Katherine Garvey on a bicycleWhat are you currently doing, professionally and/or personally?

After working in D.C. for three years in with different education-focused nonprofits, I was offered a position with Senator Amy Klobuchar’s Presidential campaign and moved back to Minnesota.  Currently, I am the Campaign Manager for Judge Pat Diamond for Ramsey County and entering my first year of graduate school at Hamline University.

How did you get there? Where did you attend college? Are there some career moves or other key experiences or relationships that have inspired you?

After graduating from Montana State University, I was offered an internship with the Tanadana Foundation as the ESL teaching intern in Otavalo, Ecuador. After that ended, I moved to Washington, D.C. to work with the educational nonprofit City Year AmeriCorps. With City Year, I worked in classrooms in Southeast D.C. helping bridge the gap between what schools were built to do and what students needed from their school. Wanting to stay in D.C., I found myself as an advisor for foreign Fulbright Scholars and working with Department of State contracts at the Institute of International Education. While I enjoyed learning about the visa process and advising, I realized I missed the personal connections I got to have in the classroom.

How did you change your career trajectory after having that realization?

This lead me to my next job with the Close Up Foundation. Close Up partners with schools and communities across the country and the world and brings them to D.C. where they get to engage with domestic policy and discuss ideas with people who hold different viewpoints. It was at this point that I wanted to dip my toes into politics, and what better way to do that than diving headfirst. I applied and was offered the position of Operations Associate at the HQ for Amy for America. If I had never worked for Senator Klobuchar, I wouldn’t be running a campaign now.

How did your MPA experience prepare you for your life today? How did MPA inspire you to dream big and do right?

All the teachers at MPA always asked me to explain my thought process or back up my opinion.  They never made me feel bad or wrong, but it helped me grow into my own. I learned to question authority and stand up for what I believe in. They had a sense of service that could felt in their classrooms in in the hallways, and that led me to serve with AmeriCorps.

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