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Uncoding Tomorrow

November 1, 2021
UofL CIS alum Jayna Newcomer headshot

Jayna Newcomer is a technology services specialist at Dean Dorton. The Woodford R. Porter Scholar graduated Cum Laude with honors in May of 2020. A highly-motivated student, she earned degrees in the three Computer Information Systems tracks offered at UofL—data analytics, information security, and web development. While she entered the job market in the heart of the pandemic, this triple-threat skillset prepared her for success.

“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,” says Jayna. She secured a job before graduating. That company was acquired by Dean Dorton a few months later. She currently serves as a technology services specialist for the company, a position that may not fully describe the scope and scale of Jayna’s role—serving customers across the US. “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.”

That experience in the CIS program helped cultivate an understanding of both the business and the technology sides of her career path. Jayna explains, “It is not all coding and server rooms but a lot of paperwork, emails, and negotiation. Working in consulting, I have to present my knowledge in the form of a proposal with much legal language thrown in, too.” These soft skills gained in her classes at the College have proven as essential as any data tools she learned. “Knowing economics, marketing, and how to put technology into layman’s terms is invaluable to completing anything in my field beyond groundwork.”

While the business component to Jayna’s education has served her well at Dean Dorton, her love of technology inspired her to pursue a degree in CIS. “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,” reflects Jayna. “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 [in IT] 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.”

As her career with Dean Dorton may be at its start, Jayna is already planning to dive deeper into the cybersecurity field. The path ahead is wide open but she offers some timely advice for undergrads in their final years. “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. 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.”