News Items In Category XCareer/Life

Jayhawk Career Network: How to talk about yourself and your value

Posted on Mar 20, 2019 in Career/Life

Bill Mar | Jayhawk Career Network
Half the battle of getting a job is putting in the hard work to be prepared and gain relevant experience. The other half is conveying that work and experience to prospective employers.

How do you effectively talk about yourself and your value? Bill Mar, a KU alumnus and computer science expert in San Francisco, is involved with NOVA, a nonprofit employment agency that offers customized services to job seekers in Silicon Valley. Through his work, Mar has learned some tips and tricks to landing a job.

Put your best foot forward

Often, it’s not what you know, but who you know (which is where KU Mentoring can help!). However, once you’re in front of someone, what do you say?

Mar, c’88, explains how to position yourself for success when talking to people, whether it’s a first introduction or during an interview.

“You don’t go in and say ‘Get me a job,’” Mar says. “It’s more about informational meetings and finding out the culture. If you focus on giving, you’ll naturally get back.”

If you’re not asking for a job,  Mar says it’s still critical to convey your value, but you don’t have to be “rah rah” about it. It’s okay to be humble while making sure the person you’re talking to understands what it is you do.

Practice your elevator pitch

One way to speak plainly of your value is by providing scale and quantifying your work. Mar also suggests telling your story in the form of PSRs, which stands for Problem, Solutions, Results.

“That’s the way that things about yourself should be described,” he says. “They can be used in different orders depending on what you’re trying to get across to people.”

It’s important to practice these two- to three-minute-long PSRs so that you’re able to tell a fluid and coherent story. Think of it like an “elevated” elevator pitch.

Learn from your mistakes

How do you talk about your qualities that might be less than ideal? Mar, who helps KU students by conducting mock interviews,  warns against being blindly honest.

“[In an interview] they’ll ask you, ‘What’s your least favorite characteristic?’” he says.  “Some people will take it really literally and tell me. You have to not say anything toxic to the industry that you’re in.”

Mar explains this question is typically asked to see how well you deal with adversity and learn from your mistakes. For example, if you want to go into the tech industry, don’t say you’re resistant to change. Instead, follow up a shortcoming with an action plan.

“The issue is not ‘I will fail,’” Mar says. “The issue is ‘I know how to deal with failure and I won’t repeat the same mistakes.’”

—Brianna Mears, digital media intern


The Jayhawk Career Network provides a central hub to coordinate career connections and networking opportunities for students and alumni at every life stage. Services include KU Mentoring, a job board, informational articles and more. For more information about the Jayhawk Career Network, contact Kristi Laclé, assistant vice president for the Jayhawk Career Network, at

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Kansas City Jayhawk shares Rock Chalk Ball memories

Posted on Mar 6, 2019 in Alumni News

Sasha Boulware Rock Chalk BallKU’s biggest party is coming soon to Kansas City.

Rock Chalk Ball, the annual celebration of KU and its alumni is set for April 27 at Bartle Hall.

Sasha Flores Boulware is entering her third year as a Rock Chalk Ball chair, after attending the ball for years with her husband Al, c’98, l’02, g’02.

Boulware, c’98, g’00, earned her bachelor’s degree in psychology and remained at KU to complete her MBA. She formerly worked for Pfizer and Accenture Foundation and is currently a part-time consultant. Sasha also has volunteered for Jayhawks for Higher Education and the Emily Taylor Center’s advisory board.

We reached out to Boulware, who lives in Fairway, to hear about her experiences at KU and with Rock Chalk Ball.

Why did you want to be a co-chair of Rock Chalk Ball?

The ball is one of my favorite events and it never disappoints. Every year there is a new twist on what is offered to attendees. The detail I’m most excited about this year is the beneficiary of the Fund-A-Need, the Jayhawk Career Network. This tool gives Jayhawks the ability to truly connect and help each other far beyond their days on the hill and I love that!

What is your favorite Rock Chalk Ball memory?​​​

Watching Dan Besco do a live carving of a Jayhawk in 2017 was amazing. I will always remember his excitement that day when he finished and presented the sculpture. That positive vibe is what Rock Chalk Ball is all about!

What advice do you have for young professionals looking to take the next step in their careers?

Networking and more networking, and not just with people in your current industry. I found that when I was ready for a change, it was the people I had meaningful relationships with who took a chance on me. It’s also how I learned about different opportunities that I wouldn’t have otherwise considered.

