Campus Leader turned Campus Resource, Michigander Monika Konrad shows college students how to make their mark
Meet Michigander Monika Konrad. She thrifts, campaigns, prays, and shows college students how to make their mark.
Monika is a Leadership Institute (LI) Regional Field Coordinator who helps college students in Michigan and Wisconsin. Monika is from Chesterfield, Michigan and earned degrees in political science and international relations from the University of Michigan upon her graduation in 2019.
Monika believes in saying yes to opportunity. She teaches Leadership Institute students how to find those opportunities throughout the conservative movement. In her answers, Monika shows that she cares about building up the next generation of young conservatives.
What first drew your interest to the conservative movement?
I was fairly apolitical throughout high school.
The summer of 2016, after my first year of college, I was offered the opportunity to intern on a congressional campaign in my home district for a conservative state senator. Throughout that summer, I was exposed to conservative ideas and discussion that resonated with me.
I realized that my beliefs and values aligned best with the conservative movement.
After that, I invested my time in conservative groups on campus and in the community. I went on to intern for various conservative leaders, organizations, and campaigns, and then worked full-time in the movement following graduation.
What is your favorite event that you have helped students put together, and why?
My favorite event so far has been working with Turning Point USA at Lake Superior State University to host the Michigan Abolitionist Project for a speaker event on preventing human trafficking. Through this event, I think that more students have also developed a heart to bring awareness of this issue to their campus. Students are eager to learn how they can make a positive impact on their community and what they can do to make a difference on their campus.
How has the Leadership Institute impacted your life?
Over the years, the Leadership Institute has been an integral part of my conservative career.
In college, my LI Regional Field Coordinator (RFC) guided me through the process to start a chapter of Network of Enlightened Women, which helped me make my mark on my campus.
During my time as field staff for one of our partner organizations, the LI staff members I collaborated with were always so kind and helpful. After my time managing a political campaign, I was looking to move to the Washington, D.C. area. A job offer from the Leadership Institute allowed me to follow my dreams of moving to D.C.
The people I have met since working for LI have become lifelong friends. I have been able to network with D.C. locals that I would not have met had I not come to work at the Leadership Institute.
Outside of work, what are some things that you enjoy?
I love adventuring around the DC area, thrifting, attending DC networking and educational events, spending time outdoors, and traveling.
One of the best parts about being a Regional Field Coordinator (RFC) is that there is a lot of opportunity to travel around the country, whether for one of our Student Activism Conferences or to work a table at a partner organization's conference.
What is your advice to students who hope for a career in DC or the conservative movement?
Apply for the job, network, and get involved.
I interned in DC in 2017, graduated in 2019, and moved to DC in 2021. I interned in DC in 2017 and it was the best decision I could have made. Due to COVID, my initial move to DC was slightly delayed, but when I finally moved, I had a feeling of relief and realization that this is where I was meant to be.
I had been praying and praying for an opportunity to move to DC during uncertain times, and LI was the biggest blessing.
My advice is simple. Pray about it. If you feel called to make the move, take the risk. The conservative movement has so many different opportunities and there are numerous pathways you can take to be successful in whatever field you want to pursue. If you need an internship, apply for the program at the Leadership Institute!