From Rock Star to Tech Star, UC Student Sees the Light in IT
By Mary Kay Meier, CECH Communications Intern
With a bass guitar in hand and dreams of rock and roll fame, Paul Meyer graduated from high school and spent the next several years touring and recording with different bands in the southern Ohio region. “I was going to be a rock star and no one could tell me differently,” the tall, charismatic student laughingly admits. But not all aspiring rock-n-rollers make it big, and Meyer wisely had a backup plan. “I made a promise to myself that if nothing happened by the time I was 30, I would go back to college to complete my education.” Meyer said.
Soon after his thirtieth birthday, Meyer enrolled at the University of Cincinnati to pursue a B.S. in Information Technology and to explore both the programming and development sides of IT.
As passionate about IT as he is about rock and roll, Meyer believes he has chosen a great field with lots of job growth potential. “While growing up, my hobbies included playing video games and recording music. Information technology was an easy choice for me. The IT co-op program really sold me on the University of Cincinnati, and all the faculty in the UC Department of IT continue to inspire and empower me to realize I have the creativity to succeed in the IT field,” Meyer said.
Meyer has worked two co-ops at General Electric (GE). With encouragement from GE, he successfully developed an XTML output program that spans the energy, aviation, oil, and gas divisions and is currently used by 500 GE employees. “I had the opportunity to see this project through from development and design, to implementation and validation, and ultimately into production. It’s an honor to have my name associated with this application,” Meyer says. His co-ops with GE opened another door of opportunity; Meyer was recently chosen to intern for GE’s Information Technology Leadership Program (ITLP).
Meyer believes his involvement in student organizations played a large part in securing his co-op positions. Last year, Meyer and fellow IT classmate Darius Howard, re-ignited the Information Student Technology Association (ITSA) at UC, which now has 250 members. As ITSA president, Meyer recently brought world-renowned software developer and GNU/Linux founder, Dr. Richard Stallman, to the Clifton campus. Meyer also helps organize study sessions and “hot topic” lunch-and-learn forums that are open to any UC student interested in improving their technology knowledge. He implemented a UC Information Technology Facebook group, which has become a successful forum for sharing and teaching among students, professors, and community business leaders.
While Meyer may have taken a non-traditional route to information technology, he’s found his true passion and his future in IT is bright.