Engineering Futures Scholar
Austin Huffman, a rising sophomore studying information technology, was known to take apart and tinker with appliances at his home growing up. When his grandmother gave him old computer parts, and he was able to make them turn on, he knew he had discovered a lifelong passion.
“Ever since I was little, I always knew I wanted to do something with computers. I drove my mom insane with how much I loved to tinker…” he said. “I started out at ASU in computer systems engineering, which ended up being too theory focused for me. I started in information technology last semester.”
In his first year, Huffman was recognized on the Dean’s List and as an Engineering Futures Scholar. As a first-generation student, this is a monumental achievement for Huffman and his family.
“I wanted to be able to have a good career and provide for my family. I decided that I would work harder towards that so that I could get into college on my own…Sitting here today, that hard work has paid off so far, but it’s not over yet,” he said.
Huffman credits ASU’s career fairs, clubs, engineering labs, study groups and other opportunities for the ability to pinpoint his interests and pursue them.
“If you get into engineering clubs late, you’ll spend your whole time playing catchup. Look around as soon as possible and have questions ready to ask when that first club fair rolls around, you’ll be so much better off,” Huffman said.
His suggestions to future engineering students involves self-discovery and involvement in any presented opportunity.
“My biggest piece of advice for anyone coming into college is to know what you want to do, and if you don’t know, really push yourself to find out,” Huffman said. “Jump in and talk to as many people as you can. I had insecurities about my major, too, and they really got to me. Now that I’ve found what I want to do and am pursuing it, I couldn’t be happier.”
By Danya Gainor, Science and Technology Writer, Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering
July 30, 2020