Spotlight on Natural Sciences and Humanities Alumni: Emily Brandon

Name: Emily Brandon
Age: 29
Occupation: Senior Editor, U.S. News & World Report
Education: B.A. Brain and Cognitive Science and B.A. in English, University of Rochester, 2004.
Current city/state of residence Menlo Park, CA
Family: Married, 3-year-old daughter


When and how did you choose your major?

I came to UR wanting to become a science writer. I double majored in Brain and Cognitive Science and English so that I would have a background in both science and journalism.

What activities were you involved in as a student and what did you gain from them?

I worked in a science lab for all four years at UR. It was fascinating conducting experiments, helping to get the work published in journals, and eventually seeing the research help to make people’s lives better. I highly recommend getting involved in the scientific research that goes on at UR.

What resources did you use on campus that you recommend current students use?

The Career Center helped me to apply for the Time Inc. Editorial Internship Program. It was an amazing experience to spend a summer in New York city helping to do research for the editors at Parenting Magazine.

What skills, tools, or knowledge from your major have been most useful to you since graduation?

I did an independent study my sophomore year in freelance writing. I wrote articles and a variety of different cover letters and spent a semester pitching them to magazines and newspapers.

What did you do immediately after graduation? How did you decide to take that path?

I took an internship at Consumer Reports magazine. I wanted to get some more experience working at a magazine, which I hoped would lead me to a full time job as a magazine writer.

What advice do you have for current students?

The skills I learned through the Certificate in Management Studies program have been very useful to me in my career. Taking some coursework in statistics, economics, and computer science is likely to be helpful no matter what field you go into.