Mentor Spotlight

Mentor Spotlight: Bill Mar
We’re highlighting Jayhawks who serve as mentors to fellow alumni and students to celebrate National Mentoring Month.

Connect with Bill on KU Mentoring+.


Bill Mar loves the hunt for the solution. He describes himself as a technically-oriented leader with diverse experience in the full software lifecycle. He enjoys helping his team drill down into hard problems, analyze the patterns and draw conclusions through data collection.


A Garden City native, Bill, c’88, earned his degree in computer science at the University of Kansas. He can assist students and young alumni with choosing a major, career and industry trends, mock interviews, diversity and inclusion and more.


In his free time, Bill enjoys running, biking, swimming, triathlons, genealogy and travel. Connect with Bill on KU Mentoring.

What do you do at your job?

In my most recent LinkedIn position, I worked as the Site Reliability Engineering (SRE) Manager for Search. The Search SRE team in the US and a complimentary group in Bangalore, India, maintain the search platform’s uptime and availability for the scores of search deployments across the company; search has one of the largest hardware footprints at LinkedIn.


Anywhere that a user searches for people, jobs, companies, schools, or other terms would be processed by all the relevant search indices. The consolidated ranked and most relevant results would be shown, relative to the individual user logged in, the job posting managed by a recruiter, or another search requester. My team ensured that search results would be timely, complete, up-to-date, and not disrupted by software failures, hardware issues, or excessive lag in updates.

How has being a Jayhawk helped your career?

Networking is one of the most important aspects of managing a successful career. Beyond prior co-workers, being able to affiliate with other KU Jayhawks allows me to find or recognize potential job candidates and companies that employ KU alumni.


There are many KU alumni in Silicon Valley, so they can represent valuable networking to learn about a company and potential referral opportunities with a much higher reply rate; they may also have the inside track on opportunities not advertised.

How did you end up at KU?

I was born and raised in Garden City. I knew from junior high that I wanted to major in computer science, and between the in-state and out-of-state college options I had, KU offered the best program based on my research—and the basketball didn’t disappoint either!


Interestingly enough, the family car broke down my first year, but I could still take the Amtrak train to school because it stopped in Lawrence! Today, and before COVID, I still took the commuter train to work in Silicon Valley to avoid highway traffic delays into San Francisco.

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+.

More Headlines

Copy the Leader: Crystal Fong

Crystal Fong, c’15, j’15, is a DEI and Talent Development Leader. We sat down with Crystal to learn what leadership means to her.

Driving with Jayhawks
Driving with Jayhawks: KU mascot coach Brian Carpenter

KU mascot coach Brian Carpenter, c’02 joins Driving with Jayhawks. Learn what it takes to fill the boots of Big and Baby Jay!

‘Hawks & Highways’ brings KU Alumni, KU Endowment across Kansas

The University of Kansas Alumni Association and KU Endowment are hosting “Hawks & Highways” gatherings in several Kansas communities this summer.

Copy the Leader: Stephanie Wittman

Stephanie Wittman, d’10 is a Health and Strength and Conditioning teacher at Tonganoxie High School. We sat down with Stephanie to learn what leadership means to her.

Copy the Leader: Jon Sabillón

Jon Sabillón, c’11, is an international DJ, entrepreneur, and music futurist. We sat down with Jon to learn what leadership means to him.

Jayhawks Give Back
Jayhawk helps communities grow through The Giving Grove

Tucked away in urban neighborhoods across the U.S. are little orchards making a big impact.

KU Alumni Association
KU Alumni receives Insight Into Diversity Magazine’s Inclusive Excellence Award

The KU Alumni Association will be featured, along with 31 other recipients, in the June 2024 issue of Insight Into Diversity magazine.

Driving with Jayhawks
Driving with Jayhawks: Flying Jayhawks

In the monthly Driving with Jayhawks series, we’re taking the best of KU on a ride through campus as we talk about their Jayhawk experience.

Tradition of Excellence Award honors student leaders

Eleven University of Kansas students were honored for their leadership on the Lawrence.

Welcome to the University
of Kansas Alumni Association

Your membership in the KU Alumni Association is the single most powerful way to make all of KU stronger, including the value of your own degree. Through your membership, the Association: