Alum networks in the U.S.

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Florida state’s college performance metrics knock New College because many of its alumni find jobs out of state. In this spread, the Tangent talked to a few alumni who live in some of the most cities for post-Novo life.


Alex Wyllie (’12) moved to Austin after graduating from New College in 2014 to do marketing at IBM.

What was your AOC? Art & Economics

Favorite thing about where you live? The foodtrucks & music! All different types of both here!

Least favorite thing about where you live? The traffic, it can sometimes take me 40min-1hr to get home from work

Advice for NCF graduates who are thinking of moving to Austin? Do you like craft beer? Being outside? Live music & music festivals? Interested in working in tech? Come to Austin!

San Francisco

Stephanie Larumbe graduated from New  College in 2013 with a degree in Biological Psychology.

David Smith graduated in 2014 with a degree in Economics.

Matthew Klinkel graduated in 2014 with a degree in Psychology with slashes in Spanish Language and Culture and Chinese Language and Culture.

Roger Filmyer graduated in 2013 with a degree in Economics and International Studies.

Where do you work/what are you doing?

Larumbe: After my AmeriCorps term ended, I was hired on as a Clinical Programs Assistant, at the Center for Youth Wellness, a pediatric mental health clinic that works with children with Adverse Childhood Experiences. I do a variety of things, from patient scheduling and developmental screenings on children 0-3, to teaching infant massage classes and providing psycho-education to patients around ACES and toxic stress.

Smith: I currently work as a Human Resources Coordinator for Meals On Wheels in San Francisco.

Klinkel: I found a job at the University of California San Francisco at a brand new multidisciplinary autism clinic. It’s called the Service Treatment Advocacy Research (STAR) Center. I’m a clinical assistant. There’s a million things to do cause we’re so new and equally emphasize clinical care and research.

Filmyer: I work at a company called Turo, which I describe to people as the “AirBnB of Cars”. I’m a Data Analyst, so I work with data and statistics to visualize trends in Turo’s marketplace.

Describe your living situation?

Larumbe: I am currently living in a tiny two bedroom apartment with my Fiancé David (also a NCF alumni), and roommates Matt Klinkel (NCF) and Stephen (not NCF). We have a nice back yard, a gorgeous kitchen, and pay ridiculously high rent (though it’s reasonable by SF standards).

Klinkel: I lived in a crazy warehouse the first 6 months. Warehouses are pretty common in california, you basically take a huge open space for really cheap and build it into an artsy super cool party/chill space. It had swinging couches, tiki bars, home movie theaters the like

but it was “expensive.” It was $1200 for a month’s rent – actually pretty cheap given it was in the the Mission District and you had tons of amenities and your own room. Now I live a little bit further south and share a room with an ex gay porn star for $640 a month each.

Filmyer: I live in an apartment in Nob Hill, and I have 3 Craigslist roommates and a dog. $1500 a month for my room.

Favorite thing about San Francisco?

Larumbe: This city has everything: amazing food (seriously I could eat out at a different place every night), amazing gyms and studios, culture, art, beaches, mountains, wineries… you name it! I honestly never get bored around here.

Smith: San Francisco is a dreamer’s city that attracts people from all walks of life who believe that they can create something new and better and who love to talk to you about ideas and aspirations.

Klinkel: Well it’s split, I joined a gay frisbee league with 60 or so guys and it’s tons of fun. I’ve made tons of friends with it and learned what it’s like to really have lots of options that match my sexuality. I also like that I have a medical marijuana card and it’s totally legal.

Filmyer: It’s got a really great/geeky social scene, and the weather is constantly 60° all the time!

Least favorite thing about SF?

Larumbe: The housing prices, and the wage gap. I work with underserved communities and as an AmeriCorps, I was living at poverty level, so I learned first hand how difficult it is to live in this city. Even now that I am working at a decent wage, it’s pretty tough to save.