Hosted by the KU Alumni Association and the Greater Kansas City Network, Rock Chalk Ball unites Jayhawks in the nation’s largest KU community and raises funds for Association programs to advocate for KU; communicate to alumni and friends in all media; recruit students and volunteers; serve current students, alumni and KU; and unite all Jayhawks.

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How a sponsor changed Jessica Palm’s career

Posted on Mar 6, 2019 in Alumni News

Jessica Palm and Stauffer-Flint Hall at the University of Kansas
Kansas City Jayhawk Jessica Palm was recently featured in Fast Company’s article “7 successful women explain how they got the sponsor that changed their careers.” Palm, j’11, is past president of the Greater Kansas City Alumni Network and is Vice President, Lead Executive for TeamKC: Life+Talent at the Kansas City Area Development Council. An excerpt of the article featuring Palm is below.

After Jessica Palm had worked a year at the Kansas City Area Development Council as a public relations specialist, her CEO challenged her to create a talent attraction and lifestyle marketing initiative.

At the time, Palm, now a vice president at the organization, was 23 years old and knew that winning the trust of executives at the company and business leaders representing top employers in the region was going to take a lot of effort. She turned to Martin Mini, a chief marketing officer at her organization, for help.

When Palm ran into roadblocks securing funding for her initiative, Mini advocated on her behalf both internally in the organization and externally in the community. Today, the initiative is recognized nationally as a top talent attraction and lifestyle marketing effort in economic development, says Palm. She believes that Mini’s sponsorships is also one of the driving forces behind the five promotions she’s had in the eight years she’s been at the organization.

How she attracted the attention of a sponsor

Palm learned about sponsorship in the workplace in 2007 in a women’s studies class in college. The class taught her that being intentional when identifying a sponsor is critical in a career. In many ways, the onus of a sponsor relationship falls on the person wanting to be sponsored. When Palm knew she needed support for her new initiative, she identified Mini, a senior leader in the organization who she knew had the influence she would need to get the job done.

The Jayhawk Career Network provides a central hub to coordinate career connections and networking opportunities for students and alumni at every life stage. Services include KU Mentoring, a job board, informational articles and more. For more information about the Jayhawk Career Network, contact Kristi Laclé, assistant vice president for the Jayhawk Career Network, at

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KU Alumni’s modern approach to alumni engagement

Posted on Feb 26, 2019 in Career/Life

KU Mentoring | PeopleGrove

Our partners at PeopleGrove featured an article about KU Mentoring on their blog. KU Mentoring, hosted on PeopleGrove’s platform, is a key feature of the Jayhawk Career Network. The Jayhawk Career Network provides a central hub to coordinate career connections and networking opportunities for students and alumni at every life stage. The mentoring program helps Jayhawks make connections and get the answers they need to help their careers move forward. Read an excerpt of the article below. 

Alumni associations often gravitate toward sporting events and happy hours as popular tools to connect with alumni. Graduates have come to expect these events as the bread and butter of traditional alumni engagement strategies. However, data shows that these events no longer guarantee that schools will maintain satisfied alumni communities.

Alumni are looking for tangible benefits from alumni associations beyond social events. This shift requires new tools and approaches to alumni support.

Seeking career development services

Case in point, Kansas University Alumni Association surveyed its 43,000 alumni members and found that career-related services ranked as the most important benefit alumni desired from the association. Specifically, 76% of KU alumni mentioned that accessing career assistance was a very important benefit of their membership while only 42% ranked KU as offering effective career services to alumni.

Although the Association had offered professional networking receptions and alumni panel discussions, consistent survey results revealed that alumni still craved more career activities and resources. In addition, when alumni tried to access career support from the university, they struggled to navigate the decentralized services offered across campus through different departments.

Kristi Laclé, assistant vice president of the Jayhawk Career Network, explained, “We’d sent out several surveys [to alumni] and found that the career services umbrella was always a sticking point with our alumni.”

Read more about how KU Mentoring has helped benefit students, alumni, and the University of Kansas.

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KU Mentoring offers double-play with experience and volunteering

Posted on Feb 6, 2019 in Alumni News

Jayhawk Career Network | Jason Booker
The Jayhawk Career Network offers KU alumni the opportunity to give back with both their time and expertise— and alumni are stepping up to the plate.

Jason Booker serves as the senior director of corporate partnerships and broadcast sales for the Kansas City Royals. His sport management degree from KU pitched him into a sports marketing career that’s going 20 years strong.

