Pennsylvania State Representative Kate Klunk was keynote speaker at NeW’s Young Women’s Leadership Retreat. Klunk encouraged listeners to be politically active in their communities, and to run for office. She also offered advice for succeeding professionally, and becoming a strong female leader.
Representative Kate Klunk shared her life mantra:
Work hard and be nice.
From earning three degrees in college, working in the White House, going to law school, and winning an election, Kate’s hard work and kindness have certainly paid off.
Representative Kate Klunk is no stranger to hard work. To pay for college, she worked three jobs. On the weekend, she worked at a grocery store, and during the week she coached baseball and worked third shift packing potato chips. This hard work not only paid for her education; it paved the way to the White House.
Klunk shared the story of her first interview with the White House. Klunk went to the interview prepared to answer questions about fiscal policy and foreign affairs, and talk about her congressional internship. But to her surprise, the first question her interviewer asked was about her job packing potato chips. According to the interviewer, Klunk was the first person to apply for a White House internship who had third shift manufacturing experience. Kate says her job packing chips showed that she was a driven individual, and was not above doing the little things.
Her success proves that nothing pays off like hard work. According to Representative Klunk, it is a myth that you need to “know someone” to work in amazing places and score great opportunities. She didn’t work at the White House because she knew a Bush, or her parents were big GOP donors. She earned a job in the White House because she showed up every day, was a cooperative co-worker, and did fantastic work.
Working hard and being nice is also the reason Klunk won the election for State Representative. According to her, winning the race required knocking on endless doors, knowing the issues inside and out, and putting up lots of yard signs. Her win also required friends. Representative Klunk cares deeply about her local constituents. Being able to help them is what keeps her going even when the job gets tough. Making sure voters know that she cares, and having friends who are willing to fight for her campaign, were key to winning the election.
Representative Kate Klunk is an excellent example to all young women who aspire to be politically active and change the world for the better. Klunk shows that with determination and kindness, doing great things is possible.
Representative Kate Klunk is the Pennsylvania State Representative for 169th Legislative District of southern York County. Before becoming a state rep, Klunk worked on Bush’s communications team, and as a member of his National Economic Council. She got her start in politics as a congressional intern for Congressman Todd Platts. Klunk graduated from Dickinson College with degrees in economics, history, and public policy studies, and she earned her juris doctor from the Dickinson School of Law of the Pennsylvania State University. Kate is married to Jared Laird, and is a proud mother of her baby daughter, Grace.