When Maia Bowen got in trouble as a little girl, her mother didn’t take away her TV time or toys when she was grounded — she took away her books.
Bowen has been reading everything and anything since she can remember. If she forgot to bring a book somewhere, she would find a menu or a cereal box to read – anything to transport her mind to a different world, even if it was just the world of Cinnamon Toast Crunch.
“Whenever I went through a hard time as a child, I could step into a different world,” Bowen said. “When I become a publisher, I want to share those worlds with people who feel like reading is the only thing they have.”
A Passion Nurtured
As Bowen approached college, selecting a major proved to be an easy choice. With the dream of becoming a publisher someday, Bowen chose a bachelor’s degree in English and minors in marketing and management. But while her major choice was simple, Bowen had some doubts and fears about attending college as a first-generation student. She was the first in her family to step into college directly out of high school, and the “step” felt more like a giant leap.
Much to her surprise, Bowen found college to be exactly what she needed, both academically and personally. She experienced a wealth of support from her mom and the campus community. And in terms of preparing for her career, she couldn’t have been more pleased with her experience. Her courses for her bachelor’s degree in English explored thought-provoking topics, afforded her mentor-relationships with her professors, and connected her with a plethora of opportunities on and off campus. Bowen thrived as a student.
Even during her senior year, when Bowen faced three deaths in her family and back-to-back surgeries, she continued to work hard in her classes and pour herself into her senior thesis. Her passion didn’t go unnoticed.
Around this time, Bowen ran into one of her former professors, Jacqueline Schram, at the student involvement office one day. “We ended up talking about my senior thesis,” Bowen remembered. “When she saw how much I loved my topic, she decided to come to the presentation.”
After the presentation, Schram approached Bowen and shared that she thoroughly enjoyed it and that her love for English was evident.
“I’m inspired by Maia’s passion for literature,” Schram said. “Not only does her passion awaken my desire to read more, but it reminds me of the reality of human experience reflected in the pages of literature.”
Looking back, Bowen claims, “I never felt so secure in my major until that moment.”
New Beginnings, Familiar Place
As her senior year came to an end, Bowen looked around at the strong relationships she had built at Grace, and she knew she couldn’t leave yet.
After Bowen graduated with her bachelor’s degree in English, she was offered a position as an assistant resident director at Grace which allowed her to pursue an MBA degree online tuition free.
With a Master’s in Business Administration, Bowen is making headway on her path to becoming a publisher, as the publishing world has become an increasingly corporate environment. Many publishing house heads today either have or are working toward an MBA.
But in the same breath, Bowen would tell you she is still keeping her future career options open.
“I still have dreams of becoming a publisher, but I also have thought about starting a nonprofit organization someday,” she said as she considered her future steps. “The main thing that Grace has instilled in me is to look to God and seek his guidance before pursuing one plan.”
A life-long book enthusiast, Bowen is walking toward her publishing dream with both confidence and openness to God’s guidance.
This is the way of Grace. – from grace.edu