Thanks for joining us for today's Reddit AMA on internships at NASA! we love all the questions and hope to see your applications in the future. We're signing off shortly, but you can learn more about our internships at intern.nasa.gov.


Each year, almost 2,000 students across the United States get the opportunity of a lifetime: a chance to intern at NASA. Whether you have questions about upcoming internship opportunities, need tips to start the application process or want to hear first-hand stories of what it’s like to intern at NASA, we have a team of experts who can answer your questions. We’re taking your questions on National Intern Day, July 26, 2018, from 2:30 - 3:30 p.m. EDT. Ask us anything!

Proof

Here answering your questions are:

  • Allison Bolinger - Member of the 2018 Class of NASA flight directors who will lead the Mission Control Center in Houston and former NASA intern
  • Mindi Capp - NASA Education Specialist
  • Chrissy Linsinbigler - NASA Internships Program and Communications Coordinator
  • Andrew Schurr - Communications NASA intern supporting the Science Mission Directorate
  • Veronica Seyl - Operations Manager for the NASA internship program
  • Flint Wild - Senior Education Editor at NASA

Learn more about NASA internship opportunities

Comments: 191 • Responses: 47  • Date: 

First_Light16 karma

I'm currently enrolled in a two year engineering program with hopes of working in the aerospace industry in the future. I would love to have an internship in the aerospace field but I keep finding internships that requires me to be in a four year college. Are there any internships for people in two year programs and where should I look for them? Thank you

nasa26 karma

Community College students are encouraged to apply for NASA internships at intern.nasa.gov. There are also other NASA programs especially designed for community college students. Check it out at https://nas.okstate.edu/ncas/

-Veronica Seyl

Gullyyt11 karma

How did you get to where you are?

nasa23 karma

I studied hard and stayed in school ;-) I grew up in central Ohio and I knew I loved math, science, and space in high school and have wanted to work as NASA since I was a 4.5 year old kid. I studied aerospace engineering at Purdue University and was lucky enough to join the co-operative education program when I was a sophomore at Purdue. Here at Johnson Space Center I did 5 co-op tours before I graduated and started full-time in 2004. Once at NASA I spent 12.5 years in the EVA operations group where we taught astronauts to perform spacewalks and then worked in Mission Control during the EVAs. I moved out to run the Neutral Buoyancy Lab (NBL) about 1.5 years ago. I have dreamed of becoming a Flight Director for quite a few years now. I applied in 2014 and again in 2015 and wasn't selected. Third time's a charm! ~Allison

nasa13 karma

I had always been passionate about NASA and space and even though I did not go into an aerospace or STEM related field I still decided to apply and see if I would get accepted into an internship at Headquarters in Washington, DC. It turns out they were looking for an intern to help them in the Office of Communications, and absolutely everyone there had things they needed help on so they definitely had the need. But it shows that you can be in any field and be a part of NASA. - Andrew

nasa8 karma

Another Midwesterner here! I grew up stargazing in Indiana and went to college in Rocket City, U.S.A.  Prior to my senior year of college at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, I was selected for a NASA internship at Marshall Space Flight Center. I spent my internship writing lesson plans and educational content to post online for the Office of Education. After completing my student teaching, I jumped at the chance to fill a position that opened up in the team that I was interning with. And I haven’t looked back since! -- Mindi

chairytable9 karma

I feel like most of NASA is geared towards physics and engineering. Are there any Biochemistry/Biology related internship positions for undergraduate college students?

nasa10 karma

NASA needs a wide variety of majors, and there are opportunities in Biology at many NASA centers! Check out this article about a former intern and microbiology major: https://studybreaks.com/students/niki-padgett-space/

-Chrissy

FarflungWanderer7 karma

A general question for the panel:

When you applied for internship, what exactly did you bring to the table? Did you have previous intern experience? Was this your first internship? Did grades, or did you feel like, grades were a deciding factor in being accepted?

