Name: Brenda Munoz Saldana
University: The University of Texas at Austin
Graduation Date: May 2021
Why did you choose to do an internship at Maxwell Locke & Ritter?
I knew I wanted to stay in Austin for my internship. My career advisor told me about ML&R’s great reputation. The firm’s Glassdoor reviews were positive and their website emphasized their family-oriented culture. What really struck me was their motto “No success at work is worth failure at home” and meeting my interviewers confirmed ML&R was the place for me.
What types of projects have you worked on and what have you learned during your internship?
I’ve gotten a broad overview of all types of returns including individuals, trusts, partnerships and S-Corporations. This has given me exposure to many industries including oil and gas, real estate development, film festivals, medical practices, cattle and timber farming, consulting, music royalties, and more. I’ve applied accounting and tax law concepts from my college courses to client returns and experienced a tax busy season.
What kinds of feedback have you received throughout your internship?
I’ve been grateful to receive continuous feedback from associates as they review my returns and formal feedback gathered periodically from everyone I’ve worked with. Constructive technical feedback has helped me learn from my mistakes and take on more complex returns. Positive feedback shows me that I’m improving and applying feedback appropriately.
What have you enjoyed most about Maxwell Locke & Ritter?
I’ve particularly enjoyed meeting everyone at the firm and hearing about their different career paths leading to ML&R. The firm-wide and tax department events are great testaments to the firm’s welcoming and team-centered culture.
What has been most valuable about your internship?
ML&R’s dedication to its people and flexibility has been important to me and I appreciate that the firm trusted me to work from home only a couple months into my internship. ML&R values each individual’s contribution and truly cares about each person’s health and mental well-being. I am incredibly appreciative that the leadership at ML&R accommodated everyone during this time.
Are there any ML&R members who have had a special impact on your internship?
My mentor Emily Chauvin has been a great resource and is an excellent example of how friendly and funny everyone at ML&R is. Sandra Ou, who was one of my interviewers and leads the tax interns, has also positively impacted my intern experience by always ensuring we have the support we need. I also appreciate Lanette Pogue for giving me the opportunity to prepare a bulk of returns for her real estate client and supporting me throughout the learning process.
What do you think future interns can do to prepare for their internship?
I believe dedicating time to grasp the accounting concepts in your courses will lay a foundation that can be built upon with the robust training that ML&R provides and the on-the-job learning you get from working with a team. I’d also recommend participating in the VITA program if you’re interested in tax compliance to familiarize yourself with the tax forms.
What are your long-term career goals and what’s up next for you?
In a year, I plan to complete graduate school at UT and become a licensed CPA in Texas. I’d like to stay in public accounting and get experience in all areas of tax work. I’d love to come back to ML&R in the future.