A day in the life of Carrie

Senior Manager, Innovation Incentives

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26 Oct 2022

Personal life & work role

1. Tell us something about yourself and your role at Invenics?

I joined Invenics in March 2022 as a Senior Manager in the Innovation Incentives Team. Prior to my current role, I worked in the R&D Tax team of one of the Big 4 firms for 10 years. My academic background is in science. Before moving to the field of Innovation Incentives, I completed my PhD in Pharmacology from University College London, followed by a Postdoctoral research position for over 3 years at the university.

Carrie Yan

Working in the professional services industry, my role is to assist clients with their applications for Research & Development (“R&D”) finance support from the UK government. In particular, I am specialised in the R&D tax relief/credits program operated under HM Revenue & Customs (“HMRC”), which offers tax-saving (or even cash in some circumstances) benefits to businesses that have undertaken innovations from the scientific/technological perspective.

I work with clients across a wide range of industry sectors who are engaged in scientific/technological innovations (e.g. IT, Fin-Tech, Engineering, Life Sciences, aerospace and defence, Oil & Gas etc.). My clients ranges from start-ups to some of the largest multi-national organisations.

2. Describe your typical day at Invenics.

A typical day for me at work will involve managing multiple projects simultaneously to ensure all projects are progressing smoothly. As a project manager, I am not only acting as the primary contact with clients and managing client relationships, but I am also working closely with the Engagement team members on R&D claim preparations until the final submission stage.

Other than leading on the project delivery side, I also run detailed tax technical training with our internal team to ensure all team members have sufficient specialist skills and knowledge to deliver client engagements.

I am also actively supporting our business development processes, joining my Sales Team in scoping discussions with potential clients and helping Invenics secure new contracts.

3. How does Invenics help with your work life balance?

Hand on heart, I can say out loud that Invenics truly stands out being a considerate employer that genuinely cares about employees’ well-being and work-life balance. I have two young children that have just started primary school. As a working parent, finding the right balance between work and life is particularly important yet challenging. However, Invenics has made this a lot easier for me – I work on a part-time basis, from 9am to 3pm Monday-Friday, which enables me to manage the school runs everyday. There is no micro-management from the leadership team, instead the working relationship here between the employer and employees are based on mutual respect, professionalism and trust, all of which have created a great company culture that allows staff to work flexibly in their most efficient and productive way. There are inevitably some extra hours at night needed to meet project deadlines, but the level of freedom I have to manage my own pace at work has made me want to put in more time to deliver the job better. This motivation will not be possible without Invenics giving me the work-life balance.

Nature of work

1. Describe the kind of clients and/or teams (cross-functional or otherwise) do you work with?

Externally, I work with the clients’ Tax/Finance teams (usually their Head of Tax, Finance Director, and Finance Controller etc.)

Internally, on a day-to-day basis, I work with my colleagues in the Innovation Incentives Team (including both our Tax/Finance as well as Engineering/IT specialists). We together help clients identify all the qualifying technical activities and the associated costs incurred in R&D, and calculate how much tax our clients can save, or cash repayments they can obtain from the UK government in specific accounting periods.

2. What keeps you motivated and/or challenges you at Invenics?

Recognitions from colleagues, the opportunity to work with the senior management group to build the Innovation Incentives team in this growing company, and also the level of trust I get from Invenics are what motivate me most.

Helping a start-up build its brand and reputation, and to differentiate it from a large number of competitors (especially the top tier firms) can be challenging. But turning obstacles into opportunities and challenges into possibilities is what makes my job fun!

Career development aspects

1. What opportunities do you get here at Invenics for a brighter and better career?

There are lots of career progression opportunities working at a young company – One of them is to give you the opportunity shape and grow the business and set up best practice. As the company expands, promotions will come in naturally (provided we are all doing a good job!).

Moreover, there are multiple service lines operated here at Invenics (including Product Development and Technology Consulting in addition to Innovation Incentives). We also have the opportunity to try out different roles or work across multiple functions.

2. What new skills or knowledge did you acquire here since joining?

Professional training sessions (provided by external training specialists) are available at Invenics. Since joining, I have attended sessions on Presentation, Efficient Communication and Business Writing.

Also, as I am now leading on the Finance side in the Innovation Incentives Team and actively contributing to the sales process, I have also improved my leadership and business development skills.

Work culture & Office

1. How would you describe the overall work / office environment, colleagues, and culture at Invenics?

Professional, chilled and united – It indeed feels like a family environment to me, making me feel safe, with colleagues that I can trust and joke with. 😊

2. How would you describe the culture of leadership and management team?

They are dear friends and great mentors to me. “No one is too senior to talk to, and no one is too junior to work with” – This is what the Invenics Founders/Partners have said and also what they have been implementing.

3. What are some of the company benefits which you enjoy the most – from perks, wellness, team activities etc.?

Team activities are great in this place! Various events are held throughout the year, e.g. weekend getaway in Lake District mountains, summer team away-day paintballing and golf competitions to come, etc.

I also enjoy the perks which are available through Invenics’ partners.

4. What would you share with anyone seeking a position at Invenics?

I personally think Invenics ticks all the boxes –

  • A young company that gives you the chance to build it;
  • A rapidly growing company that makes you feel financially secured;
  • A professional company that has all the specialists you can learn from;
  • A friendly company with approachable and fun colleagues to work with;
  • A flexible company that allows you to balance work and life!