Lori Feathers ’90 Lib is the co-owner and principal book buyer for Interabang Books a large, independent bookstore in Dallas, Texas, which she opened after retiring from a legal career in 2017. After Lori earned her Bachelor of Arts degree with honors in Russian from Penn State’s College of the Liberal Arts in 1990 where she was Phi Beta Kappa, she earned a Juris Doctorate degree and a Master’s degree in international affairs, both from American University in Washington DC in 1993. Upon graduating she took a job at the US Department of Commerce’s International Trade Administration, and during her tenure she traveled extensively throughout the former Soviet Union—spending time in 13 of the 15 former Soviet republics--as a member of various delegations working on US trade and investment issues in the region. After four years at the Department of Commerce, Lori was hired as an international oil and gas attorney by Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO) and moved to Dallas, Texas. While at ARCO Lori chaired negotiations with companies such as Rosneft, Lukoil, and the Georgian State Oil Company for billion-dollar oil exploration and infrastructure deals, accumulating lots of frequent flier miles in meetings with officials in Moscow and Tbilisi. When ARCO was acquired by British Petroleum in 2000, Lori joined the corporate law firm of Haynes and Boone in Dallas as an international attorney. In 2005 she was hired by Dallas-based independent oil and gas producer Pioneer Natural Resources as its Associate General Counsel for International Business.
In addition to owning and running Interabang Books, Lori is a writer and a published book critic and was elected by her peers to serve two terms on the Board of the National Book Critics Circle, a national organization of book reviewers and publishing professionals. As a Board member she sits on the jury for the annual National Book Critics Circle awards. She is also Chair and Founder of the Republic of Consciousness Prize for Small Presses, a literary prize that supports the work of small publishers in the United States and Canada. In addition to reading books and writing about them, Lori enjoys a full life in Dallas with Kelem, her partner of 26 years, and their English bulldog, Botero.
In this episode, Lori shares her insights on:
· Handling world changes that directly impact your major – like the fall of the Soviet Union
· Coming to college from a rural, small town and starting at a Commonwealth Campus
· Discovering passions and career interests in general education courses and deciding on a career in law
· Working for the government, private industry, and private law firms
· What it’s like moving far away from home after college – or law school
· Learning a new industry to be an effective lawyer
· Strategies for networking
· Tips for students pursuing travel intensive careers
· The differences between confidence and competence
· How to know when to call it a day on career #1 and pivot to something new
· How to position yourself as a business against the giants
· An inside look at what it’s like being a bookstore owner and book buyer
· Ways to be involved in the literary community without being an author
· Tackling childhood activities as an adult hobby
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Credits & Notes:
This content is available in text form here.
This show is hosted, produced, and edited by Sean Goheen ‘11 Lib (Schreyer).
The artwork was created by Tom Harrington, the College’s Web Developer.
The sound effect is “Chinese Gong,” accessed via SoundBible used under Creative Commons License.
The theme music is “Conquest” by Geovane Bruno, accessed via Pixabay and used under Creative Commons License.