Learning outside the classroom

Learning outside the classroom

4 minute read

The more Ben Raines watched his mentors shift into different gears while engaging with different clients, the better he understood the criticality of soft skills in the workplace.

“Soft skills are really important. They are something you can only learn in real life situations such as working with the ANU Tax Clinic,” said Ben, a final year student at The Australian National University (ANU). “These skills cannot be developed through classrooms and I think it is unreal that CBE offers such valuable experiences to students – preparing them for the job market.”

The ANU Tax Clinic is a friendly, student-run clinic where clients receive information from ANU accounting students, under the supervision of experienced tax practitioners. The clinic, established earlier this year, aims to assist unrepresented taxpayers in meeting and complying with their tax affairs.

Working with the ANU Tax Clinic mentors has been inspirational.

It is a partnership initiative with community organisations and is supported by a dozen business organisations. ANU is the first university to offer this service in the ACT region.

Ben is one of the interns of the project and believes he is gaining immense professional experience, especially under the supervision of his mentors.

“Working with the ANU Tax Clinic mentors, many of whom are ANU alumni, has been inspirational. Being able to speak to someone who was once in your shoes and see them as a successful professional has provided me with motivation and confidence that I will hopefully be in a similar situation to them soon enough,” he shared.

Ben is studying a Bachelor of Commerce (majoring in Accounting) and a Bachelor of Economics, and already feels work ready ahead of graduating this December.

“This has been a great experience, in particular watching how the mentors approach and manage the consultations is a great learning experience, especially since we have had a number of different clients with different questions. The queries have ranged from simple ones about logging onto the MyGov system to complex questions regarding dividends and tax residency,” shared Ben, who obtained this opportunity through the CBE Internship Program.

Before moving to Canberra, Ben lived in the coastal city of Newcastle and the inland city of Orange in New South Wales.

“I chose ANU because of its highly regarded reputation and so far my experience has been great, particularly in the courses offered at CBE such as the Internship Program and Global Business Immersion,” he said.

Anglicare, Belconnen Community Service and Woden Community Service.

CA Australia and New Zealand, CatholicCare Canberra and Goulburn, CPA Australia, Commonwealth Superannuation Corporation, DFK Everalls, Equity Partners, Fusion Accountants & Advisors, Kinsella, Nexia Australia, ONTHEGO, Outward Bound Australia, and Solution In.

More information about the ANU Tax Clinic is available at rsa.anu.edu.au/rsa/anu-tax-clinic