Advice to Brown Students from an Alumni

I am currently on a gap year in Nashville, TN. Being in this city inspired me to network virtually to find Brown graduates and that’s how I met Eric Reuthe--a tech and business consultant running his own company. Eric inspires me with the control he has over his career and life, embarking on adventures such as taking a year off of working and living solely off his stock. He also went from self-employed to Vice President at a quantum computing company in the blink of an eye!  I wanted to share some of his advice through an interview because I know a lot of us are just starting to get a grasp of what we want in the future. 

  1. How did you choose Brown?

It has always had a great reputation and I had a couple of relatives that had graduated from Brown and loved it. I was also a rower in high school and wanted to be at a school that had a very competitive rowing program.

  1. What’s a memorable experience from your time at Brown?

I don’t think you could publish that, but one of my most memorable academic experiences was a metaphysics and epistemology seminar with Roderick Chisholm and how much excellent debate there was on some very specific questions that forced you to reconsider some fundamental assumptions about logic.

  1. What did you major in and what did you pursue after Brown and why?

I was a Philosophy major but can say that I probably had the equivalent of minors in History, Biology, and Economics. I came close to pursuing a Ph.D. in Philosophy of Science and that looked at doing a post-bacc and applying to medical school after working in the medical device industry for a few years. Ultimately, I decided to study Applied Computer Science.

  1. How did you know tech was right for you?

I knew tech was right for me because I loved immersing myself in it and working on projects and designing solutions. Staying current with technology was more of a passion than a vocation. I love the work that I do and it always felt natural to do it. 6 years after Brown I started my first tech company.

  1. What is your current position and job?

My current role is the VP of Engineering for Zapata Computing, a Quantum Computing software startup. I just started this year after being an independent consultant for over 7 years, as it was an opportunity to work with a lot of extremely talented and intelligent people in a collaborative setting.

  1. Any advice for undergrads at Brown right now?

Work hard, but pursue ideas and activities that feel less like work than others; play off your strengths. Don’t be attached to outcomes--you may end up in a place you least expect, but it may be the best place for you.


You can find Eric on LinkedIn: