Shawnee State graduate finds success at Microsoft


Staff report



PORTSMOUTH — Orrin Edenfield was not sure where his career would take him after receiving his degree from Shawnee State University in 2004. An Adams County native and a first-generation college student, he chose to keep his options open and explore the possibilities a career in computer science could bring him. Over 15 years later, Edenfield just celebrated his fifth year working at Microsoft while living in the United Kingdom (UK).

“I didn’t necessarily make a plan to get me here one day,” he said. “I chose to keep my mind open, and to be open to the opportunities that would come my way. One thing then built to another to get me here.”

After graduating with a degree in Business Administration – concentrated in Management Information Systems – Edenfield decided to gain experience outside of southern Ohio. He moved first to Georgia and then on to California, before starting at a consulting job that kept him traveling between Minnesota and Maryland. Eventually recruited through LinkedIn, Edenfield took a job at Microsoft where he still works as a Principal Cloud Solution Architect.

In his role, Edenfield helps customers based in the United States but have developers in Europe, the Middle East, or Africa (EMEA). Working closely with the Microsoft Azure service, Edenfield works closely to provide data services’ assistance and guidance to his clients.

“Basically, my role is geared to help customers,” he said. “Say a customer wants to deploy a mobile app and that app has to work across multiple geographies, then there’s going to be a backend database. To ensure that database solution is resilient and cost effective, that’s where I step in to help them do that.”

With a background focused on computer science, Edenfield also harnesses the education he received in his business courses.

“One thing that really spoke to me when I decided to enroll at Shawnee was that in addition to computer science courses, the degree was based in the Business Administration department,” he said. “Learning the technical things were great but being able to understand the impact on a business or understanding how to convince a business owner why they should use a product or service are very valuable skills.”

Edenfield has lived in the UK for a little over two years as he began supporting customers in the EMEA region. Living in London with his wife Jennifer and their two children Declan and Magnolia, they’ve enjoyed being able to travel and experience different cultures throughout Europe and the UK. As COVID lockdowns in the country start to be lifted, they are looking forward to being able to start traveling again.

“In this move, we kind of thought ‘we have a five-year visa, let’s see where this takes us,’” he said. “I’m not sure where I’ll end up next, but for me that’s part of the fun in it.”

To learn more about the Management Information Systems program at Shawnee State University visit shawnee.edu.

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Staff report