GBWC Featured Profile

Kristin Fowler

Wheaton Class of '95

by Cynthia L. Rodday '92
August 2011

A liberal arts degree can open many doorways. Often graduates end up in careers unrelated to their fields of study. One example is Kristin Fowler ’95, who majored in English Literature with an Art History minor, who became a research analyst at Bain Capital.

Kristin chose to study English Literature and Art History because “reading was one of my absolute favorite things and my parents took me to New York about once a month to different museums as a child.” When she left college, it made sense to get her first professional job as an assistant to the owner of a contemporary art gallery in SoHo. Her love of art and her minor in Art History prepared her well for this position. Eventually she became a wholesale and premium sales representative for DK Publishing. The skills she honed in the publishing industry led to a position as marketing manager for the hardcover imprint at Simon & Schuster. Kristin created a wider visibility for Simon & Schuster books for such authors as Hunter S. Thomson, Mary Higgins Clark, and David McCullough. Her duties included proofreading, bringing blow-up book jackets to store windows, and occasionally speaking with the authors.

During her tenure at Simon & Schuster, the publishing industry began to change, and initial print runs were cut. Electronic books were starting to take shape, especially with the release of Stephen King’s book “Riding the Bullet” in 2000. King not only set the precedent for releasing an electronic book, he published it completely independent of a large publishing firm. Due to the changing publishing landscape, she moved into a new direction—entering the Graduate School of Library and Information Science at Simmons College in 2004. Through the graduate program, she analyzed information needs, utilized various tools and technologies in library science, and created ways for information resources to become more accessible to the public. During this time, Kristin became a Rare Book Paraprofessional at the Boston Public Library and was one of ten recipients for the 2005 Kay Bader Memorial Scholarship from the Massachusetts Library Association. She received her Masters of Library Science (MLS) degree in 2005.

While “the MLS and my research positions at the Boston Public Library definitely ‘qualified’ me to do research at Bain Capital,” Kristin knew there was still much to learn. As with any new position, there are specific ways things are done, and an individual needs to adjust to the nuances of the company. A Bain Capital analyst provides research services across the company by gathering and filtering information to provide value to the work conducted by staff. “I absolutely love my job at Bain. It’s been the best position I’ve had to date and the best fit for me professionally.”

This year, Kristin participated in the Artists inContext’s Connected and Consequential Conference in June 2011. The group brings together artists and creative thinkers to consider new ways of representing and acting upon important issues of our time. With her degrees and background as a librarian, Kristin shared with the audience ways to locate quality, authoritative information.

As graduates all discover, the degree you receive from Wheaton will direct you in surprising ways along your career path, just like it did for Kristin. “My Wheaton major and minor were definite indicators of where I would ultimately end up career-wise.”