Lorraine McIntire, Tax Director, Lynda.com

Spring 2014

Interview with Lorraine McIntire, Tax Director, Lynda.com

-by Kara Virji-Gaidhar, MST Student

Ms. Lorraine McIntire graciously agreed to an interview, and we met for an hour on March 3rd, 2014, a busy month during which she completed her transition from the former role of Tax Director at Responsys, Inc., a marketing cloud software and services company, to the new role of Tax Director at Lynda.com, an online educational content and training company. I was immensely pleased to meet Ms. McIntire in San Bruno, CA., at the headquarters of Responsys, Inc., which has now been acquired by Oracle Corporation.

With over two decades of a highly successful tax career track record in both public accounting and in industry, Ms. McIntire has valuable advice to offer prospective and current MST students.

During our meeting, we discussed a wide range of issues, and the three most important issues that relate to MST students included the importance of networking and mentorship, having an entrepreneurial spirit, and developing an informed global technological view.

Ms. McIntire recommends professional networking and mentorship as valuable activities to advance career development. She recalls a pivotal interaction in her mid-twenties with a career counselor that changed the direction of her life. She met with Dr. Schuleke, an economics professor, and as her career mentor, he inspired her to study Economics at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo. During her undergraduate years at Cal Poly, a friend in her professional network provided her with additional important advice. At the time, Ms. Elaine Frietas, who was employed on the tax recruiting team of Coopers and Lybrand, advised her to take accounting electives, and Ms. McIntire acted on her friend’s valuable advice. Upon graduating from Cal Poly, Ms. McIntire landed a tax associate position at Coopers and Lybrand, and applauds the advice and mentorship provided by both her professor and friend.

Ms. McIntire’s tax career launched at the public accounting firm Coopers and Lybrand, a company that is currently known as Pricewaterhouse Coopers. While working there, she enrolled at San Jose State University (SJSU) for about three years, emerged as an alumna with her graduating class, outfitted with a MST diploma. She next eagerly embarked on a six-year relationship with a second public accounting firm Deloitte, where she intrepidly advanced to a tax management role. After spending over a decade in public accounting, Ms. McIntire decided to offer her professional tax expertise to multi-national publicly traded corporations in both high-tech and e-commerce industries. With her foot decisively on the pedal of her tax career and at full speed, she has traversed into the exquisite present complexities of taxation in e-commerce companies. Because of her positive experiences she suggests that MST students consider working in public accounting. Public accounting firms generally provide vigorous environments where MST graduates can develop best practices, learn with peers and mentors, grow horizontally across many areas, and develop a solid foundational knowledge base in taxation.

Ms. McIntire attributes her success as a tax professional to her spirit of entrepreneurship, a spirit that MST students are encouraged to emulate. Over the span of her impressive tax career, she has assumed numerous managerial positions, and each has been successfully directed with a strong sense of ownership. She shares that she manages her tax departments with care and describes herself as a full-charge person who runs her departments as though they were her own business. The spirit of entrepreneurship affects her corporate tax management style and performance and her decisions involving employee retention and advancement, time management, budgeting, and her winning relationship with executive teams. With a spirit of entrepreneurship, MST students can demonstrate and prove their ability to meet results and in time will develop a confidence in their tax expertise.

MST students will enhance their career potential by maintaining a global view with a technological twist. Ms. McIntire noted that tax careers in the San Francisco Bay Area are usually challenging, involve technology, media, and global issues, and often require decisions that move lightening fast. Tax can be viewed as a tool that aides a business to further enhance its products in international markets. In 2013, as the Director of Tax at Responsys, Inc., she successfully established three overseas subsidiaries, one of which was situated in Germany where she made possible the closure of four lucrative business deals. She further notes that the practice of international taxation is prevalent in many companies that are located in the Silicon Valley.

MST students and tax professionals should stay current with technological developments. Ms. McIntire was initially sponsored to join the Tax Executives Institute, Inc., (TEI) as a member and she attended tax seminars and networking events. TEI became her bridge to staying current with technological developments in taxation. Through collaboration with Ms. Annette Nellen, Director of the SJSU MST Program, she has been instrumental in establishing the program that enables MST student attendance at many SJSU/TEI professional tax seminars. Ms. McIntire was the recent president of the Santa Clara Valley chapter of TEI and continues to participate in several committees on the national level. Reflecting on her eight years of recent volunteer involvement, she shares that she has developed professionally, especially as a public speaker, and she has grown as a person.

Ms. McIntire is passionate about her career in taxation and highly recommends the SJSU MST program to prospective students.

 Lorraine McIntire and Kara Virji-Gaidhar