https://www.nasa.gov/careers

National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

Researcher

June - August 2018 • Irvine, CA

What I liked

Flying on a NASA research aircraft and getting hands on experience collecting data

What I wish was different

Nothing

Advice

Just apply and be willing to do things outside of your comfort zone
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Software design intern

May - August 2018 • Huntsville, AL

What I liked

Learning about Career options

What I wish was different

Could have been more diverse in tasks

Advice

Take the tours
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Cryogenics Engineer

January 2016 - July 2018 • Titusville, FL

What I liked

Real world R&D engineering experience. Product testing and development. I was second author on a research publication. One of my research project led to a pending patent.

What I wish was different

I wish that the group I worked for was in New Mexico. I made long lasting friends and colleges that will continue to be important figures in my career and personal life.

Advice

The most important take away from my experience with the team at the Cryogenic Test Laboratory at NASA Kennedy Space Center is that being able to physically make things is very important in one's understanding of the design process and ability to produce a viable product. The product could be a test plan or apparatus, or a functioning prototype but having experience in making things goes a long way and is highly desired in the group I worked with.
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Engineering Intern

May 2018 • Cape Canaveral, FL

What I liked

It was a great way to get hands on engineering experience with cutting edge technology.

What I wish was different

I wish my intern rotations were longer.

Advice

Never hesitate to ask questions if you’re unsure of something, it’s more reflective of your desire to learn and be there rather than your inexperience.
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The Office of Procurement Intern

July - August 2018 • Hampton, VA

What I liked

One thing that I really liked about this opportunity was a that I got to learn about the regulatory environment within which NASA operates, the acquisition process, the associated financial process, the roles and partnerships within the acquisition process, and the means by which NASA utilizes to purchase goods and services.

What I wish was different

I wish I got to spend more time there so I could have worked on a specific project of my own.

Advice

Ask questions! Asking questions shows that you are interested in what a person has to say and can lead to more potential opportunities.
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Mechanical Engineer Intern

May - August 2018 • Edwards, CA

What I liked

I liked getting to work on something specific and applied. My project fit well with what I was hoping for in an internship. Working with other interns was a lot of fun as well. I liked getting to experience another side of the world. The people were just peachy.

What I wish was different

Advice

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User Experience Designer Intern

May - August 2018 • Mountain View, CA

What I liked

I was working on an interface for controlling drone clusters in emergency response scenarios. The team I worked with was patient and helped me integrate into the team.

What I wish was different

I wish there was a bit more structure, I was the only intern & I often was getting involved with projects by being proactive.

Advice

Be patient with the process. Things tend to move a bit slowly at NASA due to many layers of approvals.
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NASA MIRO CAARE Technical Assistant

May - August 2018 • Huntsville, AL

What I liked

I loved the relationship I developed with the interns that worked for us as well has gaining incredibly helpful technical skills.

What I wish was different

I wish there would have been better communication between the two mentors.

Advice

Great opportunity for networking as well as getting to know professors in the ESS department.
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Research Intern

June - August 2018 • Irvine, CA

What I liked

What I wish was different

Advice

Definitely take initiative on projects and communicate with your team!
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Intern

May - August 2019 • Washington, DC

What I liked

Being at Headquarters was really interesting because every project NASA is involved with has a representative at HQ. I was able to learn about a wide array of projects just by visiting employees at their desk. Everyone loved being there and shared their work with me enthusiastically. In terms of my work, I was given a lot of responsibility from the start, which made for a very rewarding internship despite only being 10 weeks long.

What I wish was different

Advice

I would say that making an effort to network is a really good idea. I wish I had started talking to employees outside my team earlier. I was able to develop long-term mentorship relationships with my direct employers as well as others at HQ.
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Shadow

July - August 2018 • Mountain View, CA

What I liked

My mentor was very kind to put me into many different group projects to learn different NASA involvements with other companies.

What I wish was different

Nothing at all. I enjoyed my time in Mountain View and at NASA.

