Trusted guidance

Journalism student bound for success with help from fellow Jayhawk and mentor

Always Jayhawks | Emma Greenwood
Greenwood | Photograph by Dan Storey

Emma Greenwood was studying abroad in fall 2019 when she decided to sign up for KU Mentoring, the Jayhawk Career Network’s online platform that matches students and alumni in mentorships based on professional and personal interests and geographic locations, among other factors. The senior from Burke, Virginia, who’s majoring in strategic communications, had heard about the program in one of her journalism classes and thought that by participating she could better prepare herself to enter the working world. Signing up, she says, was a cinch.

“I went on the platform, filled out my major and some interests, and it popped up with two or three people to connect with,” Greenwood says. “It was as easy as that.”

Greenwood sent an invitation to Crystal Fong, c’15, j’15, an operations training specialist at YRC Freight in Overland Park, who had often participated in the Alumni Association’s online networking events and knew right away that she wanted to be part of KU Mentoring. “I am constantly seeking the right opportunities to grow, to learn and to use my knowledge, skills and abilities for my local community,” Fong says. “I have not only designed and implemented mentoring programs for my employers, but I have also benefited from participating in them. And I love staying involved with my alma mater. KU Mentoring provided the perfect vessel for fulfilling all my motivations.”

After briefly discussing what kind of mentoring assistance Greenwood needed, the two agreed to meet at McLain’s Market, adjacent to the Lawrence campus.

“At that time, I was having interviews for internships, so she helped me put together good answers and get ready for interviews,” says Greenwood. “She also helped me with my résumé. From there she scheduled us to meet monthly and since then we’ve been working on my portfolio and LinkedIn profile to get ready for the job market.”

Though their monthly conversations have transitioned online during the pandemic, the experience continues to be beneficial for Greenwood and Fong, and both Jayhawks anticipate that their mentoring relationship will last long after Greenwood graduates. “Emma and I have no plans to end our mentorship anytime soon, and she is a top priority for me,” Fong says. “She is really making the most of our mentorship, and I feel a strong sense of purpose to be there for her and to give her my best.”