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Standing quietly in a room buzzing with expectation, Evan Cloud knew he was in the right place. The College of Business Computer Information Systems (CIS) major had just talked with a representative of Coca-Cola Enterprises, the world’s largest marketer, distributor and producer of bottled and canned soft drinks. He’d heard what he needed to hear.

Recruiting visit spotlights solid IT careers

Standing quietly in a room buzzing with expectation, Evan Cloud knew he was in the right place. The College of Business Computer Information Systems (CIS) major had just talked with a representative of Coca-Cola Enterprises, the world’s largest marketer, distributor and producer of bottled and canned soft drinks. He’d heard what he needed to hear.

"I’m looking for a job in the trenches," he said. "And this seems like a good place for it."

Coca-Cola Interviews

Cloud, who expects to graduate next December, was one more than 90 current students and recent graduates of the college’s CIS program participating in Coke’s first-ever recruiting visit to the college this past November. Staffing up for a new information technology facility in Louisville, the company was looking to fill up to 19 full-time jobs and 15 paid internships, including slots in Atlanta.

"It was good to get the company’s perspective first-hand," Cloud said.

Coke’s interest was in landing good candidates for entry-level programmer analyst positions, a job requiring a CIS degree and minimal on-the-job experience, with a starting salary in the $50 to $59k range.

"We saw several good people today," said Coke HR representative Kieu Huynh, waving a handful of completed applications. "I hope we’ll be coming back to do this again."

But in addition to opportunities, the event spotlighted a paradox in the IT industry currently reflected in college campuses around the country.

"There’s a lot of misinformation about outsourcing and the lack of solid IT careers in this country," said CIS Department Chair Manju Ahuja. "It may discourage some students from considering majoring in a computer field. But obviously, there are a lot of good positions available."

To meet the challenge, Ahuja said the CIS department is expanding its outreach to prospective students, including high school seniors, to make sure they’re aware of all the career opportunities that come with a CIS degree. The Coke visit, which was exclusively for CIS majors, boosted the program’s visibility instantly.

"Besides technology, our program delivers the business know-how required for positions in management and marketing," she said. "Our graduates often end up in positions where they’re hiring IT people."

The Coke visit was coordinated by the college’s Ulmer Career Management Center with support from the CIS faculty. For more information about Ulmer services, visit http://business.louisville.edu/ulmer.

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