Two Masters of Accounting: Christine Holmes (Ernst & Young) and Professor Kathy Krawczyk

Accounting isn’t just debits and credits; it’s a dynamic profession that is constantly changing. In this episode, hear Poole College graduate and Ernst & Young Senior Partner Christine Holmes (’88) and Professor Kathy Krawczyk discuss what drew them to accounting and how the industry has changed over their careers.

Christine Holmes (’88) is a senior partner at EY.

Kathy Krawczyk is a Department Head and Dixon Hughes Goodman Professor of Accounting in the Poole College of Management.


Jenny Hammond: I’m really excited about our conversation today, I’m even more excited that we have two women in the accounting industry to talk about all good things about accounting, but I’d love to find out a little bit more about how you each got here.

And so, Kathy, maybe you could give us a little bit of a 30,000-foot view. You started on the firm side, but then you migrated over to teaching and higher ed. So tell us what drew you over to higher ed and perhaps kind of what you’ve loved most about being in this role.

Kathy Krawczyk: Well, I, I actually started in accounting because I was good in math, in high school, you know? And it seemed like an appealing option. And nowadays, everybody laughs because you don’t need to be good at math to be an accountant, you need to be much better in terms of people. But I, you know, I took a class in high school in accounting and because it fit into my schedule and ended up enjoying it a lot and enjoyed my classes in college, went into public accounting in St. Louis. and really enjoyed the time. 

I ended up being the most experienced woman in my department of 50 people after four years. And so there’s not a lot of mentoring from above and I, and my good friends basically wandered off and went and took other jobs. So it kind of left me solo in there, and I never thought I would actually take the route of going into academia at all when I first graduated. Uh, as a matter of fact, I had an old boyfriend who had our lives planned and he was going to go be the, you know, college professor. We both needed to do that. And I’m like, no, no, I’m going to be partnering an accounting firm, which has kind of funny now.

Jenny: Happens, right? Yeah.

Kathy: It does kind of happen. So I, I think that kind of stayed in the back of my mind and, you know, four years in, when I decided it was time to do something a little different, I actually applied for a job at one of the colleges around the St. Louis area and got a job and taught there for a couple of years and really, really, really enjoyed it and decided to go back to school and get my PhD and then go into academics. So that’s why I’m where I am right now.

Jenny: What do you love most about being in this role?

Full Episode Transcript

The Poole Podcast is hosted by Jenny Hammond, the CMO at Poole College. This is a production of Earfluence.

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