Mentor Spotlight: Bill Mar

Posted on Jan 15, 2021 in Alumni News, Career/Life, and News

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

Bill Mar

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.

Bill Mar in San Francisco

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.

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