Caitlin Burke

Caitlin Burke

University of Western Australia
Patents examiner
Caitlin studied Bachelor of Engineering (Hons)/Bachelor of Science at University of Western Australia

As a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduate, I wanted a career that allowed me to use and grow my chemical and engineering expertise.

When I saw the advertisement for a patent examiner intake at IP Australia, I knew I had found a job where I could really apply my technical degree, but also enjoy the security and work life balance that a government job provides.

The patent examiner training process has been a really fun experience. I share a role that people like Albert Einstein and Thomas Jefferson have worked in, and I get to look at new inventions every day. Interestingly, I have also enjoyed learning about the legal side of patenting, which you wouldn’t get in a straight science or engineering role. My job helps businesses protect their ideas and I get to see new technology first!

A great benefit of working at IP Australia is the opportunity to try out different types of work, you don’t have to get closed in to specialist role. Opportunities to work in different areas like policy and patent analytics come up all the time and you’re encouraged to broaden your skills once you’ve finished your training program.

My advice to future graduates is to keep asking questions and trying new things. At this stage in your career you’re malleable and supported, so take risks and make mistakes!