Thanks!

nasa8 karma

When I applied to the co-op program in 2000 (I feel old!), I was a freshman in college, so I didn't bring much to the table other than a strong work ethic and an eagerness to learn! This was my first internship. The only other job I had in high school was scooping ice cream! I think grades were a big factor, but they are also looking for a well-rounded resume. Things like being active in school activities and doing things outside of your studies. I think having good grades get you through the first round and then you and your personality need to take it from there! ~Allison

nasa6 karma

I was enthusiastic to tell the NASA story and had a love for space and all things NASA! I knew I wanted to work on the communications side of NASA and applied for an internship there. It was my first internship and I do think grades helped me. I include my GPA, which is a 3.6, in my resume and it may have helped, but I had a long list of activities that proved I was a hard worker. I think I got really lucky, but I also think I was able to show I would be willing to work hard if given the opportunity! - Andrew

Hannah06127 karma

Do you have to be an US student to get to do an internship? What qualifies you for this position?

nasa9 karma

International students can apply for an internship at NASA. There is an International Internship (I2 - I squared) Program. Check out intern.nasa.gov and click on International Internships to see how the program works and with what countries participate in this program.

derektheperson3 karma

I am a current high school physics teacher looking to get into aerospace and work for NASA. My interest is in working on spacecraft design and manufacturing - my dream is to help build something that goes to another planet or asteroid.

I have a BS in Mathematics with a minor in Physics. I want more engineering experience and I plan on getting my masters and applying for a NASA internship while I complete my degree or going through the recent grads pathways program.

My question is: What kind of background should I aim for: Aerospace engineering, Mechanical, or other?

And what are some suggestions for someone like me, 26 years old, current teacher, who wants to go back to school and work for NASA? I know my path won't be typical, but it is my dream to work for NASA and explore our solar system!

nasa7 karma

Both Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering (and many other related fields) would be appropriate for many NASA internships!

Many NASA professionals came to the organization as a second career. Emphasizing your experience as a teacher could help make your application stand out as well! Additionally, some NASA centers have summer internships that are open to teachers - you may want to keep an eye out for those when summer opportunities begin to be posted.

-Chrissy

mwalker972 karma

I'm an american citizen but am studying abroad. Would I be considered for the normal internship program or the international internship program? Thanks!

nasa4 karma

YAY for studying abroad. That experience will be great on your resume! You would be considered for the regular program.

-Veronica Seyl

nasa3 karma

You would be considered for the NASA Internships program rather than the international one. One good thing to be aware of is that if considered for an internship, you may be asked to provide a GPA conversion if your international institution uses a different scale or system than US institutions.

-Chrissy

EludedSunshine2 karma

Thanks for taking the time to host this AMA! I have two questions.

  1. It seems that many NASA interns went in to the program with very focused career/educational goals. Is there a place in the program for students who are interested in NASA's missions but are currently undecided in their major/career?

  2. Are there any benefits of NASA internships that you all/applicants may not have considered while applying?

Thanks again and keep up the good work!

nasa6 karma

Speaking of benefits, you gain a new family when you join NASA! I'm still in touch with folks I started interning with over 17 years ago. As an intern, it was really fun for me to get away from school (Purdue in Indiana) and move to a new state and meet students from all over the world who were all passionate about human spaceflight. Each tour, in addition to the projects you're working on, we had also sorts of tours and lectures, from heroes like Gene Kranz and John Young. It was a great experience and a great way for me to learn that a full-time job at NASA was something that I really wanted.

~Allison

nasa4 karma

I actually did not know what I wanted to do when I got accepted for my first internship at NASA last summer, I actually was applying to a bunch of internships at theaters thinking that was what I wanted to do. Which to explain that further, I am a theatre and public relations major, and I thought I had wanted to go into the arts field. But through the work I did for headquarters comm office I have absolutely fell in love with science communications and now can't imagine anything else. So I would say you definitely don't need to have very focused career goals. - Andrew

dasAbenteuerin2 karma

What kind of projects are interns currently helping with?

nasa11 karma

There are so many interesting intern projects this summer! Just a few:

Interns at NASA's Independent Verification and Validation facility in West Virginia are analyzing data from tests performed on the software for NASA's Space Launch System.

At NASA's Marshall Space Flight Center, interns are comparing neural network control of lunar lander vehicles with conventional control systems.

Interns at NASA's Johnson Space Center are working on virtual reality applications for simulations of NASA's Deep Space Gateway mission.

