2020 Best & Brightest: Kristin John, Boston University (Questrom)

Kristin John

Boston University, Questrom School of Business

Curious. Bold. Passionate. And for Smiles: Sugar, Spice, and Everything Nice.”

Fun fact about yourself: I have ridden both an elephant and a camel but never a horse.

Hometown: Hinsdale, IL

High School: Hinsdale Central High School

Major: Bachelor of Science in Business Administration & Bachelor of Arts in Economics

Minor: African American Studies

Favorite Business Course: SM 131: Business, Society, & Ethics

This was the first business course I had ever taken and it introduced me to the societal and ethical considerations business leaders must consider. We studied examples of companies within the last decade or two that have innovated or failed in these considerations (think Patagonia, Enron, Theranos, etc.). I walked away from this class with new perspectives on how businesses must consider all stakeholders if they want to succeed in the 21st century.

Extracurricular Activities, Community Work and Leadership Roles During College:

  • Questrom Business Honors Program
  • Beta Gamma Sigma Honor Society
  • Questrom Ascend Fellowship Mentor
  • Boston University Admissions Office Scarlet Speaker
  • Children’s Ministry Leader at Reality Boston
  • Non-Profit Board Fellow, Egleston Square Main Street
  • Questrom E-Host
  • SRI Conference Scholar

Where have you interned during your college career?

  • Goldman Sachs— Investment Management Summer Analyst, Salt Lake City, UT
  • KPMG—Global Corporate Citizenship Intern, London, UK
  • Pathstone—ESG & Impact Investing Intern, Boston, MA
  • SEWA (Self-Employed Women’s Association)—Business Consultant Intern, Ahmedabad, India

Where will you be working after graduation? I am still figuring it out but would like to pursue a career in ESG & Impact Investing.

Who is your favorite professor? I have had wonderful professors during my time at Questrom and BU, but Professor Matthew Reis who taught my SM131 Business, Society, & Ethics class really stands out as my favorite. Professor Reis was able to foster strong class discussions and stimulated students’ interest in the course material. I easily relate to Professor Reis and have benefitted from him sharing his industry experiences. He also helped me understand my skills, strengths, and weaknesses and how this would translate into the workplace. Thank you, Professor Reis, for being my advocate over these past four years!

What did you enjoy most about your business school? Questrom’s faculty and staff truly care about students’ success and actively promote it. My advisors here have gone out of their way to support and advocate for me. I had never had adults outside my family encourage me in this way before. I am truly grateful for this.

What advice would you give to a student looking to major in a business-related field? My advice would be to couple your in-class education with real-world examples as much as you can. Seek internships or projects outside of their classes to see how this can be applied in the real world. Challenge yourself in an industry or role you may not entirely comfortable in. You will learn more about what kind of company culture, or size where you are best fitted to succeed in.

What has surprised you most about majoring in business? I was surprised by how versatile a business degree is. Contrary to popular opinion, there is no one set path for a business student. I believe a business education provides a great framework for analysis that can be applied almost anywhere. I have classmates that have a wide range of career interests, from social entrepreneurship to software engineering!

Which academic, extracurricular or personal achievement are you most proud of? At 16 years old, I was elected to serve as the representative of Illinois and Eastern Iowa for Key Club International, a service leadership organization. We had over 10,000 members in our region and I was responsible for leading the district board of 40 students. We worked on charity initiatives with the Spastic Paralysis Research Foundation and UNICEF’s initiative to eliminate Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus. Balancing the weight and many responsibilities of this role was extremely challenging but opened my eyes to leadership, and especially what it means to be a woman in leadership. My time as Governor really solidified my decision to pursue business as I knew I wanted to further my studies in leadership.

Which classmate do you most admire? My peer, Chiebuka Onwuzurike, has always inspired me because of his go-getter approach to life. He started his own fashion brand, Polyman, during our freshman year. He has developed an online store, participated in fashion shows, and has recently expanded his brand to include digital media. I really admire Chiebuka’s passion and commitment to this venture. Most importantly, he took a large risk founding his own company in the midst of being an athlete and honors student at BU.

Who would you most want to thank for your success? I would like to thank my mom, first-and-foremost, for my success. Both of my parents have supported me every step of the way even when it was difficult for them to do so, but it has been particularly helpful to have a strong female role model to look up to in my mom. She is the first person I reach out to when I am unsure or in need of advice. She has always encouraged me to reach for the stars.

What are the top two items on your professional bucket list? I want to work and live abroad, perhaps in India or the U.K. again! Not only is there is so much to be gained from international work experiences, but I would like to expand my impact outside the boundaries of my home and comfort zone.

I also want to become an expert in my field.

What are your hobbies? First and foremost, I am quite the social butterfly. I have the most fun meeting people and sharing stories. I also enjoy traveling and engaging in new cultures. Going to school in downtown Boston is fantastic as it allows me to venture to different museums and restaurants! Can you call eating desserts a hobby?

What made Kristin such an invaluable addition to the Class of 2020?  

“Kristin’s passion for exploration, both personally and professionally, is beyond admirable. In order to further pursue her goals of creating opportunities for others, she is willing to take risks with her plan to focus on Impact Investing and Environmental, Social, and Governance issues. As her academic advisor for the Questrom School of Business Honors Program, I have been lucky enough to see her drive to put her plans into practice with contributions to building community through service– both within the Honors Program itself along with all of the fantastic work she has done in the Boston community. Kristin is the kind of student that you know will make positive changes in the world with her creativity and overall zest for life!”

Liz Katz
Assistant Director
Undergraduate Academic & Career Development Center
Boston University Questrom School of Business


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