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McAnally reflects on 17 years of helping Washburn students break into chosen fields

Kent McAnally posing

From The Ichabod - Winter 2024
Story and photo by Jeremy Wangler

As director of Washburn Career Services the last 17 years, Kent McAnally told people the keys to the job they want are networking and getting experience in the field while a student. He also recommended mock interviews through his office.

Retiring in January, McAnally reflected on serving Washburn students and alumni since 2006.

“It is still true that making connections is most important,” McAnally said. “Everybody says, ‘It's not what you know, it's who you know.’ But the reality is, it's who knows you.”

Work experience can come from an internship, clinicals, a graduate assistantship or some other way to get into the field while getting a degree.

“It's getting experience in a real workplace,” he said. “It's doing real work. That's the best qualification.”

Madi Steinbrock, ba ’19, was in the final year of her kinesiology degree when Roy Wohl, professor and chair of kinesiology, required students to prepare a resume and do a mock interview at Career Services. Steinbrock  wanted to get into a graduate program, so she took her resume to McAnally and asked for help beyond her class requirements. She had her sights set on a master’s program at the University of Kansas studying higher education administration with a graduate assistantship in student-athlete support services.

“Kent went over my resume and did extensive research about working in student-athlete support services,” she said. “He went above and beyond in preparing me for that interview and helping me know what I wanted to say. He told me I did a really good job and was prepared. That helped me relax and feel confident.”

Steinbrock got in the program, graduated and is now a learning specialist in the Kansas State University athletics department. She tries to emulate the characteristics she saw in McAnally and others at Washburn.

“A lot of people at Washburn were willing to help me and go the extra mile like Kent was,” she said. "I wanted to go into higher education because there are so many people like him at Washburn going above and beyond.”

Retired now after 24 years in career services, 13 years teaching music in public schools and four years doing both as a graduate student, McAnally hopes more students will use Career Services earlier in their education and everyone will remember the services are free not just to students, but also alumni.

“It’s rewarding when a student or alumni seeks assistance or just wants to run some things by us, and then we find out they got a position they really wanted,” McAnally said. “I just can’t say enough about how that has worked here at Washburn and how it’s what’s driven me.”

Winter 2024 The Ichabod magazine cover with picture of the bell tower and snow fallen on campus

The Ichabod tells our story with features on alumni, faculty, staff, students and friends, along with the latest campus news. View the current and past editions


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