Do you dream of becoming an astronaut? Or engineering the rockets that get us there? Maybe you just love space and hope to work in the industry? If you answered yes to any of these questions, then you’re also probably wondering how you can make that dream happen.
If you want to reach for the stars, then your first step is to attend a college that can help get you there. On top of offering unique degree programs, hands-on, experiential learning and access to state-of-the-art equipment, Florida Tech has the resources to help students secure prestigious internships, where they’ll gain industry experience beyond the classroom.
Leading up to summer 2021, Florida Tech students across various majors had one goal in mind: Get an internship in the space industry. The hard work paid off for Jordan Forman, Mamoon Syed and Natalie Eustis, who spent their summers interning at NASA, Blue Origin and Boeing, respectively.
1. Meet Jordan Forman.
Internship Host: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
Major: Astronomy and Astrophysics
“Florida Tech definitely played a role in opening the doors for this internship. One member of the faculty, Dr. Saida Caballero-Nieves, has been a great mentor for me and encouraged me to attend a virtual National Society of Black Physicists Conference. This conference is where I met one of the astrophysicists from Goddard that I am now currently working with this summer. I was able to connect with this scientist because I am very passionate about her research and had a bit of experience with it from working with Dr. Eric Perlman and Dr. Evan Smith, both faculty members at Florida Tech. I am working on a project for multiwavelength studies of active galactic nuclei (AGN) and performing data analysis of gamma rays detected by the Fermi Large Area Telescope. After college, I intend to become a NASA astronaut and go on a mission to the International Space Station. I also hope to contribute to the Artemis mission and maybe become one of the first people of color or the first woman on the moon. My advice for Florida Tech students seeking internship opportunities is to not be afraid to put yourself out there and reach out to those who may be doing research that you are interested in, or those who have the career that you are interested in.”
2. Meet Mamoon Syed.
Internship Host: Blue Origin
Major: Aerospace Engineering
“As an intern at Blue Origin, my job is to aid in the development and analysis of systems that are being developed as baseline reference designs for future missions. My professors at Florida Tech helped prepare me for this experience because they were always willing to take a chance on me. I worked on many projects where a professor would’ve been well within their rights to say I didn’t have the necessary experience and to come back when I did. But they never did, and because of that, I’m a better engineer. My advice to students seeking internship opportunities would be to jump at any opportunity that you find interesting. The point of going to school is to learn—it’s OK if you don’t know everything yet.”
3. Meet Natalie Eustis.
Internship Host: Boeing
Major: Biomedical Engineering
“This summer, I interned with Boeing supporting the Starliner Launch Operations Team for Orbital Flight Test-2! As a team, we are the liaison between ULA (United Launch Alliance), who makes the rocket, and Boeing, who makes the spacecraft. Leading up to launch, we make sure the Atlas V rocket and Starliner spacecraft are prepared for launch and mated correctly. As an intern, I have been able to take part in discussions with ULA and visit the launchpad and VIF (Vertical Integration Facility) in preparation for the launch, which has been incredible. In the picture, I am watching the Starliner roll out of the production factory where I work, called the Commercial Crew and Cargo Processing Facility, on its way to the launch site. It travels to the VIF on the KAMAG, which is a special transportation vehicle owned by ULA. Once at the VIF, ULA and Boeing work together to lift the Starliner and mate it to the Atlas V. Once they are mated, Starliner and Atlas are almost ready to launch!”
These are just a few examples of students who took “one giant leap” closer to their dreams of working in the space industry this summer.
Florida Tech’s Career Services office continuously helps students find and prepare for internships and job opportunities not only in the space industry, but across all industries. They offer valuable resources, such as a job resource database, career fairs, résumé workshops, mock interviews and more, that help students get their foot in the door of the real world.