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Jayhawk Career Network

Mentor Spotlight: Joel Balzer

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

Joel Balzer is the general manager of higher education partnerships at AstrumU. Originally from Whitewater, Kansas, he graduated with a bachelor’s degree in history in 2008 and now lives in Overland Park, Kansas.

Connect with Joel on KU Mentoring+.

What do you do at your job? And how did you end up in your current career?

I recruit and manage a sales team partnering with higher education institutions to deliver data driven insights on the return on education for prospective learners. Because of my sales background, I was referred by another Jayhawk to AstrumU.

Who is a mentor for you, and how did they help you?

I have had so many mentors — many of them Jayhawks who always answer my phone calls when I have both personal and professional questions. A recent example would be contemplating a career change. It was the most difficult decision of my career and my mentor, Michael, walked me through the pros and cons.

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

Have a genuinely curious nature about yourself. Don’t ever be afraid to ask. Take a public speaking course. Put yourself in uncomfortable situations. Never be afraid of failing.

What is your favorite KU memory?

The easiest answer would be my entire senior year of 2008-09, but my favorite would have to be all the time spent in Oliver Hall.
Joel Balzer

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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