Spotlight on Humanities and Natural Sciences Alumni: Allison Goldstein
Education (UR and additional): BA: English, Brain & Cognitive Science
Current city/state/country of residence: Jersey City, NJ
Current Community activities: Jersey City Writers Group, Gotham City Runners
Why did you choose to attend the University of Rochester?
I was drawn to the flexibility of the curriculum. I didn’t quite know whether I would major in English or something in the sciences—as it turned out, I was able to do both!—so I wanted the ability to explore lots of subjects before making my decision. University of Rochester’s curriculum gave me that freedom.
When and how did you choose your major(s)?
I knew from the outset that I would major in English, but I was also interested in science, particularly in Biology. However, after my first full semester of hearing from both students and the professor himself that introductory Biology classes were designed to weed out anyone who wasn’t going on to med school, I shifted my plan and decided to try a cluster in Brain & Cognitive Science. As it turned out, I loved those courses so much, I ended up double-majoring!
What did you do immediately after graduation? How did you decide to take this path?
Immediately after graduation, I accepted an internship with This Old House Magazine and moved to New York City. Time Inc, the parent company, was undergoing a hiring freeze, so I applied to other publishing companies around the city until ultimately, I was hired at Wiley as an editorial assistant, working on neuroscience journals.
What do you do now and why did you choose this career?
I am currently an Associate Marketing Manager at Wiley. I market life science books, which are mostly monographs written by scientists for scientists, with a few lower-level textbooks and “science self help” books thrown into the mix. I chose to move from an editorial job working on scientific journals to a marketing job working on books because there is a certain “sameness” to working on academic journals that gets a little monotonous. A books frontlist changes every year, with new books publishing every month, so it is a more interesting and dynamic product to work on.
How you are still connected with the University?
I donate my time, rather than my money, in order to give back to the University of Rochester. Over the last two years, I have volunteered to conduct alumni interviews with prospective students during recruitment season. This gives me the opportunity to help both prospective students and also to promote the University of Rochester. I also participate in most other “networking” opportunities—like this one!—that can help prospective and enrolled students make choices about the future.
What advice do you have for current students?
If you have the chance to study abroad, take it. Studying at the University of Sussex for 6 months was probably my favorite experience in all 4 of my years as an undergraduate. You will learn so much about yourself as a person that you simply cannot learn while living on the same college campus in the same country where you grew up. I have never met one person who regrets their time abroad.