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Ben Kostiuk

Computer Science, Level III (Brampton, ON)

McMaster’s Computer Science program is one-of-a-kind. The program strikes a balance between the practical skills you’ll need and the theory that will help you expand your horizons and push you to dive deeper. While we have a smaller program size than some, the tight-knit community is unique unto itself with an abundance of connections with friends and professors.

Favourite McMaster Engineering moment/memory?

My favorite McMaster Engineering moment was during Welcome Week! Getting out of the car in front of my residence for the first time I was welcomed by reps, and upon announcing I was to be part of the Computer Science program they began one of their famous welcome chants. Leading them was an Engineering Redsuit, beating out everyone else in both volume and enthusiasm. I’ve never had one moment make me feel so welcomed so I knew I was in the right place.

Why Computer Science at McMaster?

McMaster’s Computer Science program is one-of-a-kind. The program strikes a balance between the practical skills you’ll need and the theory that will help you expand your horizons and push you to dive deeper. While we have a smaller program size than some, the tight-knit community is unique unto itself with an abundance of connections with friends and professors. Lastly, the chance to be part of the Engineering co-op program is an amazing opportunity where you’ll have the chance to apply what you’ve learned in industry! 

Favourite place on campus to study and why? 

My favorite place on campus to study is a tie between Innis Library and the comfy chairs on the fourth floor of Mills Library. Nothing beats the morning sunshine that you’ll feel studying at Innis with its giant windows but if you’re looking to do some quiet reading out of the way, try searching out the blue chairs on the fourth floor of Mills.

Tell us about your co-op experiences! What were some of your big takeaways from these opportunities? 

I’ve interned with the Region of Peel as a Software Developer and with the Royal Bank of Canada as a Data Engineer. While both were unique in their own way, the experience I gained was invaluable. The opportunity to take leadership of small-scale projects and to be mentored by industry experts is something I suggest to everyone.

My biggest takeaway is to believe in yourself! You know a lot more than you think you do and sometimes you just need a little push to show everyone what you’re capable of. Never doubt yourself and don’t be afraid to take on new challenges!

Outside the classroom, what has your involvement looked like?

Outside the classroom, the Computer Science Society has been a big part of my journey. I’m currently its Director of Academics where I help represent the academic interests of Computer Science students. I also run academic-themed support events for students. I also regularly connect with prospective students in my role as a Student Ambassador.

 What's something special and fun we should know about you?

Before coming to McMaster University, I did twelve years of full time French education and have my bilingual certificate. I think it has helped shape my journey and given me a different perspective on things.