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Name: Karina Flores

Current City: Suwanee, GA

Hometown: Suwanee, GA 

Occupation: Tax Accountant (I’m not boring, I promise!)

Born and raised in Georgia, Karina AKA K.Flo is an exceptional woman and all around badasss. Between being the first person in her family to go to college, landing the job of her dreams and being a ray of light to all she meets, it's a no-brainer that she's a phenomenal woman. When she's not at work, she's bonding with her loved ones or adventuring the great outdoors.  Heck, she'd live amongst Mother Nature if she could. 

So, we caught up with this modern day Wonder Woman and got a sneak peek at her story! 

Between graduating from UGA with an Undergrad in Accounting & MBA in Accounting - Specialization in Tax and working full-time at Frazier and Deeter, you're kicking ass and taking names. What attracted you to the world of numbers and the company you're employed with?
It all started when my dad forced me to take an accounting class as an elective in high school. Yeah, what sane person does that to their child?! We had a tough teacher, the kind you hear horror stories about. While everyone in the class was confused and hated it,  I actually enjoyed it. Thanks dad, I guess there was a method to your madness! As for what attracted me to F&D, it really was the people. I went to numerous recruiting events and met so many people but F&D stood out from the beginning! My co-workers are very patient with me and are always very approachable when I have questions.

What do you do to stay sane and how do you find the free time to enjoy your life?
It’s all about finding a balance and not burning yourself out. Burn out is so common, especially in the corporate world. Thankfully, I work for a company who understands the importance of work-life balance – we work hard but we play harder. During the busy season, we're expected to work late nights and extra hours, but after the busy season ends, they reward us with some much needed time off. It’s also really important to enjoy what you do and to appreciate the people you work with.  It makes all the difference in the world when you’re working those late nights.  

When I’m feeling overwhelmed, I have found that exercising and venting to close friends does wonders!

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If you hadn’t fallen into the world of accounting, what career path would you have followed?
If I hadn't fallen into accounting, I would have been a teacher. Even now I don't one hundred percent know accounting is what I want to do for the rest of my life. But that's okay! No one has it all figured out. As of right now, I'm very happy with the choices I've made, but if it ever gets to a point where I feel like I'm not learning or growing anymore, I will not settle. I always want to be growing - both professionally and personally. 

On a side note, I'd love to teach at a college level later in life. 

Let's talk aspirations, where would you love to be in five years? 
I'd love to be a mother of four dogs, living on my own and have my car paid off. I'd also like to travel the world and see myself advance in my career - I'm excited to see how much I'll learn. 

I have learned, no matter how carefully you plan out your life, it will not go as expected. I have a big picture idea of where I want to be, but I don't want to plan every detail. 

Discuss the importance of female friendships in your life.
Female friends are SO important as there are certain things only female friends understand. I can honestly say I would not be the person I am today if it wasn't for their constant support and brutal honesty. Women can be very judgemental towards one another, both in and out of the workplace. It's like we're constantly competing for who is the prettiest or the most successful or the one with the McMansion? Why? Why do we need to compare ourselves? We already have to deal with constant judgment from society, it's hard enough as is. Women need to be more supportive towards another, empower one another and build each other up, not down. 

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Who are some of your greatest influences?
My parents, my friends and my dog Chico are some of my greatest influences. My parents taught me the importance of working hard and remaining humble. I didn’t grow up wealthy by any means; however, we managed with what we had. My dedication has gotten me to where I am today, not my parents' name and not my parents' money. My parents didn’t pay for my college, my car, or pay my bills – I worked part-time in college to support myself because I didn’t want to burden them financially. They did, however, give me the things that mattered - love, support, encouragement and words of wisdom! My friends influenced me by always putting things in perspective and being there for me through anything. I’ve had highs and lows. When I say low, I mean total full-blown emotional breakdowns, especially during my college days and when I was studying for my CPA exams. It’s so important to have that support system. And my dog Chico gives me so much love when I am undeserving. Love that little man.

If you could have dinner with any woman in history, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
Demi Lovato. And no, it's not because she shares my birthday. She' is truly a strong and empowering woman. She holds herself well throughout the constant judgment and criticisms she receives from the press. I cannot even fathom living a life under the limelight and scrutiny related to fame. I'd love the opportunity to pick her brain. 

What are you grateful for?
I have a good life surrounded by the best family and friends anyone could ask for. I've, of course, struggled through some hard times because the odds really are against people who grew up in my situation. However, I honestly think if you want something bad enough, you can make it happen. You are in control of your life. I'm grateful to be healthy and that my loved ones are healthy. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to get an education and to land my dream job!

Quote to live by?
“There is no lemon so sour that you can’t make something resembling lemonade.”
If you watch This Is Us, you understand(: But really, we have one shot at this life. We have control over our lives for the most part, but there are somethings that we cannot control. Life is not fair, bad things happen to good people, and sometimes it feels like we can never catch a break. I just want you to know that you will make it through. Make the most of your circumstances because time is so precious and it’s something you can never get back.