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.

Connect with Joel on KU Mentoring+.

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.

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.

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: