Austin Beschen ('21 CS BA), who graduated this May 2023 with an MCS degree, was chosen to receive the award for “Academic Excellence in the Masters Program” for 2022-23. This competitive honor recognizes academic prowess, the variety and difficulty of courses taken along the way, as well as instructor feedback.
Austin was kind enough to reflect upon this award, his time at Iowa, his very path to Computer Science, as well as what comes next for him.
How did your High School and undergraduate studies lead you to the U. of Iowa as a U2G|MCS student?
I decided to join U. of Iowa [Computer Science] because when I was in high school I wanted to go to a university that was the best option local to my state. To this, I decided to go to the University of Iowa for my undergraduate degree. After completing a few years of my undergraduate, I learned about the U2G program. I decided to stay for my Masters, as it would allow me to finish both my undergraduate and Masters within 4 years of graduating from high school and I had always wanted to get a Masters.
How was your experience at Iowa -- including research, courses (as student &/or TA), and other outside-the-department endeavors?
My experience at Iowa was overall good. I met a lot of great people and friends during my courses. As a Masters student, I TA'ed for Professor Stump and he was a fantastic professor to work with and a wonderful person. The software engineering courses (CS5800-5830) were my favorite courses and the most important to my development.
What’s next for you post graduation?
Post graduation I plan to move away from Iowa to a larger city and state and become a software engineer.
What advice do you have for our students?
My greatest advice would be to utilize TA office hours in your courses. As a TA, I saw many students who did and did not utilize them and the impact it could have. Students who came to office hours regularly saved a lot of time when they would get stuck on homework, and time is a students most valuable resource.