UW Platteville #ELGLInspire Speaker: Karen Kurt

Posted on October 3, 2019


#ELGLInspire is coming to UW Platteville on October 4th! Learn more about our event speakers in these brief profiles, and connect with them before and after the event! To find information about all of the speakers, visit the #ELGLInspire homepage.

Karen Kurt

Karen Kurt

Former City Manager, City of Platteville


What was the very first paying job you held (that you paid taxes on)? 

I cleared breakfast tables at a Happy Chef restaurant on Sundays. Lots of sticky maple syrup.

What was your: undergraduate institution? Graduate institution? What was/were your degree(s) in? 

BS Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University. MS Urban and Regional Studies, University of Minnesota – Mankato

What class(es) (if any) are applicable to your job today? 

Almost all of my grad school classes are applicable in some way.

What book are you currently reading? Would you recommend it? 

$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America by Kathryn Edin and H. Luke Shaefer. I would recommend it as a reminder of the challenges that some members of our community face.

What’s the best networking advice for job seekers you’ve heard or shared?

It does not hurt to apply even if you think the position might not be a match (ie: don’t rule out opportunities too fast). You will meet new people, learn about an organization, potentially practice your interviewing skills AND you may change your mind once you learn more about the role!

What’s the fastest way to NOT get a job or internship with you? (e.g. what should potential applicants avoid doing if they were to ever interview with you for a position).

Not show interest (you want to check a box rather than be fully engaged), not be able to demonstrate that you can work effectively in a team (class and volunteer work counts!), not show initiative….a “can do” attitude and a willingness to learn goes a long way!

Why should an undergraduate student consider a career working in local government?

You want to make your community a better place.

Do you have a work or life motto? What is it? 

I have reminder mottos because I need them –  Don’t sweat the small stuff. Our work is a marathon not a sprint.

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