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From Service to Servers

August 2, 2022 Ali Pfeiffer
UofL alum Tanner Lyon standing in front of College of Business sculpture.

At just 28 years old, Tanner Lyon is a military veteran pursuing a career in computer information systems. The Louisville native didn’t take a traditional path to obtain his undergraduate degree; Tanner sat down with the College of Business to explain where life took him and how he would eventually become a Business Cardinal alum.

Tell us about your military service. What branch did you serve in, and what was your role?

I served in the Marine Corps for five years. I left UofL in 2012 after a semester because I wasn’t sure what I wanted in life and just personally wasn’t ready to commit to four plus years of college. Funny enough, I found myself right back in a college environment. I went to the Defense Language Institute Foreign Language Center to learn Levantine Arabic for 64 weeks. I obtained an Associate of Arts in Levantine Arabic. Shortly after, I began my work as an Arabic linguist and was trained to become a signals intelligence analyst while serving as a Senior Linguist.

After some time working stateside, I spent my last 18 months or so preparing and deploying as the Senior Linguist on the 15th MEU. Here I had the opportunity to work in many roles such as All Source Analyst, Linguist, SIGINT Analyst, and Trainer. It opened my world up to more of a technical side, sparking my interest in IT.  

What drew you to the CIS program at UofL? Did your military background influence your decision?

The experience and exposure to things like some networking courses (basics like OSI Model) while working in the Marine Corps gave me an interest in working in IT. I also enjoy working with people and helping solve problems for people. This led me to work in the COB with a technical degree. Very thankful for my experience there.

Where has your career taken you since graduating? Do you feel that your classes prepared you well for what you’re doing now?

I am now working in a Cloud Developer role. My role is called Senior Cloud Solutions Engineer. I am tasked with different initiatives to develop applications in Azure Cloud. The CIS program exposed me to coding, scripting, and computer science fundamentals. This led me to a lot of personal self-development while working in multiple internships that the UofL career center helped me find. I found my Humana internship through the career fair and friends in the program which led me to my position now.

Did any classes or professors have a big impact on you? If so, please share what or who did and how.

Dr. Andrew L. Wright was one of the most encouraging and impactful professors/teachers I’ve ever had. He not only taught me a lot in programming, but I think just as importantly, he taught me precision and accuracy in all I do and gave me a lot of confidence to tackle complex problems. That confidence helped grow me as a professional and push me for more technical tasks and roles.

What advice would you share with current students?

Stay confident. Fail fast.

Build genuine relationships and always look for opportunities to challenge yourself. You may be surprised by what you and your colleagues can accomplish.

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