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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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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Giving Thanks to KU Mentors

Posted on Nov 20, 2018 in Career/Life and News

Jayhawks,

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
President

Do you have a story of a Jayhawk mentor that you want to thank? Share your story with us at share@kualumni.org.

KU Mentoring

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KU Mentoring connects neuroscience student with surgeon

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

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 kualumni.org/jayhawkcareernetwork.

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VIDEO: KU Mentoring program connects students, alumni

Posted on Sep 19, 2018 in Career/Life and News

The KU Alumni Association is proud to announce the launch of KU Mentoring, a program that allows Jayhawk students and alumni to share their knowledge and life experiences with other Jayhawks.

Keon Stowers, c’15, explains how mentorships changed his life, and Lay’Trion Jones, c’18, shares how his relationship with Keon helped him get to where he is today.

Learn more about the Jayhawk Career Network, and check out mentoring.ku.edu to start connecting today.

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