By Kaine Korzekwa
A master’s degree in computer sciences at UW–Madison took Camille Fournier all the way to the Big Apple, where she’s currently the chief technology officer at a company revolutionizing the personal fashion industry.
After finishing her master’s degree in 2005, Fournier was set on getting to New York City — and that’s exactly what she did. She first took a job at Goldman Sachs as an engineer in their risk analysis groups. After a while there she wanted more of a leadership role, which led to her job at Rent the Runway.
“I had a great time at Goldman Sachs for about six and a half years, really becoming a better engineer and manager,” Fournier says. “Then I started at Rent the Runway managing a team of engineers, where I am now the chief technology officer. It’s been great to be in technical leadership at a smaller and growing company. I’ve helped our team grow from 15 to about 65 engineers.”
Rent the Runway is a company that rents designer dresses and accessories to women instead of them buying an expensive dress to only wear once. There, Fournier is the executive leader of the technology division.
“My job is really making sure that we are building the right tech systems to support both the current business as well as the future of the business,” she explains, adding she enjoys this part of her career after finding she didn’t really enjoy research in graduate school. “Because it’s such a small company, I also work to set the company culture through career building and recruiting and interviewing processes.”
“I like to think about how technology can make businesses possible, can make them grow, can make them evolve, or can make them more efficient.”
Fournier is a big proponent of workplace diversity. While pushing for ideas like gender, racial, and economic diversity, she also likes to cultivate groups of engineers where maybe some have computer science degrees and some don’t.
“I have found that what I really enjoy is a combination of business and technology, so I consider myself a businesswoman, who happens to be a really good engineer,” she says.