Corrigan Krause is proud to announce Christine Eichmuller is a 2022 Smart Women Award Progressive Woman Honoree! The Progressive Woman category asked how Christine rose through the ranks over her career, and what challenges she faced – and overcame – along the way.
Christine Eichmuller joined Corrigan Krause in 1999 as an intern and clearly remembers meeting Corrigan Krause employees who had been in the accounting industry of years. She thought she’d never make it that long, but 23 years later, not only is Christine still in the accounting industry, she’s a director in the tax department and leads the internship program at Corrigan Krause. Christine has more than overcome obstacles in her years as an accountant and mentor; she has developed persevered through multiple life-altering milestones to achieve her goals and help others achieve their own.
As an intern at Corrigan Krause, Christine’s anxiety dissipated as she worked closely with her mentors who helped her see her path in public accounting. She realized accounting went so far beyond filing tax returns and that she’d be able to help clients by building relationships with them and guide them through strategic tax strategies to achieve their goals.
After two years as an intern, Christine’s plate became increasingly full. Upon graduation, she was hired on as a full time associate at Corrigan Krause. Great news for any new graduate, but for Christine, she was also balancing getting married and preparing to take the four extensive parts to the CPA licensing exam. Shortly after her wedding, as she was starting to study for the CPA exam and working full time, Christine was thrilled to learn she’d soon be earning the title of Mom – along with everything else.
It was exceptionally challenging to start a family, work full time, and study for the CPA exam, but Christine never gave up. The leaders at Corrigan Krause recognized Christine’s dedication and potential, supporting Christine’s path to earning her CPA license by covering the tuition for a CPA review course. It was about now that Christine became a coffee drinker – brewing a pot just before putting her first son to bed so she might stay up just a bit later studying for the intense CPA exam.
Countless pots of coffee later, Christine was ready to take the last section of the CPA exam when she was seven months pregnant with her second son. The proctor was very concerned about her going into labor during the exam, but Christine was determined to take the section she’d spent so many late nights studying and preparing for. “You CPA candidates are crazy,” the proctor said after Christine assured him that she would not have her baby during the exam.
Christine celebrated earning her CPA license in 2008 – a few weeks after safely delivering her son in a hospital, not a classroom. During the years she worked, studied for the CPA exam, and took care of two small children, Christine learned so much more than what the CPA exam asked of her. She learned that her focus, determination, and humor could not only help her through challenging situations, but that she could also leverage those skills in mentoring new accountants joining the industry. Christine was promoted to Senior Associate in 2009 and rose through the ranks at Corrigan Krause from Supervisor in 2013, to Manager in 2014, to Senior Manager in 2018, and Director in 2020.
As a manager in 2014, Christine began her involvement with the Corrigan Krause internship program. She never forgot what it was like joining a public accounting firm as an accounting student, the overwhelming feeling that you’ll never be able to keep up with the constant changes in the tax code or develop a rapport with clients. Christine wanted to build on what her mentors at Corrigan Krause had done for her – support and inspire their careers through all of life’s changes.
As the lead of the Corrigan Krause internship program, Christine took her passion for mentoring young accountants and carved out a unique career path in the accounting industry. She and her team connect interns with current staff members so the interns have one-on-one support as they learn how to apply what they’ve learned in the college classes in the real world. Her favorite part of every year is the end of busy season, not because her professional life goes form turbo speed back to a more steady cadence, but because she’s able to take a step back and really appreciate how much the interns have grown and learned in a few months.
Under Christine and the internship program team, the vast majority of Corrigan Krause interns who complete as season accept an offer to either extend their internship or sign on as full-time employees. Christine took an overwhelming period of her life, starting a career and a family and studying for one of the most intensive professional licensing exams simultaneously, and carved a path to support others as they take on the accounting industry and build their lives.