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Professor uses KU Mentoring+ to connect for class

A KU professor and student are using KU Mentoring+ to connect alumni back to the university and KU students in a new class.

Peter Bobkowski, associate professor at the school of journalism, is launching a new course called Data Storytelling this fall. The class will focus on the importance of data in careers in journalism and strategic communications.

To provide students real-world examples of how data is used in a variety of journalism careers, Bobkowski interviewed school of journalism alumni about their jobs and how they utilize data, spreadsheets and visualizations to make informed decisions at their companies.

Bobkowski worked with Mason Rettele, a junior from Lawrence, to produce a list of alumni and reach out to them through the KU Mentoring+ platform.

“Using the platform was super easy,” Bobkowski says. “The alumni who are on the platform are already invested in supporting current KU students so we’ve had a pretty easy time connecting with alumni willing to participate in the videos. We used both KU Mentoring and LinkedIn, and the response from KU Mentoring has been much more productive than from LinkedIn. Other professors should try the platform to connect with alumni for guest speaking opportunities or mentoring.”


Once connected, Mason Rettele interviewed the alumni over zoom and produced a video of each conversation. Alumni discuss their roles at their companies, how they use data, and walk through real examples of the data sets and software they use daily.

“I’ve loved talking with the alumni,” Rettele says. “Everyone I’ve talked to has been happy to delve into the minutiae of their jobs. The interviews have been a great opportunity for me to explore possible career paths and personally connect with industry professionals.”

KU Mentoring is now KU Mentoring +, the home for mentoring, networking, opportunity and community.

Whether you are a student looking for a mentor, or an alum interested in joining a Jayhawk community – KU Mentoring +, exists to serve those connection opportunities to further strengthen the Jayhawk Network.



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