Jayhawk Career Network: Leveraging KU Mentoring as alumni

Posted on Apr 17, 2019 in Alumni News, 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 gives students and alumni access to career resources, jobs, events, programming and connections at every stage of their career. 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.

Tags: , , ,