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The Carletonian

Where are they now? Alumni Update

<ong>Name: Brian Klaas ’08

Major: International Relations/History

What are you doing: Working as Policy Director for former U.S. Senator Mark Dayton’s campaign for Governor of Minnesota

Activities you were involved in at Carleton: Ebony II, the Carleton Progressive, broomball, cycling, ManDance Social Captain

What was the best/worst part about the after you left Carleton?
I had no clue what to do after graduation, so without any set plans, I hopped on a plane to New Zealand 36 hours after the commencement ceremony. Along with two of my senior year roommates, we transplanted three-fifths of our Davis 314 quint to the South Pacific.  I worked first as a bartender at an Irish pub for minimum wage and later got a salaried job working as an analyst with the New Zealand Ministry of Health.  I even met Barrie Osborne, the 1966 Carleton grad who produced the Lord of Rings films.

It was an adventure, which was the best part of the year after I left Carleton.  Obviously, I had trouble keeping in touch with friends who were 9,000 miles away in the U.S., which was tough, but it was an unforgettable experience so I’m glad I did it.

That being said, adapting to the “real world” isn’t a seamless transition.  When I returned from my time abroad, there were plenty of new stressors, and social life wasn’t (and will never be) built-in so easily as it is at Carleton. 

The best advice I can give is to take advantage of the fact that you can do things like move to New Zealand when you’re 23 but you probably can’t when you’re 40 and have a family.  Have an adventure, big or small, and try to be at peace with the fact that the first year after Carleton might be a bit of a bumpy ride that will probably work out just fine in the end.

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