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Jayhawk Career Network

Mentor Spotlight: Michael Wagner

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

Michael Wagner, b’12 earned a bachelor’s degree from KU at the school of business. A chance connection with a Jayhawk on LinkedIn lead to the career that Wagner has now, at one of the world’s most well-known companies.

Connect with Michael on KU Mentoring+.

How did you end up in your career?

I found Zoom in 2017 after researching top software companies to work for in Denver. I was living in Minneapolis at the time and had a strong desire to move back to Denver. I connected with a Jayhawk on LinkedIn who worked at Zoom named Cooper who went out of his way to tell me all about Zoom and referred me for the position. To this day I’m always open to connecting with people who reach out to me on LinkedIn because I know the challenges of applying blindly for a company

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

An important mentor in my life is my colleague Daniel. I met Daniel when I started at Zoom in 2017 while touring the corporate office in San Jose. Similar to myself Daniel was in sales and started a year before me at Zoom. Daniel went out of his way to mentor me throughout my journey at Zoom, meeting with me monthly, taking a genuine interest in my personal and professional life. After four years I still meet with Daniel monthly and am proud to call him one of my best friends.

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

Maintain strong connections with people in your professional life. As you go throughout your career don’t lose the relationships you build along the way because you never know when you may need to lean on them in the future. It’s so important to be vulnerable, empathetic and compassionate with those people who you are close with and ask for help. People always want to help other people.

Favorite KU Memory?

Witnessing KU beat Memphis in OT to win the National Championship in 2008. My father and I went to the Final Four in San Antonio and sat across the court from Mario’s Miracle. Believe it or not I still wish I would have been in Lawrence that day.

Michael Wagner

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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