Jayhawk Career Network helps connect Ad Club, NYC Jayhawks

Posted on Apr 18, 2019 in Career/Life and News

KU Ad Club JCN

When a group of KU students needed help connecting with alumni in New York City, the Jayhawk Career Network was there to help.

The KU Ad Club is a student organization that hosts professionals in advertising and marketing to discuss their career journeys. In April, the group took its biennial trip to New York City, home to one of the largest networks of advertising agencies. With an assist from the Jayhawk Career Network, 11 students were able to meet with KU alumni at multiple agencies in the area.

“It was a lot of work planning the trip,” says Wilcox, a senior in journalism and president of the Ad Club.  “We had some connections from when we visited two years ago, and the Alumni Association helped us find more businesses with alumni. KU grads in New York are outnumbered by east coast schools, so when Jayhawks come by they really want to help you succeed.”

One of the highlights of the trip was a panel discussion at NBC, featuring five employees who got their start at KU. Jamie Cuthburth, b’95, senior vice president of integrated marketing at NBC, organized and moderated the panel.

“Some of the panelists didn’t even know their co-workers went to KU,” Wilcox says. “It was cool seeing them all working at such a prestigious company, and to know they were in our shoes at one point.”

The trip to New York also meant a chance to make a KU Mentoring connection in person. Wilcox had previously connected with Carol Journey Adler, b’09, an enterprise account executive at Apple.

“I spoke with her over the phone earlier in the semester, and she gave me good advice and recommended a couple of sales books to read,” Wilcox says. “We met at a KU alumni happy hour in New York, where I got a chance to meet her in person and continue the conversation.”

If you want to make connections with alumni like Stephanie did, 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 kristilacle@kualumni.org.

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Jayhawk Career Network: Leveraging KU Mentoring as alumni

Posted on Apr 17, 2019 in Career/Life and News

KU Mentoring is just a platform to help students get jobs, right? Wrong.

Not only do students have access to an expansive network of alumni, alumni also have access to each other. Joel Balzer, c’09, took advantage of this opportunity to harness the power of the Jayhawk network.

Balzer is a development officer for major gifts at KU Endowment and works primarily with the School of Engineering, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and the School of Business.

What exactly does that mean? “It’s really about having a conversation with a person and finding out what they’re passionate about, or what their family is passionate about,” Balzer says. “And if it happens to be in the realm of supporting KU philanthropically, then I facilitate that.”

Balzer says KU Mentoring was instrumental in helping him secure his new role. “Obviously I had my own initiative to want to work for KU Endowment, but I wouldn’t have been able to get there without the help of other Jayhawks,” he says.

Balzer has attended several networking events throughout his career, but it was often difficult to identify who else in the room was a Jayhawk. With KU Mentoring, Balzer didn’t have to guess, nor did he struggle to make a connection.

“I’ve never encountered a group that was so willing to help someone that they really didn’t know,” he says. “And to use a platform like KU Mentoring, that just opened up the sector for me even wider because it was an easier way to connect with people.”

There’s never a bad time to start making connections. Whether it’s today, tomorrow, or years from now, Jayhawks help Jayhawks. Balzer believes these connections help get you where you want to go, but explains there’s more to it.

“Continue to reach out to people because the connections that you make are so imperative towards your future career, or your current career,” he says. “I truly believe that it’s the people that you know are going to get you in to the places that you want to get, and everything that makes up yourself is going to be the reason why they keep you.”

Whether you’re looking to move jobs, change careers, gain industry insights, or simply ask for advice, it’s all at your fingertips with KU Mentoring.

—Brianna Mears

Are you in a position to give your time? Sign up for KU Mentoring! 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 kristilacle@kualumni.org.

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

Posted on Mar 20, 2019 in Career/Life and News

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 OK 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 that interviewers typically ask this question 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 kristilacle@kualumni.org.

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Kansas City-based KJO Media proud sponsor of KU Alumni Association’s Rock Chalk Ball

Posted on Mar 18, 2019 in Career/Life and News

Rock Chalk Ball | KJO Media

KJO Media, a video-production company based in Kansas City, is a presenting sponsor of the 2019 Rock Chalk Ball, the University of Kansas Alumni Association’s largest annual fundraising event, April 27 at the Kansas City Convention Center. Hosted by the Greater Kansas City Alumni Network, the event raises funds for the Alumni Association’s alumni and student programs, including the Jayhawk Career Network.

As a presenting sponsor of this year’s event, KJO Media will provide professional media and video services and help capture the spirit of the 24th-annual KU Kansas City tradition.

“We’re thrilled to partner with KJO Media, an innovative Kansas City company founded by a fellow Jayhawk,” said Heath Peterson, Association president. “Thanks to their generous support, we will be able to share the Rock Chalk Ball experience with Jayhawks near and far, and expand programs and services for alumni and students.”

