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Jayhawk Career Network

Mentor Spotlight: Carolyn Cohen

We’re highlighting Jayhawks who serve as mentors to fellow alumni and students to celebrate National Mentoring Month.

Carolyn Cohen, c’11 j’11, is a Senior Marketing Manager at HR Block in the Kansas City area. She also has experience managing social media content and has worked at multiple advertising agencies.

Connect with Carolyn on KU Mentoring.

What was a big turning point or achievement in your career journey?

I’m grateful to have many exciting achievements throughout my career, but I would say a big turning point for my was when I took a role to lead my own team. I had managed people before but being ‘the boss’ can be intimidating! I enjoy getting to know people on a personal level as well as helping to identify their professional strengths and working together to continuously improve.

Who was a mentor for you? How did they help you?

One person I give a lot of credit for my career to is one of my former managers, Chelsea. She hired me but after only a few months of working together she took another job. She took a stand for me and recommended I get promoted into her role. This truly helped me leapfrog into a leadership role very quickly and even though it’s been years since we have worked together we still stay connected.

What advice do you have for current college students or young alumni?

Network by staying connected. One thing I didn’t know as a student or young alumni is how quickly the hiring process goes. Now, as someone who has been in the position to hire roles from interns to managers- I know that it goes from “We need someone!” to giving an offer very quickly. You want to be top of mind for people in your network. That means staying connected on LinkedIn, checking in every once in a while, being active on those platforms and being engaged in any professional groups and the events they host.

What is your favorite KU memory?

Tied between two! 1- Watching KU win the National Championship as a freshman was unreal and I can so vividly remember running all the way to Mass St. to celebrate (Ask me about how that weekend ended my “career” working at the KU Rec Center!) And 2- Even though we had already graduated, my husband, a fellow Jayhawk, proposed to me in 2012 under the Campanile and I was totally surprised.

Need a mentor? Want to serve as a mentor? KU Mentoring is open to students, alumni, faculty and staff, and friends of the University of Kansas. Professionals who are looking for opportunities to connect with KU and provide assistance to Jayhawks are also welcome. Learn more about KU Mentoring.

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