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Uncoding Tomorrow

November 1, 2021 Ali Pfeiffer
UofL CIS alum Jayna Newcomer headshot

Janya Newcomer is a Technology Services Specialist at Dean Dorton. The Woodford R. Porter Scholar graduated Cum Laude with honors in May of 2020. While Janya entered the job market in the heart of the pandemic, her CIS education and experiences at the College prepared her for success. We sat down with Janya as she reflected on her time at UofL.

You completed your BA in Business Administration with a concentration in Computer Information Systems in 2020.  Can you tell us how your career is going since you graduated? 

I completed my degree at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic so my entrance to my career is skewed by that fact. During my final year at UofL, I was able to secure a job that utilized all my degree paths and let me put my knowledge to the test. That company recently got acquired, however, I am still able to use all three of the degrees that I earned from UofL (Information Security, Business Process Management, and Web Development) to service many clients around the United States. I am currently working at Dean Dorton as a Technology Services Specialist. Under that job title, I am a system administrator, a consultant, a project manager, and a developer. I have the knowledge to dive into these areas because of how easy it was to triple major under the CIS program.

How did your CIS degree and time at the College prepare you for a career in technology services?

My CIS degree gave me a clear understanding of the business side of working in technology. It is not all coding and server rooms but a lot of paperwork, email, and negotiation. Working in consulting, I have to present my knowledge in the form of a proposal with much legal language thrown in, too. Knowing economics, marketing, and how to put technology into layman’s terms is invaluable to completing anything in my field beyond groundwork.

Why did you decide to attend the College of Business? Tell us about an experience that stands out or a person who inspired you to pursue a career in technology.

I decided to attend the College of Business because I wanted to understand technology from a business perspective so that I could make a difference with the technology I interacted with and not just code or manage systems. Being in technology himself, my father inspired me to pursue a career in technology. He always filled the house with the newest gadgets and took time to explain (at my level) what each piece of technology or software did and how it did it. Through years of talking with him about his work (he has worn every IT hat possible, landing at CTO today) and the world around us, I figured out that the biggest impact I could have on the world would be working in technology – it is the thread that holds everything together in our modern world.

How do you see your professional career evolving over the next few years? What’s next for you?

Over the next few years, I plan to dive deeper into the cybersecurity field. My former company recently got acquired by Dean Dorton and this has opened me to new growth opportunities to really start growing my career in any direction that I choose.

As a recent graduate, what advice do you have for students in their final year of undergrad?

Find someone in your place of work or career that can help you along in the transition. It is not easy to go from a college kid to a full, proper employee at any company. You will have a new life dynamic to figure out and will need someone to support you at work. Do not be afraid to negotiate for what you believe you are worth, or even more. Also, invest in an underclassman and share the wisdom you learned in your years. You never know how your experiences will help another student succeed.

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