Booker, d’00, currently serves on the board of the Greater Kansas City Network for the KU Alumni Association, as well as the Kansas City Sports Commission Board of Directors. Jason and his wife Susan, d’99, live in Olathe, Kansas with their daughter Ava.

We recently met up with Booker to learn how his Jayhawk experience has kept him from striking out in the corporate world.

What made you choose a sport management degree?

I knew I wanted to go into sport management, so the program really led me to KU. What really sold me on my visit was this great sense of tradition and the feeling that I was joining a university that cared about the success of their students.

What’s your favorite memory on the Hill?

My favorite KU memory was interning in the athletic department, especially getting the chance to be a part of the 100 years of basketball celebration where I had the opportunity to meet Wilt Chamberlain and Dean Smith.

Why are you a proud member of the KU Alumni Association?

I love staying connected to students through the KU Mentoring platform, and I get to meet new Jayhawks through the various networking events that we host in KC. I had so many people help me on my career path, so it is important for me to stay connected and try to give back.

Why should Jayhawks join the Alumni Association?

The best part of being a member is that it keeps me informed of everything that is going on with KU through all of the digital and social correspondence and Kansas Alumni magazine.

There is a great opportunity to connect with Jayhawks you’ve never met through KU Mentoring and the many KU Alumni events. Being a member also gives you the ability to give back through volunteer opportunities in your local communities.

What is your favorite part of serving on the Greater KC Alumni Board?

I love making an impact in Kansas City through our KU Cares volunteer efforts and the mentoring platform.  I also enjoy being involved with Rock Chalk Ball to help raise money for all of the great programs that KU Alumni holds throughout the year.

The Jayhawk Career Network provides a central hub to coordinate career connections and networking opportunities for students and alumni at every life stage. KU Mentoring is part of the Jayhawk Career Network and provides a mentor matching program for students and alumni to create connections as well as provide professional insight and opportunities. The Jayhawk Career Network is open to all KU alumni and students.

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KU Mentoring connects current, aspiring sports communicators

Posted on Jan 10, 2019 in Career/Life

Dayton Hammes, Jayhawk Career Network

The KU Mentoring program offers students the chance to get their burning career questions answered by those who know best: people in their career field.

Dayton Hammes, a sport management student and communications intern for Kansas Athletics, took advantage of the platform to connect with a pro in her dream field of college athletics communications.

Andrew Sherwood, j’08, has worked in collegiate athletics since graduation, including two years with the Williams Education Fund. We sat down with Dayton to hear more about her experience.

How did you and Andrew connect?

I was looking for a KU alumnus in college athletics to talk to, and a coworker recommended Andrew to me. I reached out to him on KU Mentoring and he was more than happy to talk!

What did you talk with him about?

As someone who wants to pursue a career in collegiate athletic communications, he shared a lot of his own personal experiences in the industry and what to do to continue finding new opportunities. We actually had the opportunity to meet in Dallas over fall break, and we are still in contact today!

Why would you recommend students use KU Mentoring?

The platform is a great resource for students that might not have many connections in their industry of interest. Personally, I already had several mentors in the industry, but the platform is great for students who aren’t sure how to make the first move to find that go-to person for advice. It’s great to immediately have a connection with alumni on the platform by being Jayhawks.

What advice do you have for students for using KU Mentoring?

Reach out to alumni and don’t be afraid to meet or set up a call with one! Alumni want to help students be the best they can be.

The Jayhawk Career Network provides a central hub to coordinate career connections and networking opportunities for students and alumni at every life stage. KU Mentoring is part of the Jayhawk Career Network and provides a mentor matching program for students and alumni to create connections as well as provide professional insight and opportunities. The Jayhawk Career Network is open to all KU alumni and students.

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Jayhawks in the News | Nov. 30

Posted on Nov 30, 2018 in Alumni News

Jayhawks in the News

Find out what University of Kansas alumni are up to in our weekly edition of “Jayhawks in the News.” It’s like an online version of Class Notes. If you’ve seen Jayhawks in the news who should be featured, email us at


Kansas City-based magazine features KU visual arts alumnus, professor | University Daily Kansan

KC Studio magazine, a Kansas City publication that covers performing, literary, visual and cinematic arts, recently featured two local artists with ties to the University of Kansas. University professor Benjamin Rosenthal along with alumnus Ruben Castillo’s, g’17, portfolios were featured earlier in November.
Read full article.


