#NDSUintern Advice

Samantha Ingersoll
Major: Physics and Computer Science
Graduation Date: December 2018
Company: National Aeronautics Space Administration (NASA)
Position: Visual systems on PRANDTL-M
Location: Edwards, CA

Why did you choose to work for NASA?

I have always dreamed of working for NASA one day so when I got this opportunity it was an obvious decision.

How did you find your internship?

A few people in Bison Robotics, a club on campus, have had internships with NASA. They told me how to go about applying for a position.

How many internships did you apply to before you were hired?

You can apply for 10 internships through NASA during each semester. I only applied for these.

Did you register for credits through the Career Center’s Internship Program? If so, why was it beneficial for you to register?

I did register. It was beneficial to me because my loans did not go into repayment if I was not a full-time student.

Do you have any advice for students who haven’t had an internship yet or are in the process of applying to internships?

Apply for everything, even if you are sure you wont get it. I never thought I would get a NASA internship but I applied anyway

What is an average day like for you on the job?

I largely determine my own days. I have a project I am working on, and it is up to me how I do it. NASA works on 9 – 80 schedule, which means I work 9 hours Monday – Thursday, 8 hours on Friday, and then have every other Friday off.

What is the most challenging part of your job? How do you overcome these obstacles?

The most challenging part of my job was having to move halfway across the country. I made it a goal to go out and do something every weekend and meet new people all the time. It helps with homesickness and loneliness.

How has your internship shaped your ideas for your career? Has it changed your career path?

I realized what I like and what I don’t like while here. I realized my Physics degree will be a lot less useful than my Computer Science degree.

Would you recommend having an internship?

I would recommend having an internship because it prepares you for a real world job better than most classes do. You learn most of the skills you need for your job on site.

Did your internship help you get a job after graduation? If so, how?

I have not graduated yet but I assume it will because having NASA on my resume qualify me for most jobs.

For more information on the Career Center’s Internship Program and the benefits of registering for credits, see https://career.ndsu.edu/internship-program/.

By Emma Stupke
Emma Stupke Graduate Assistant