-Chrissy

nasa7 karma

Before becoming a Flight Director, I worked at the Neutral Buoyancy Lab (NBL), the REALLY big pool where we do a lot of the spacewalk training and we had 4 interns during the 1.5 years I was there. We had a material science engineering student who was looking at new materials for us to use underwater to build our space station mock-ups (We currently us a lot of plastics). She was able to use her degree to do research on what materials would be good choices and built a few test boards that we put in the water and will leave there for a few years before doing more testing. We also had another intern work on implementing a wave generation system into the NBL. This will be used for Orion (and possibly other commercial crew vehicles) to train astronauts and recovery teams. We can create 1-2 foot waves and it was the intern's job to determine if this could be done safely without damaging the space station mock-ups we have on the other side of the pool. He was a mechanical engineering student. ~Allison

nasa4 karma

We're really fortunate that we get interns with a lot of varied talent, so they're working in many different projects like going to Congress to help our Legislative Affairs folks at hearings, assisting in social media projects with NASA astronauts, and tons of mission support work like assisting engineers with the James Webb Space Telescope or Parker Solar Probe!

clearlyasloth2 karma

How do I get a job at NASA aside from just applying online?

I’ve done everything I can do to make my resume look good, I have relevant work experience, I completely fill out the online applications, and I apply to as many positions as I’m allowed. Yet I’ve only been called about one job (that I didn’t get) in the past two years or so. So is there a way to really boost my chances? Or is it just that competitive?

nasa2 karma

NASA's workforce is made up of federal employees and contractors. Check out our career's page to see current jobs and how to apply: https://www.nasa.gov/careers

WiseSeaweed2 karma

  1. What would be your advice in submitting a strong internship application? What typically makes an applicant stand out?
  2. How much significance is given to GPA once you meet the minimum requirement?
  3. How often do internships become jobs?
  4. Do you have any advice for applying to the NASA Pathways Intern Employment program compared to OSSI internships?
  5. What has your experience as an intern been like?
  6. Do most interns come in with prior internship experience?
  7. What is it like to mentor and guide interns and to see their personal growth during the program?

Thank you so much for your help :)

nasa4 karma

  1. What would be your advice in submitting a strong internship application? What typically makes an applicant stand out? Think “filters”. Use key words that will show up in filters. Remember the projects are usually specific. If you are a bio-med engineering major, do not say you have lab experience. Specify the equipment, testing, analysis that you performed in a lab. Important sections of your application are: Computer Skills – be thorough as this is what filters will catch. Remember those computer skills and programming you may have used in projects at school. You can have certain computer skills that were not achieved in a class. Special Skills – List any skill that you are proficient at that you feel may be helpful (social media, foreign languages, sewing, machine shop, graphic artist, acoustical analysis, heat transfer, gas spectroscopy, chromatography, anthropometry, technical writing, photography, etc). List anything that will separate you from other candidates. Use key words! How the student’s interests fit with a NASA opportunity – State how you can advance this project to the next level. What is it about you that should make me select you? Be concise. What experiences can you bring to the table and how will your skill set benefit NASA now and in the future?

  2. How much significance is given to GPA if you meet the minimum requirement?
    The significance given to GPA varies from center to center and from mentor to mentor. Some place a lot of weight on a high GPA and some place more weight on relevant coursework or experience.

  3. How often do internships become jobs? While there is no quantifiable data for this answer, we work very hard to make sure interns are informed of the many job opportunities within NASA and the contractor companies. There are webinars, career fairs, announcements to Pathway Internships (usajobs.com), etc. Our goal is for interns to have the necessary tools once they graduate and enter the workforce.

  4. Do you have any advice for applying to the NASA Pathways Intern Employment program compared to OSSI internships? USAJOBS.com is always open to start an application. It takes you through the resume process. Always focus on key words and specific skills that represent your experience. You can also set up notifications when positions come available.

  5. What has your experience as an intern been like? I will have our intern, Andrew, answer that question. 

  6. Do most interns come in with prior internship experience? Not necessarily. All kinds of experience is taken into account; engineering clubs, design challenges, leadership roles in extracurricular activities, volunteer activities, etc. Don’t underestimate all the things you have done since high school and highlight not only your technical skills but soft skills as well.

  7. What is it like to mentor and guide interns and to see their personal growth during the program? Amazing! Each semester, I love the first day of orientation. Everyone is nervous, unsure, overwhelmed and excited. Throughout the internship you see the confidence begin to come through and the ideas begin to flow. Then at exit presentations, interns are speaking like they have been here forever. They present relevant data, impact on projects and tons of experiences at their center.

