What was your internship in MIW?

Office of the United States Trade Representative. Specifically, I worked in the Office of the Ambassador, helping move the government to pass new free trade agreements and handle trade disputes. 

What attracted you to MIW?

The opportunity to intern in DC with other Public Policy students while also having the support structure of the MIW program.

Tell us a little bit about what you're doing now. What was your first job after graduation? Where do you live? 

I'm currently in Cape Canaveral, Florida, where I work as a Mission Telemetry Engineer in the Launch Services Program at NASA's Kennedy Space Center. My job focuses on collecting data from rockets during launch operations and transferring it to other NASA engineers and decision-makers. 

My first job after graduating was as a paralegal, and I considered attending law school. Ultimately, I decided to go in a different direction.

What has been your greatest professional and/or personal accomplishment since MIW?

The software I wrote was sent to the International Space Station this past fall and tested this past week. Its purpose is to improve the speed and reliability of our space communications, especially as we transition from radio frequency to laser optical communications.

Was there a class and/or experience in MIW that led you to pursue your current career?

After work hours and on weekends, I attended events by the Smithsonian. The ones that stuck with me most were those the Air and Space Museum put on.

What three words would you use to describe your experience in MIW?

Challenging, Collaborative, and Impactful

How has MIW benefitted you in your post-Michigan life?

Interning in the USTR office was my first foray into working for the federal government. There, I learned what it means to work in public service and how to solve problems across a large bureaucracy while following federal laws and regulations. I continuously apply the lessons I learned there to my current role at NASA. Also, through MIW, I had the benefit of making lifelong friends who also participated in the program. 

What advice do you have for our current and future MIW students?

Make sure to get to know your fellow students in the MIW program and fellow interns wherever you're working in the program. Those connections are among the most important ones I have to this day.