Spotlight on Social Sciences Alumni: Eric Weissmann

Name: Eric Weissmann
Occupation: Director of Operations at Specialized Information Publishing Company
Education (UR and additional): B.A. in Political Science, University of Rochester, 2010
Current city/state of residence: Arlington, VA (Washington, DC Metro Area)

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

One resource that I did not use until my senior year is the career center.  I worked with Emily Carpenter who helped my carefully navigate the job application process.  She helped keep me on track, making sure I was always on schedule for interviews and applications.  Importantly, I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to do after college when I first met with Emily.  She helped me think through my options to ensure that I wasn’t limiting myself. I’m very happy with where I ended up, and I give Emily and the career center a lot of credit for that.

Who were your mentors while you were on campus? Have you continued those relationships?

I’m sure I have too many mentors to name here, but I will mention a few.  Laura Ballou and Anne-Marie Algier in Wilson Commons Student Activities were both integral to my education. They taught me how to approach problems and how to navigate the University. Cam Schauf, Director of University Dining and Auxiliary Operations, really understands people and was always there to help me work through a problem.  Emily Carpenter in the career center helped keep me on track through the job application process.  The list could go on, but I’ll stop there.

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

After graduation, I went to work at a company called Columbia Books & Information Services, a publisher of online and print information about the government relations and trade association communities.  I had interned there for a few summers in college, so it was an easy transition back.  Although I applied and interviewed for a number of different jobs in different industries, I ended up back at this company.  However, it was very important for me to interview at other companies as well, because I don’t have any questions or regrets about ending up back here.  I learned how valuable the internship experience is, as it shaped my post-college career.

How are you still connected with the University?

I try to stay involved with UR as much as possible.  I’m a member of the Young Alumni Council, and we plan a number of events throughout the year in DC (happy hours, baseball games, etc.).  It’s a great way to bring all the DC Young Alumni together.  I also interview prospective students through the UR Involved program.  This helps me get an idea of the pulse of students coming into the University, and selfishly lets me brag about how great it is to be a Yellowjacket. I come back to campus every Meliora Weekend (and plan to do so forever…). I keep in touch with my friends on campus, both staff and students. And I work with a fellow UR alum, so we clearly talk about UR every day!

What advice do you have for current students?

When I was on campus, the advice I would give to incoming freshman was to do everything. While I still would encourage you to get involved with every activity and group that you are interested in, I would add a disclaimer: do everything, but find time for your friends.  It’s such a unique environment to live, study and work right next to all of your closest friends.  Although I do keep in touch with my friends from UR, I often miss being able to sit at my desk and just shout their name, or walk up a flight of stairs and sit on their couch.  Make sure to spend time with your friends, because they’re the people that you will stay in touch with forever.