Mock Interviews Give Jayhawks Opportunity to Learn, Grow

LAWRENCE, Kansas – Kansas student-athletes understand the importance of practice to their success on their respective courts, fields and courses, but nearly three dozen Jayhawks got to prep and be evaluated in order to achieve future success in careers outside athletics with the annual KU Leads mock interviews last week.  
Part of KU Leads’ extensive, immersive experience encouraging current Jayhawks to “Compete Everywhere,” the mock interviews allowed student-athletes to be paired with real-world professionals in one-on-one job audition settings and receive real-time feedback on what they did well or could potentially do better.
“Going into the mock interview I didn’t know what to expect as there was so much unknown to me about the process,” Kansas football’s Alex Matlock said. “After the interview I was able to get great feedback on the things that I did well along with the things that I needed to work on in order to better prepare myself once the real interview occurred. I appreciate the opportunity given to me by athletics as I now have the tools that will serve to my benefit for the rest of my life.”
The event is part of a series of career development activities that starts with career interest inventory and exploration during student-athlete participation in a Freshman Leadership Academy, and is one of a handful of preparations – resume workshops, individual resume critiques, LinkedIn profile creation, and mock interviews – leading up to Kansas Athletics’ annual Career Development and Networking Night.
Further career development and training takes place during Jayhawks After College, a transitional seminar aimed at helping during a student-athletes final year on campus.
Last week’s mock interviews in the KU Leads offices offered a low-pressure chance to connect with experienced business professionals who have been through the hiring process numerous times.
“I was greatly impressed by the student-athletes I met during the mock job interviews,” Charles Decedue, former Chief Scientific Officer at CritiTech, Inc., and Former Executive Director of the Higuchi Biosciences Center, said. “Although still early in their careers, these students have clearly given significant thought to their futures and are doing those things that are necessary to help them reach their goals. 
“Even though the mock interview process is not an exact match for a real-world interview, it is a great starting point for the students to get a feeling for what they will be facing for real in just a few short months or years. The experience will definitely give those students a decided edge in the job search process.”
KU Leads has also started efforts to spark open discussion and help student-athletes identify with a career field of interest with Career Communities Nights, connecting current and former student-athletes of engineering, communications and law in recent weeks.  The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.