Advice

Ask questions because you will hear a lot of acronyms that you have no idea what it stands for.
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Systems Engineering Intern

May - August 2018 • Fairmont, WV

What I liked

I worked at NASA on projects that had category one level importance. There wasn’t much I didn’t like. I felt valuable and I did good work. They never made me get coffee or do anything trivial unless they were doing it too and they always treated me with respect. I didn’t feel like an intern and that means a lot.

What I wish was different

It was in Fairmont, WV and there wasn’t much to do after work. Frankly, though, the work matters most and the work was satisfying. I also met some of the most exceptional people that exist and it was my privilege to work with them. I would do it again in a heartbeat. Don’t pick where you intern based on how good the nightlife is.

Advice

Apply to everything that looks fun and see where the cards fall. Talk to everyone you can. Ask for advice shamelessly and make a lot of friends. They’ll come in handy later.
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Microwave Instruments and Technology Branch Intern

May - August 2018 • Greenbelt, MD

What I liked

Very interesting project. Literally had to do with finding extraterrestrial life in our solar system. Also very flexible with project changes if you ask early enough. For example, I started in an embedded computing project but was able to move to a microwave instruments project. The people were also super great. The whole branch would get lunch with each other once per week, which is an indicator of a great company culture.

What I wish was different

Sometimes the day-to-day was isolating. Come in, pick up test equipment, run tests, and leave-- sometimes without talking to anyone except during lunch or passing in the hallway. The internship did not necessitate interpersonal interaction.

Advice

There are lots of great places to work, don't worry about finding the perfect one.
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Web

June - August 2018 • Hampton, VA

What I liked

I had the freedom to learn and design websites for an actual real life database and website.

What I wish was different

I wish it was more hardware based.

Advice

Take advantage of your employer's resources, they often give you a lot of help with career finding and resume building for their specific organization.
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Mechanical Design Intern

June - August 2018 • Greenbelt, MD

What I liked

Getting to work on a real project that will be going to space next spring, and getting to travel to Houston to work with astronauts

What I wish was different

Advice

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NASA GSFC Intern

June - August 2018 • Greenbelt, MD

What I liked

Very laid-back environment relative to the ground-breaking science that is being done every day. Everyone is doing something incredibly interesting and very open to talking about their work unless it happens to be sensitive information.

What I wish was different

Nothing. It was pretty much ideal for me.

Advice

Work hard but also do spend time getting to know your mentor's coworkers, friends, and other staff. You may be employed to participate in research of a project but you are there first and foremost for the learning experience, so go to colloquiums, presentations, and such. However, don't feel the need to also go to departmental meetings. They are mostly a formality thanks to government bureaucracy, so avoiding the non-mandatory ones would be in your best interest.
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Autonomous Robotics Intern

June - August 2019 • Mountain View, CA

What I liked

We were treated like adults, given a task that needed completion as well as a project for the summer and we managed our time ourselves. We were also given the opportunity to tour around NASA Ames research center and got to see the different projects going on as well as unique facilities such as the largest wind tunnel on earth.

What I wish was different

Nothing. It went great.

Advice

Reach out and meet as many people as possible, having connections is far more valuable than any one thing you will learn.
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Johnson Space Center Intern

June - August 2018 • Houston, TX

What I liked

I loved metting people from all over the world with similar interest and how much I learned during my experience with NASA. My internship inspired academic , personal and professional growth.

What I wish was different

I wish that I had more time off before going back to classes to ensure a smoother transition.

Advice

Communicate with your peers during challenging times because who never know who can relate to you.
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Intern

August 2019 • Houston, TX

What I liked

The environment the team the challenges...meeting astronauts and other space geeks. My project was cool and I got to drive past the NASA sign to go to work everyday.

What I wish was different

Nothing really. Things move slowly in the government but I was able to get what I needed by being flexible and proactive.

Advice

Be proactive and energetic. Don't wait to be told what to do. Obviously respect the proper pathways but take the initiative and don't wait for permission to start things.
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Safety Engineering Intern

January - August 2017 • Houston, TX

What I liked

Fun experience great networking opportunity. Learned a lot about space.

What I wish was different

I wish I had more time to meet people and see all the cool times. I wish I would have been able to manage the time spent there better.

Advice

Always be friendly and meet people and ask questions.
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