13th Judicial Circuit: Jacobs, Morrell win seats on bench | The Columbia Missourian

Incumbent Republican Circuit Judge Brouck Jacobs narrowly retained his seat on the bench in Tuesday’s election, while Democrat Stephanie Morrell, c’97 l’00, defeated Republican Associate Circuit Judge Josh Devine. Jacobs, who was appointed to the bench in October 2017, will remain in the position after narrowly defeating Democrat Finley Gibbs. He and Morrell, an assistant Boone County prosecutor, will serve six-year terms.
Read full article.


Long-time Kansas Lawyer inducted in Warren E. Burger Society | National Center for State Courts

Forrest James Robinson, Jr., l’83, a seasoned and decorated business litigator with 35 years of experience, in being inducted into the National Center for State Courts’ Warren E. Burger Society. The Burger Society honors individuals who have used their time, talent and support to the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) in exceptional ways. It is named for the former chief justice of the United States who helped found NCSC in 1971.
Read full article.


Alumni Spotlight: November 2018 – Dr. Chelsie Bright | KU College Office of Graduate Affairs

As Senior Experience Management Scientists for Qualtrics, Chelsie Bright, g’14 g’15, understands the importance of quantitative data in politics. “There is a huge need for individuals with research skills in government and public policy. If we are going to solve some of today’s most pressing social and political issues, we need to expand research from the theoretical realm into the applied,” Bright says.
Read full article.


Audus to step down as pharmacy dean; search for new dean to begin | The University of Kansas

The University of Kansas will begin a search for a new dean of the School of Pharmacy. Kenneth Audus, PhD’84, has announced he will not seek reappointment at the conclusion of his current term, which ends in June 2019. When he started as dean, about 40 percent of pharmacists in Kansas were over 50 years of age. There was also a nationwide pharmacist shortage. Kansas needed more pharmacists and needed more graduating pharmacists to seek jobs in rural areas. Audus and his administration began a grass-roots effort to build support among working pharmacists in Kansas to expand the KU Pharm.D. program.
Read full article.

Have you heard news about a fellow Jayhawk, or maybe you have news of your own to share? Email us at, or fill out our Class Notes form to be included in a future issue of Kansas Alumni magazine. Read more about newsworthy Jayhawks.

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Giving Thanks to KU Mentors

Posted on Nov 20, 2018 in Career/Life


In honor of the season, the KU Alumni Association thanks the thousands of Jayhawk students and alumni who have joined KU Mentoring. When we launched the mentoring platform in the fall, we were excited to provide students, alumni, and Jayhawks everywhere a chance to connect with one another and strengthen the University’s legacy of excellence. More than 3,500 users have registered on the platform, and we’re excited to help the next 3,500 make a connection with the Jayhawk Career Network.

Special thanks are due to the mentors who have taken the time to share their wisdom and experiences with KU students and recent alumni. Your efforts to unite a global network of Jayhawks do not go unnoticed. For those who haven’t connected with a mentee yet, know that we are continuing to introduce the power of this platform throughout the student community.

If you haven’t joined KU mentoring yet, I invite you to do so today. With graduates of more than 200 academic fields of study leading to limitless career fields, Jayhawks’ career expertise can help students starting their professional journeys.

On behalf of everyone at the Alumni Association, thank you for your support.

Rock Chalk!

Heath Peterson signature

Heath Peterson, d’04, g’09

Do you have a story of a Jayhawk mentor that you want to thank? Share your story with us at

KU Mentoring

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Jayhawk Career Network Profiles: Carlos P. Beltran

Posted on Oct 17, 2018 in Alumni News

Carlos P. BeltranThe KU School of Journalism and Mass Communications invited alumni back to its Home on the Hill for J-School Generations, a two-day homecoming event.

One of the highlights was J-Talk, a TED-talk style event featuring alumni sharing stories of lessons they’ve learned through their careers.

Carlos P. Beltran, c’09, j’09, discussed his experiences as a digital content producer, both as a freelancer and for NBC Left Field, a documentary unit that profiles human-interest stories such as a KU alumnus’ classroom museum.

We sat down with Beltran to ask him more about his time at KU and his advice on choosing what to do after graduation.

When did you know what you wanted to do your career?

Ever since I was a child running around with a camera I knew I wanted to do something with video. It wasn’t until my second year at KU that I switched to journalism and decided to do it for a living.

