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Megan Janssen
More Than I Imagined Seniors reflect on accomplishments and look ahead

Megan Janssen

Graduation year: 2018

Majors: Computer science, biology

Activities: Club basketball, WINGS Athletics, Delta Chi Theta sorority, Augustana Invitational Robotics Challenge, Phi Beta Kappa

Internships: EBE Technologies; HNI Corporation; Media Link, Inc. 

Post-grad plans: Software engineer at ESPN (Fantasy Applications team)

Why Augustana?

I chose Augustana because of its small class sizes and location. I loved how accessible the professors were when I visited and all of the opportunities that the college offers. 

Are you where you thought you’d be when you first came to campus?

Not at all! My plan was to go pre-med. At that point, I had never taken a computer science class in my life. Four years later, I am going to enter the computer science workforce with no current plans to use my biology major. It is crazy how things completely flipped around. 

Who helped you get to where you are now?

There have been many friends and professors who have helped me get to where I am today, but I really have to thank Dr. Stonedahl for all of his help through the years. I walked into his office at the end of my freshman year after being told that it might not be possible to double major in biology and computer science (CSC). Within 10 minutes of sitting down, he figured out a plan that would make it all work.

Just this last summer I told him I was interested in knowing more about cyber security, and he volunteered his time to do an independent study with a small group of CSC students, including me.

Jump ahead to this year, and Dr. Stonedahl recommended that I apply for a scholarship to go to the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. This conference was how I was able to get in contact with major tech companies and receive a job offer from ESPN. I have so much respect for him and the way he is always willing to go above and beyond to help students, both inside and outside the classroom.  

Peak experience?

Two experiences come to mind when I think about the peak of my college career. The first one would definitely have to be receiving the phone call from ESPN with a job offer. It is such a rewarding feeling to know that all of your hard work has paid off. The second experience would be the Artificial Intelligence class I took my senior year. I had always been curious about AI and robotics, and this class reminded me why I love my major so much. 

What surprised you?

I learned that I enjoy being in leadership roles. In high school, I had been on athletic teams and in group projects, but I never took the lead in any of those groups. Augustana helped me get into leadership roles and become more comfortable in those positions. 

How did you use Augie Choice?

I used Augie Choice to cover living expenses while interning at HNI Corporation in Muscatine, Iowa.

What will you miss the most?

I will miss playing basketball with the club team, late-night projects in Olin with CSC students, and being around all of the friends that I have met at Augustana.  

Advice for the Class of 2022?

Take advantage of the resources that Augustana provides! Use your professor's office hours, go to tutoring sessions, and most importantly, be sure to use CORE. I have had three internships while at Augustana and every single one of them was through the CORE office in one way or another!

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