The Intern Diaries: Kara Molina

Name: Kara Molina     

University: Texas State University

Kara Molina At Smokey Mountains

Why did you choose to do an internship at Maxwell Locke & Ritter?

When I researched the firm, I saw they were heavily involved in the community and had a reputation for great work-life balance. To me, this showed that the firm was not just committed to their bottom line, but also to the community and their employees. Having my own family, it was important for me to find a place that understood the importance of a healthy home life and so far, ML&R has lived up to that reputation.

What types of projects have you worked on and what have you learned during your internship?

I prepared tax returns for individuals, trusts, and business entities.  At first, the volume of information and new processes were daunting, but the trainers were very helpful, and the reviewers gave meaningful feedback. Everyone is so supportive and really wants you to learn and succeed. I started this internship with little understanding of tax return preparation and have learned it’s much more than plugging numbers; it’s also analyzing financial documents and tax research.

What kinds of feedback have you received throughout your internship?

I’ve received a lot of constructive feedback during my internship. My biggest takeaway is the importance of good communication. It’s also imperative to try your best to resolve issues while knowing when to reach out for help.

What have you enjoyed most about Maxwell Locke & Ritter?

Even though my internship was during the busy tax season, Maxwell Locke & Ritter always scheduled fun social events that would pause work and bring everyone together to socialize and play games. I always enjoyed these because it really gave me a refresh and made me more productive.

What has been most valuable about your internship?

The most valuable thing about this internship has been the confidence I’ve gained. I’ve received great support from my colleagues. They took the time to teach me new concepts, not just by telling me the answers, but also by encouraging me to research. I’m more confident preparing tax returns and figuring out new things.

Are there any ML&R members who have had a special impact on your internship?

I worked with a lot of great people during my internship.

Kait Weaver, Lanette Pogue, Mayela Limas, and Emily Chauvin went out of their way to help me with complicated returns. Shannon Peterson, my mentor, met me for lunches to discuss how work was going. Kristy Holmes is great at communicating what needs to be done and why. Josh Ordemann, Margaret Schwanke, and Joe Somogye helped the interns get started and made us more confident in preparing tax returns on our own.

What do you think future interns can do to prepare for their internship?

Having the right attitude goes a long way. Be open to learn new things and to constructive criticism.

What are your long-term career goals and what’s up next for you?

My long-term goal is to either be a partner in a medium-sized firm or run a business with my husband. Up next for me is to complete my graduate degree and obtain my CPA certification.

The Intern Diaries Kara Molina

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