Asking Thoughtful Questions

August 31, 2015

Since Anna-Lisa Bowans ’12 graduated from Grinnell, she:

  • spent a year in Bangalore, India, on a social enterprise fellowship
  • worked for a for-profit, social enterprise company in Berkeley, Calif., and
  • recently moved into the tech industry

“The biggest skills that I got out of going to Grinnell were communication skills — verbal and written — and being able to ask really intelligent and thoughtful questions,” Bowans says. She now works for Localytics, a Boston-based company that helps developers of mobile and web apps.

Bowans’ role is to work with start-up and growth customers in a position that did not exist prior to her hiring. She’s excited to be working in an app-focused company that is “on the cutting edge, and very much a thought leader in the space,” she says.

“Every assignment I had at Grinnell was about critical thinking and asking questions,” Bowans says. “That has been key for me in my job. The skills that I got from Grinnell were not necessarily ones I recognized as skills when I graduated. But the longer I spend in the workforce, the more I realize that the training and development I got at Grinnell were invaluable.”

Bowans also credits some of her extracurricular opportunities for her career success, including initiating a Hindi language program and her internship with a local non-profit, the Ahrens Foundation.

“Leadership opportunities at Grinnell gave me confidence and experience in public speaking,” she says, “and in speaking with people of different backgrounds to accomplish my goals. I also learned to prioritize and balance competing demands, and this has been key for being effective in a start-up environment.”

Eventually, Bowans envisions a future that weaves in her different experiences. “I would love to move into social enterprise that works in mobile or in big data,” she says. “That is on the horizon for me.”

Anna-Lisa Bowans ’12 majored in economics with a concentration in global development studies. She works as an account manager for Localytics in its San Francisco office.

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