The Great Recession hit Millennials hard. They are more economically stressed and engulfed in student debt. There are fewer jobs and more competition. But that didn’t stop one Centennial Hills native from having high ambitions.
Ken Minster is the type of person who always kept his eye on the goal.
“(Compared with other young adults) he’s better able to anticipate and plan for the future,” said Steven Parker, internship director for the department of political science at UNLV. “He has a strong ability to delay gratification. A lot of people in their 20s don’t think enough about their future.”
The 26-year-old, who grew up in Centennial Hills, is a regional representative for U.S. Congressman Joe Heck. He said he owes his success to his internships, work experience and bilingual skills.
His father owns Sun Devil Pools of Nevada, where Minster has worked since he was young.
While in college, he also worked selling timeshares, which he described as a “very high-intensity sales job.”
Minster enrolled at UNLV with dreams of becoming a lawyer but took two years off school to pursue a full-time mission for the The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
He relocated to Southern California, where he taught “anyone from active gang members to little old ladies” in the cities of Long Beach and Compton.
It was there that he learned to speak fluent Spanish and some Samoan, which he claims contributed largely to his employments.
He also interned at a few media companies for approximately seven months.
“Those internships really translated into employment and helped my resume,” Minster said. “They gave me a chance to show my work ethic. I wasn’t one of those people who are always checking Facebook. I was present.”
Once he returned to school, he decided to pursue politics instead. He immersed himself in student politics and became a senator in the Consolidated Students of the University of Nevada.
“When I went on my mission, I decided that I could do something better for the world,” Minster said.
He also became the chair of the Committee of Ways and Means and won editor’s choice for best senator voted by UNLV’s Rebel Yell student-run newspaper.
He became active with the UNLV College Republicans group as the secretary, campus outreach director and senior vice president. It was there that he befriended Mark Ciavola, political coordinator at Friends of Joe Heck.
Ciavola offered Minster a job as a field representative to Heck. He then became a staff assistant in 2012 where he worked the front desk, as the district scheduler and with outreach.
“I’ve been a salesman my whole life,” Minster said. “I sold for Jesus on my mission, sold for timeshare, sold for my dad, and now I’m selling for Dr. Heck. I enjoy creating community connections.”
In 2014, he landed a job as the field representative for Heck. He stays busy by attending events, making phone calls, door canvassing and managing yard sign distribution for the campaign to re-elect Congressman Joe Heck in Nevada’s third district.
He moved to Henderson this year for his job.
“Ken’s work ethic is exceptional,” said Keith Hughes, district director for Heck. “He can talk to people and quickly develop a rapport with just about anyone. Conversation is a dying art in our country, and he is an exceptional conversationalist.”
Minster graduated from UNLV in May. He majored in political science and dropped his dual minor in entrepreneurship and journalism to graduate early.
He continues working for Heck but has dreams of owning a small business or lobbying for small businesses.
Based on his hard work, many would agree that he has paved a successful path.
“It’s not easy making the transition from backpacks to briefcases, so to speak,” Parker said. “Ken began testing the waters and making a transition to the real world when he was a student. He used the internship program in a superb manner. Now he can look forward to his future.”
Contact North View reporter Sandy Lopez at email@example.com or 702-383-4686. Find her on Twitter: @JournalismSandy.