T.J. Kilian, president and executive producer at KJO Media, is a 2001 KU School of Journalism graduate. “As a proud KU alumnus, I’m excited to work with my alma mater and introduce the KJO Media team to one of the Alumni Association’s greatest annual events,” said Kilian, a Life Member of the Alumni Association. “The Rock Chalk Ball presents a great opportunity for us to support programs that benefit Jayhawks in Kansas City and across the country.”

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How a sponsor changed Jessica Palm’s career

Posted on Mar 6, 2019 in Career/Life and 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 kristilacle@kualumni.org.

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KU Alumni’s modern approach to alumni engagement

Posted on Feb 26, 2019 in Career/Life and News

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 Career/Life and 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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Kansas City-based Charlie Hustle returns as sponsor of KU Alumni Association programs

Posted on Jan 15, 2019 in Career/Life and News

Wall of vintage KU t-shirts at Charlie Hustle headquarters in Kansas City | Charlie Hustle sponsor 2019
For the third consecutive year, Kansas City-based Charlie Hustle has partnered with the University of Kansas Alumni Association. The apparel company, which offers distinctive collegiate and KU-themed designs, will serve as a presenting sponsor of the 2019 Rock Chalk Ball, the Alumni Association’s largest annual fundraiser, April 27 at the Kansas City Convention Center. The event raises funds for alumni and student programs, including the Jayhawk Career Network.

Charlie Hustle also continues to work with the Alumni Association on its 2019 Member APPreciation Month, a promotion that highlights the Association’s mobile app and celebrates member loyalty with a unique Charlie Hustle KU T-shirt, available exclusively to members only in February. In addition, the relationship includes marketing of the Charlie Hustle KU Collegiate Collection throughout the year in alumni communications.

“We’re thrilled to renew our partnership with Charlie Hustle, whose exclusive T-shirts are always a huge hit with our members,” said Heath Peterson, KU Alumni Association president. “Not only that, but this sponsorship allows the Association to expand critical programs and services that benefit all Jayhawks.”

“For the past two years, we’ve been proud to expand our partnership and relationship with the KU Alumni Association,” said Chase McAnulty, owner of Charlie Hustle and a Presidents Club and Life Member of the Alumni Association. “We strive to evoke happiness and nostalgia through our brand and partnering with the Association allows us to do just that.”

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KU Mentoring connects current, aspiring sports communicators

Posted on Jan 10, 2019 in Career/Life and News

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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Generous alumnus helps launch Jayhawk Career Network

Posted on Dec 11, 2018 in Career/Life and News

Brad GarlinghouseWhen Brad Garlinghouse was promoted to senior vice president at Yahoo! in 2006, he was already known for his industry connections. Having previously served in management roles at SBC Communications, AOL and Hightail, a file-sharing service, Garlinghouse’s new position, which put him in charge of “Communications, Communities, and Front Doors,” seemed a perfect fit for the Topeka native.

More than a decade later, Garlinghouse, now CEO of San Francisco-based cryptocurrency and digital-payment processing firm Ripple, continues to foster critical connections. In 2017, he generously donated $250,000 to the Alumni Association to help launch the Jayhawk Career Network, a multifaceted program that links students and alumni and provides career resources for Jayhawks at every life stage.

“KU helped my career take flight, and there is no doubt that I still highly value and lean on my KU network,” says Garlinghouse, c’94, a Life member. “I think the Jayhawk Career Network can replicate and expand upon my fortunate experience for lots of current and future Jayhawks. I’m pleased to be able to lend a hand in its success.”

Thanks to Garlinghouse’s significant investment, the Association hired Kristi Durkin Laclé, c’99, to oversee the new initiative, and in 2018 launched KU Mentoring, an online, career-focused platform that connects students and alumni through long-term and one-time mentorships. The program also hosts networking events across the country and will introduce opportunities for job shadowing, internships and employment in the coming months.

Garlinghouse has a strong history of supporting student interests and development. This past spring, Ripple donated a whopping $29 million to fund every campaign on the education-crowdfunding platform DonorsChoose.org. It was the largest single donation since the site launched in 2000, and it fulfilled more than 35,000 school and classroom projects nationwide.

Despite his overwhelming success in Silicon Valley, Garlinghouse, a 2015 recipient of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences’ Distinguished Alumni Award, remains true to his Kansas roots and serves as an inspiration to all Jayhawks—on the Hill and beyond.

“Good ideas can come from anywhere,” Garlinghouse says. “I mean, brilliant people come from every walk of life. And that talent can come from anywhere geographically.”

For more stories on Jayhawks like Garlinghouse and to learn more about the successes of the Alumni Association this year, read our annual report.

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