Intern Spotlight-Austin Watkins

Austin Watkins

Tax Department

Michigan State University — December 2020

Major: Accounting


Meet Austin Watkins, 2019 Tax Season intern working in the Tax Department. Austin currently attends Michigan State University and will graduate with his Bachelor’s and 150 credits in December 2020.

Austin is originally from Grand Rapids. Austin decided to intern with Maner after participating in the Live the Dream program in 2018 . He enjoyed the work environment and wanted to be a part of a firm that impacted the Lansing area. In his free time, Austin enjoys spending time with friends and family, playing board games, trying new foods and exploring new cities. Austin has a younger brother and a younger sister and he is engaged to be married at the end of July to his fiancé Jessica.

Why did you choose a career path in public accounting?

I decided to do public accounting because I wanted to gain a further understanding of how the accounting world works. I enjoy having a variety of tasks that make me use my critical thinking skills.

What has been your favorite thing about working at Maner Costerisan?

My favorite part about working at Maner would be how great of a learning environment it is. Everyone is willing to help you grow and become both a better employee and person.

What are your duties as an intern?

As an intern, I have worked on personal property taxes, affordable housing returns, and most recently 1040s.

What has been the most difficult aspect of your internship?

The most difficult aspect of my internship is that the work schedule is different than my school schedule.  Even though it’s difficult, everyone has been helpful during the transition.

What has been the most rewarding part of your internship?

The most rewarding part of my internship is knowing that I am making an impact on multiple people. To know that I am helping clients with their returns is what makes me excited to go to work every day.

Who have you gotten a chance to interact with during your internship? (ie clients, partners, etc)

I have gotten to interact with the majority of the tax staff and will begin to interact with clients to get more information for their 1040’s.

Have you had a lot of interaction with the other interns? Do you work together or independently the majority of the time?

As an intern group, we spend a lot of time together. Our returns are independent, but I know when I have a question, I can ask one of the interns for help. We also like to take a break together at the end of the week. Every Friday the interns and I try a new restaurant. This may not seem like much, but it helps everyone relax and take their mind off their work.

What advice or tips would you give to a new intern?

To not get overwhelmed, everyone knows you are learning so they will be there to help you when you have a question. Also, when it seems like you have a lot of work, set small goals so you don’t get too stressed.