursue a career in accounting and tax law,” she says.
“I knew I would gain a lot of practical experience, as I would be dealing with real-life clients.”
The ANU Tax Clinic is a student-led service, meaning student volunteers work with clients under the close supervision of experienced tax practitioners.
“I discuss clients’ concerns with professional mentors, as well as carry out the appointments under supervision,” Yinxing says.
The experience has been a valuable and comprehensive introduction to the tax profession for Yinxing.
“It’s a great platform for networking and making connections within the industry. Volunteering with the ANU Tax Clinic is an excellent way to kick-start your career and you will learn more than you could ever imagine.”
In her interview, Yinxing elaborates on why she recommends taking up this unique opportunity.
Q. How has your volunteering contributed to your professional and personal growth?
I gained a deeper understanding of the tax law I learned in class, and its applications in real-life cases, through the process of preparing for and carrying out appointments. It has been a valuable experience for me as it has helped me to develop my professional skills, such as attention to detail and problem solving. At the same time, it’s made me much more confident and patient, as I had many opportunities to practice my interpersonal skills.
Q. You’re currently employed at one of the Big 4 consulting firms. Please tell us a little about your role, and if you’ve been able to transfer your skills from the ANU Tax Clinic to this position?
I will be joining the Assurance team at my firm, and my key responsibilities will include engaging with clients throughout transactions, as well as helping to manage audit processes. Communication and problem-solving skills are the two most important and transferable skills that I have developed at the Tax Clinic. Using these skills is crucial for day-to-day work, whether you are dealing with difficult clients or working in a team where effective communication is the key to success.
Q. What is the most fulfilling part of your ANU Tax Clinic work?
The most fulfilling part of work with the Tax Clinic is the feeling of accomplishment when you’ve helped a client solve their tax-related issues successfully. It’s a great feeling to realise that I have helped someone overcome a real-world problem with my knowledge and research.
Q. Why would you encourage others to volunteer?
Through volunteering with the ANU Tax Clinic, you will gain a deeper understanding of how the Australian tax system works. By working with clients, you will become confident talking to people from different backgrounds and your communication skills will improve. You will also receive great mentoring, and make connections with industry professionals.
The ANU Tax Clinic is experiencing huge demand for appointments, and needs more student volunteers. To apply, you must be a current ANU student, who has successfully completed or is currently studying an Australia taxation law unit. Click here to apply.