Smith: Parking Tickets. I have paid over a thousand dollars in parking tickets in the last year. How could this happen you might ask? Well for a start, a ticket can range from $60 to $200+ and towing is $600. Secondly, the city has a lot of unique parking rules so if you don’t pay careful attention to where you park, you might park in one of these spots and be towed. For every parking spot in the city there are five cars trying to get it. Enough said.

Advice for NCF graduates moving to SF?

Larumbe: Get a job before you get here. It’s a tough economy out here, and while you can get by doing odd jobs for a while, this city quickly drains anything you may have in your bank account. I came here with a job, and a decent amount of savings and it was still extremely difficult financially starting out.

Smith: Contact the NCF Alumni department. They can connect you to the massive body of alumni here in the city and if you have a defined career goal they can probably get you in touch with alumni who are already in your field. Use your skills or resources to get a quick temporary job if need be. Do you have a car or handy man skills? Do task rabbit. Are you outgoing? Pick-up a retail job down on union square. Something to keep your head above water while you find the job you really want.

Filmyer: Honestly if you’re not trying to get into tech there are better, cheaper cities to hit up. It’s nice, but so is Portland, Seattle, or Santa Cruz.

Anything you’d like to add?

Larumbe: I love love love the New College community around here. I’ve attended a few reunions, and regularly hang out with fellow alumni, and I’m routinely struck by how interacting with any of the alumni makes me feel immediately at ease and at home.  

Klinkel: Once I was in a club with my new college shirt on and Liz Berman (a 30-or-so-year-old alum living in the East Bay) came out of the bathroom stall, saw my shirt and screamed, “You’re from New College!”

Washington, D.C.

Elizabeth Burger (‘09) graduated in 2013 and moved to Washington, D.C. to attend graduate school at Georgetown’s School of Foreign Service.

What was your AOC? History – Modern Europe

What are you up to now? I’m pursuing a master’s degree in European studies with a certificate in refugee and humanitarian emergencies. I also work as a research assistant for a professor of government, where I assist in editing the academic journal, German Politics and Society.

What’s your favorite and least favorite thing about where you live? There are all sorts of organizations that are constantly having events. D.C. has great energy because so much happens here, and everyone is in a constant, progressive dialogue. My least favorite part of living here is that I seem to have developed allergies to the area!

What is your living situation like?  I’m currently sharing a house with an old friend from my hometown. I plan on moving to the Arlington, Virginia area next semester, as it’s cheaper and more convenient for me than actually living in D.C..

Do you have any advice for other NCF students thinking about moving to D.C.?  D.C. is an incredible place for Novos — it offers opportunities like nowhere else in the country to learn from practitioners and professionals. There are several big universities here that offer open lectures and events, and there are always people to meet and places to visit. Bring an open mind — DC reflects a diversity of opinions, and it often helps to hear the best representation from the other side to gain a more nuanced opinion on an issue!

Has the city lived up to your expectations? It definitely has. I have always loved D.C., and I feel so lucky to live here!


Ashley Parks (‘11), 26, graduated from New College in 2013 with a degree in Anthropology and Gender Studies. She moved to Boston  last July to attend the Simmons School of Social Work.

  1. What kind of things are you up to now?

I am pursuing my Master’s in Social Work with a certificate in Urban Leadership full-time at the Simmons School of Social Work. My field placement/internship is currently with a local economic development organization for people 18-24 and next academic year I will be with a local hospital doing domestic violence intervention work.

  1. What’s your favorite and le ast favorite thing about where you live?

Favorite things: Compared to SRQ, public transit is easy and widely accessible. There are tons of community events happening, and even going visit other states is a breeze. So many musical artists come through here because it’s a major city, and there are always cool exhibits and lectures around.

Least favorite: Housing is very competitive and immensely expensive! Also a lot of my peers in school are locals who live in suburbs so it can be hard to meet up outside of school and hang out (even after navigating schedules).

  1. What is your living situation like?

Right now I am in a very T accessible location in a 2/2 basement unit with three other people. We have our own w/d in unit and a nice back patio. Trader Joe’s is a block up the main street. Rent and utilities are under $800 a month each.

