News - Developing Apps and So Much More

Developing Apps and So Much More

Developing Apps and So Much More

As a Greenville College student, Luke Rice developed a reputation for excellence. He explains, "I was never satisfied with just fulfilling the requirements for assignments in my digital media classes. The classes were designed to help me develop skills in my field, so I took full advantage of them by going the extra mile on every assignment possible." The StrengthsFinder exam he took as an incoming freshman pegged him as competitive, innovative, forward-thinking, and strategic. Those strengths, key assets for a career in technology, have helped him develop as a standout applications developer at AT&T in St. Louis since his graduation in 2010.

When he first visited Greenville College as a prospective student, Luke was undecided about his major. He attended a presentation by Deloy Cole, director of the digital media program. Deloy promised preview students interested in digital media that the program would give them the opportunity to experiment as content creators in a variety of media - film, photography, graphic design, audio recording, and web development.

Deloy's presentation sold Luke on the digital media major. He explains, "I thought it would allow me to try everything and find that individual piece that I like the most." When he took his first programming course, Luke fell in love with its logic. As a result, he decided to minor in computer and information systems (CIS). A semester abroad in Australia challenged his creativity and design skills while earning him an additional minor in art.

He worked as Deloy's assistant for three years and grew to admire his advisor's passion for following new developments in the field. "Deloy fueled my interest in technology. He always stayed on top of current trends and kept them in mind as he planned his lessons. I would complete something for fun on the side, and he would challenge me to make it even cooler."

Luke's online portfolio earned the attention of former Greenville College president Dr. Larry Linamen, who presented his body of work to Chinese educators as an example of the caliber of projects students in the digital media program produce. His portfolio proved helpful in establishing Greenville College's Intensive English Language Program.

After graduation, Luke accepted a position at AT&T in St. Louis through Matrex, a six-month program the company designed to transition recent college graduates. After completing the program he went to work on an AT&T mainframe application. Server code didn't hold his attention for long. He sought out company resources for professional development and gained experience in mobile development in his spare time. Shortly after that AT&T launched its strategic initiative for mobile development. Luke was perfectly poised to join the team. He was offered the job after excelling in a competitive four-step interview process that lasted several months and involved hundreds of candidates.

He now builds applications for mobile devices and worked on several high profile projects. AT&T retail centers across the country now use one of his applications; he created another specifically for company executives. Luke recently earned his second promotion and is now a senior specialist applications developer.

In just two and a half years, Luke has made a name for himself at AT&T. "I really feel like AT&T is a rewarding company to work for," he says. "I work very hard, and they value that."

Earlier this year, Deloy brought a group of current digital media students to visit his former teacher's assistant at the AT&T office in St. Louis. Luke delivered several presentations on Android and iPhone development and coordinated presentations from several other employees. For Luke, it was an opportunity to be on the other side of the learning experience.

Luke credits Greenville College with helping him develop the skills to think critically, communicate well, and learn successfully. "I grew skilled at learning. The biggest thing I gained at Greenville College was the ability to rapidly grow and succeed in any environment."

This story was published on December 12, 2012

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