2006 Florida Space Grant Scholar “The experience you need to succeed at the next level” One of my professors introduced me to the Florida Space Grant program in 2006 while I was attending the University of Florida. He graciously mentored me in research methods for astrodynamics in association with the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). This research eventually became the basis for my presentation on cube and modular satellites at a regional conference of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA).
The hands-on experience gained through internships and the aerospace elective class on satellite design involved not just setting up a team, but also living out the process of project development. This was more than just a learning environment that developed my abilities in research, scientific writing methods, and formal presentations…it served an extension into real world experiences that I rely upon to this day.
One of my goals was to earn a master’s degree in both science and business to expand my professional options. The foundational skills I learned though the Florida Space Grant program concerning project management, communication, and writing have served me well since the topics and projects are always changing.
I now work in private sector aerospace and our company is currently developing a new 737 aircraft that offers various features to accommodate individuals with reduced mobility. I’m quite proud of it as it is not just an innovation, it will also tangibly improve the quality of life for those with physical disabilities.
The Florida Space Grant program greatly expanded the scope of my professional options because it did more than just look good on my resume; it provided concrete knowledge and skills that enabled me to secure my first job at Boeing.
The program will definitely take you out of your comfort zone, but it will also give you the experience you need to succeed at the next level.