  1. Any advice for NCF students thinking about moving to Boston?

Try to avoid the 9/1 rental rush if possible! It’s a nightmare.

  1. Has the city lived up to your expectations?

Yes and no. It’s a wonderful city rich with history and culture. I love exploring different areas and learning new things here. But depending on which neighborhood you live in and what your schedule looks like it can be hard to meet  up with people. I think in general transitioning from Florida to New England there is a shift in how being outgoing and friendly is culturally valued.


New York

Sandra “Sandy” Werb graduated in 2013 with a concentration in Literature, Gender Studies, Art History and Spanish and moved to Brooklyn almost two years ago.

Lucas Ballestín graduated in 2013 with focuses in Philosophy and Intellectual History and lives in Bushwick, Brooklyn.

Stacy Roudabush graduated in 2013 with a concentration in Biochemistry and moved to the Bronx in August 2015.

What are you doing there?/What kind of job do you have?

Werb: I have a part-time as an editorial/personal assistant for a retired Columbia professor, work at a restaurant, babysit, and do TV extra work when I can.

Ballestín: I’m a PhD student in philosophy at The New School, but I’m still trying to cultivate a healthy dose of intellectual promiscuity. When I’m not doing that, I work for a management consulting company in Midtown, focusing building ethical cultures inside businesses. When I’m not doing that, I’m enjoying the city with friends (many of whom are also NCF alums).

Roudabush: I’m a first year graduate student in biomedical sciences at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. I am completing coursework and lab rotations in the Department of Neuroscience. I have to add that I can not stress enough how well New College prepared me for graduate school and life. Through New, I became an independent thinker with critical thinking skills and a directed passion that has opened doors I never thought I would see.

Favorite thing about where you live?

Werb: Love the way you can wander through so many diverse cultures/communities and iconic spots on any given day.

Ballestín: It’s impossible to feel bored, and it feels like all the different possibilities for living life are represented here. It’s like the intersection of all of the conceivable lifestyle universes. New York is the shaded part of the Venn diagram. Whatever you’re into, you can get it, and often the best version of it.”

Roudabush: I live in subsidized student housing (not as great as NCF, obviously), and so I’m close to where I work and learn. Sometimes I miss being right in the city, but being further away allows me to focus on my work during the week and make plans in the city for the weekends.

Least favorite thing about where you live?

Werb: I have to get out of here every three months to stay mentally balanced. The great things about the city can also be the worst. There are so many people all the time—you are thrust into the public sphere pretty much the moment you step out of your apartment door. I miss the ocean and nature on a daily basis.

Ballestín: Real winter. But also, the city tends to amplify they way you’re already feeling. When things are going well, the world is your oyster, but when you’re down, that can also be amplified. In that case liberating anonymities can taste of indifference; the bustle can feel like isolation.”

Roudabush: “I’m about an hour from Manhattan so that’s a huge limiting factor on planning weekends in the city.

Advice for NCF graduates who are thinking of moving to New York?

Werb: Get some internships under your belt beforehand if possible.  Any positions in NYC give you street cred, but unpaid internships are a dime a dozen, whereas for the jobs, you are up against a LOT of pedigrees. Be open to working lots of different jobs and accept that many paths can lead to where you want to go.

Ballestín: Expect an adjustment period while you get used to the sights, the rhythms, and the rents in the city. If you can afford it, travel here beforehand to get a feel for the place and scope out neighborhoods/jobs. Don’t be shy about reaching out to the alums already living here, we’ve all made the move and can offer advice, connections, and sometimes couches.

Roudabush: I can only largely speak to NCF graduates interested in graduate school in NY, and I would completely recommend it. Not only it is an amazing city with immense global and national opportunities, you are also surrounded by a wealth of NCF alums in the area… I truly believe there is a place and role for everyone and anyone in NYC, and that with the right amount of support and drive NYC could be a place for them permanently.

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