As for what kind of video, it wasn’t until 2013, when I finished a fiction project that took two years of my life and it didn’t pan out the way I wanted. I decided I didn’t need fancy equipment and huge crews. I knew that with a camera, a microphone, a great subject, and my editing skills, I could make good work, and I dedicated myself to documentary filmmaking.

How did you get involved with such a cool production like NBC Left Field?

The unit opened a year and a half ago in Brooklyn, and after freelancing in Venezuela for a couple years I was looking for somewhere to settle down. My good friend Mariana Keller, who works at NBC News Digital told me about the opening, and after sitting down with the leader of the unit they liked my work enough to bring me on.

How did your time at KU help you get to where you are now?

I learned everything from ethics, to how to approach networks with my work, the basics of narrative and storytelling, and of course editing over at Dole, spending days editing on Final Cut Pro 7 in the media labs. Here you’ll learn how to be a great journalist, out there, you practice being one. Once you leave, don’t think you’ll get the perfect job right off the bat. You’ll go through times where you’ll discover what you don’t like to do. It might take years, it took me from graduation in 2009 to 2013 when I realized what I really wanted to do.

What advice do you have for those starting out in their careers?

When I graduated from school, I thought I wanted to work at an ad agency, or work in video, and I wasn’t getting what I wanted. I immediately thought I maybe should go get my masters, but I never did. Someone told me “if you want to be a documentary filmmaker, go make documentaries.” Go make one, and then you’ll have a business card. If you want to work in this industry, don’t wait until someone commissions you. If you find an amazing character, then shoot the story. That two minute video that you produced independently shows your skills and that you’re passionate about your work. Go shoot something, make yourself a portfolio.

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KU Mentoring connects neuroscience student with surgeon

Posted on Oct 11, 2018 in Career/Life

Thomas Angel took the long road to the University of Kansas, but he’s making sure his time here counts. Thanks to the power of the KU Mentoring platform, Angel connected with a practicing surgeon who he will shadow over winter break.

Coming to KU

After nearly a decade deployed in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Kuwait, Angel tore his PCL and had microfracture surgery. He chose to be “med boarded out” and  applied to the University of Kansas on his girlfriend’s recommendation.

Angel is pursuing a double major in Latin and behavioral neuroscience, the latter of which requires an extensive amount of shadowing to be accepted into medical school. After studying abroad in Italy last summer, he was looking for a mentorship with someone in his dream career of neurosurgery.

Thomas Angel in KuwaitThomas Angel at an Italian hospital

Making a Connection

After learning about the KU Alumni Mentoring platform through the Student Alumni Leadership Board, Angel jumped at the opportunity. “I don’t think people realize how hard it is to find doctors who are willing to let students shadow,” he said.

One of the recommended mentors was Dr. John Aucar, c’82, MD’86, an acute care surgeon and KU alumnus. Angel connected with him through the platform and they set up a meeting that Saturday.

“When I met Dr. Aucar we immediately made a connection. My first duty station was in El Paso, Texas, and he practices in the area. Over winter break he’ll be in El Paso, and he invited me to join him. To be able to meet a mentor that you instantly click with, can have a successful relationship with and both benefit in different ways from the experience is a dream come true.”

Angel wants to be a neurosurgeon, a goal that comes with seven to eight years of residency. With that much preparation required, he strives to make his experiences count.

“My number one goal for job shadowing is to make a personal connection with the person I’m shadowing. Beyond that, it’s about making sure you understand what’s actually happening. A lot of times, especially with medical, the doctors aren’t teachers. You have to work to get answers from them. It’s easy to just stand and watch, but understanding why they’re doing it is my key to shadowing.”

Thomas AngelHelping Students Succeed

Since arriving at KU, Angel has taken advantage of the many opportunities provided to him, including joining the Student Alumni Leadership Board to add a voice for students like him. “I wanted to find a niche on campus for non-traditional students to be in leadership positions. I saw it as a place for me where my opinion matters and where I can help create and shape [Student Alumni Network] events.”

Angel draws from a completely different set of experiences compared to traditional students, but he wants those in his shoes to know that they belong on this campus.

“The KU community is completely different than how you think it would be from the outside looking in. I am involved in several different clubs and boards around campus and fit in just fine. I’m 12 years older than my average peer at this stage in my academic career and I learn things from them daily, and I hope that they learn from me just as well. Non-traditional students have life experiences and stories of their own that can positively impact this campus.”

–Ryan Camenzind

Stay tuned for more about Angel’s job-shadowing experience during winter break. For more information on how the Jayhawk Career Network can help you connect with KU alumni, visit

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