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Graduating ready to work

As a college student, graduating and making your mark on the world can be a daunting idea. But Elton Carr, for one, says that UIndy prepared him well for post-graduate success. His story encourages those of us who are still trying to decide what we want to be when we grow up to make the best of our time in college, no matter which career path we choose. Elton has a passion for the computer science field, so it wasn’t difficult to decide which field to study. He double-majored in Computer Science & Information Systems, and he also had a work-study job in the Web Services office. And he put his passion and education to use for the benefit of the entire university. On the job in Web Services, he created the classifieds section on the intranet site, called My UIndy.

This is classified

“I saw a problem at the end of every semester and throughout the school year, where students would receive emails about other students wanting to sell their items,” Elton said. “So I thought, ‘Why not just create a marketplace for students to do this themselves?’”

The project required extensive planning, so he enlisted the help of the senior applications developer, Marty Tormoehlen. With Marty as his advisor, Elton created the code for the program, and after a substantial period of reviewing the application, it was implemented in the UIndy intranet.

“I’ve been told how successful it had become,” Elton says. “Even better, there are times when I’ve gotten to hear how fellow students found the site helpful. That, too, is the cool part of doing what I do.”

Elton’s primary interest is in writing secure code. When Elton worked in Web Services at UIndy, Marty taught him a great deal.

“My post-grad work will certainly focus on the area of software security,” Elton says. “So I see direct influences from my time with Web Services on my post-grad career.”

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Internships were crucial

Elton worked for a semester at Angie’s List, a website that gathers customer reviews of service companies. He implemented some components now being used on the website. He also interned at Infinamic, a marketing firm, for a summer. There, his responsibilities included automating the setup of e-commerce websites based on application programming interface for Amazon. For his work at Infinamic, Elton was nominated for Intern of the Year. Elton’s impressive work history continued with KellyTouch, Inc., where he and fellow UIndy grad Corey Cochran developed a teacher evaluation system expected to be used across the nation one day.

The payoff

After a friend suggested that he investigate job opportunities at Microsoft, he sent in his résumé and received a callback. Several interviews later, he was invited to participate in a summer internship. He was invited to become a full-time employee immediately after his graduation in May 2012.

During his internship, the group he worked with was responsible for measuring the performance of various Microsoft service organizations, such as commonly used applications SkyDrive and Messenger.

“I was given a lot of room to execute my project,” Elton says. “However, Microsoft is a very complex organization. So as part of my work, I had to coordinate with a number of people inside and outside my team.”

Now a Microsoft employee, Elton says that his responsibilities have changed substantially. He now does service management work for SkyDrive Storage. Translated into layman’s terms: he is the one who oversees the data that you save on SkyDrive.com.

Words of wisdom

Elton offered advice for students who are in the same position he was less than a year ago, prior to his graduation.

“Be prepared to put in the time required, to research and learn new languages,” he says. “Classroom work will give you the basics.”

And for those who, like him, are interested in pursuing computer science, Elton praises UIndy’s Web Services office and recommends it as a place for others to gain valuable experience.

“The Web Services department— with taskmaster Marty— is a very good place to pick up crucial real-world skills.”

— Ariana Gainer ‘14