Jesper Goransson '94
Many Gusties can pinpoint the one thing about Gustavus that convinced them to attend the small liberal arts school on the hill. For some it was the food in the cafeteria or the beautiful chapel services, or perhaps even the handsome bust of King Gustav himself. For Jesper Goransson, Class of 1994, it was the College's heritage. As a native Swede, Goransson was drawn to Gustavus' "active connection with my homeland." When his high school class visited campus to see a play by William Moberg, starring a famous Swedish actor, he knew Gustavus was the place for him: "That sealed it," said Goransson decisively.
Mastering the Language
He became an English major because he wanted to master the language. "Since I'm not a native speaker, I thought it would be good to study English for future job interviews," he said. This, along with a major in art, certainly paid off for Goransson, who now works as an art director in New York. Upon leaving Gustavus, he got an internship with Minneapolis/St. Paul City Business, now called The Business Journal. From this position, he became production manager for the publication. In 2000, Goransson said goodbye to Minnesota and moved to New York, where he was employed at Crain's New York Business. In 2001 he was laid-off but soon landed a position as deputy art director at Advertising Age, where he currently works.
Goransson's love for design and his interest in English combine in one of his hobbies: he is an ardent magazine collector. "I have most of the issues of Rolling Stone from the '90s," he said. "I pretty much get and read every magazine on the newsstand. My small East Village apartment is overflowing with magazines."
Fond of Gustavus
This alumnus has plenty of fond memories from his days as a Gustie: His senior seminar class took a trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, but he was deaf to the call of the wild. "I'm not the greatest outdoorsman and I couldn't stomach the food." On the way back, he had to have the bus make an emergency stop, to which Professor Don Sheese screamed, "Where the hell did he go?!" He also remembers taking the British Novel with Professor Downs-Miers and reading all over the place—"in my bed, under a tree, in the cafeteria, everywhere." His favorite classes, however, were those he took with Professor Donald Palmgren, such as a January Term course in which students drew their dreams. "Another class I took from him was Advanced Drawing. That class really taught me a lot that I still use to this day in my work."
As someone who knows a few things about traveling, Goransson recommends that students get out and see the world. "Travel, if you can afford it. Put off working until you've lived."