-Veronica Seyl

nasa3 karma

  1. My advice, as a two time intern, for submitting a strong application would be to note what skills and expertise that you have that can directly benefit some of the missions they are working on. Keep in mind that interns here aren't just here to learn and benefit from being here, but instead are here to help with the work the employees are currently doing. Everyone here is juggling a million things at once and being able to say how you can help them out and help them succeed will ensure you stand out better.
  2. A high GPA honestly can help show how dedicated and hard working you are, traits that are crucial to succeeding at a NASA internship. So while I can't say how significant it is, it definitely will help.
  3. OSSI has actually already been retired. But a specific benefit for the Pathways program is that if you get accepted for an internship through that program you are much more likely to get accepted to a recent grad job position through the program.
  4. My experience so far has been nothing short of mind blowingly incredible. I have been involved in so many amazing projects and have truly come to understand just how crucial science communications is to the public understanding and hearing about all the incredible work that is being done. Not to mention they are flying me down to the Parker Solar Probe launch to work the media events the week prior, something I can't express how excited I am for it. -Andrew

Gentleman-Bird1 karma

I'm filling out an application right now. I'm currently working towards and Aerospace Engineering major in my sophomore year of college. I have a question about putting in my education info.

I'm assuming I'm supposed to put in my cumulative GPA for the institution I'm currently attending, so correct me if I'm wrong.

However, when I'm uploading my transcript, am I supposed to put in my high school transcripts as well as my college transcript, or do you only care about me college transcript?

nasa2 karma

Yes it is cumulative GPA. And upload your college transcripts only. Good luck and thanks for your interest in NASA Internships!

-Veronica

spacekid881 karma

I'm currently aged 13 and I love everything space/cosmos related. Getting the NASA internship would be like a dream come true. What should I be ready for when I am of age? Anything I should use to prepare?

Thanks :)

nasa2 karma

In just three short years you'll be eligible to apply for a NASA internship! Keep up your love for space and get involved in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) fields. To get involved now, check out all the opportunities happening at NASA that you can participate in from challenges to workshops: https://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/current-opps-index.html

spacekid881 karma

Another question: I'm not very good at math. Is that going to slow me down in the long run?

nasa3 karma

Only if you let it. You can't be good at everything but you can be GREAT at some things. Focus on your strengths and continue to work on any weaknesses. NASA needs ALL sorts of strengths. At your age and with your interests, you have a great start!

norbertoayala1 karma

Hi my name is Norberto Ayala and i go to northwestern high-school and i enrolled in an engineering class. I have a high gpa also. and would love to know the requirements to become an nasa inter and also where in maryland can i go to be one? My dream is to become an astronaut and i want to take every single opportunity to become one. Also i would like to know what its like to be a nasa intern?

nasa2 karma

Way to have goals! Work hard and think about how everything you do (from volunteering to extracurricular clubs) can impact your internship application. The internship requirements are • Full-time students (high school thru graduate) • U.S. Citizenship • Enrollment in a degree-granting institution • Maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA (4.0 scale) • At least 16 years old

Goddard Space Flight Center is in Maryland. They host numerous interns every semester.

  • Veronica

nasa2 karma

We're so excited to see the next generation inspired to join NASA and explore our solar system and beyond! NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center is located in Greenbelt, Maryland. Their internship page says they look for full-time students (high school through graduate) · U.S. Citizenship · Enrollment in a degree-granting institution · Maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA (4.0 scale) · At least 16 years old https://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/education/internships.html

WL8on1 karma

I am a father of 6, so far 2 are really interested in science and engineering. One of those 2 dreams of going to the ISS and taking a spacewalk. For now we have them realizing they need to complete some steps first. Would you say Space Camp is necessary to start the track to interning and beyond?

nasa1 karma

That's great to hear that 33% of your kids are interested in science and engineering! And I'd love to be the Flight Director when one of them does a spacewalk! While Space Camp is fun and you learn a lot (I went in 6th grade at Kennedy Space Center and 12th grade at Marshall Space Flight Center), it is definitely not a necessary step to get to NASA! Just have them stay focused on earning good grades and making sure to have fun while they are studying hard ;-)

Have your kids check out this link:

https://www.nasa.gov/audience/forstudents/index.html

~Allison

MorphineBear5 karma

That's great to hear that 33% of your kids are interested in science and engineering!

This is really funny to me for some reason. Instead of just saying 2, you had to go with the percent.

nasa2 karma

Well, I am a rocket scientist ;-)

~Allison

_dnov1 karma

What qualifications do you need to be a NASA intern as a college sophomore?

nasa3 karma

• Full-time students (high school thru graduate) • U.S. Citizenship • Enrollment in a degree-granting institution • Maintain a minimum 3.0 GPA (4.0 scale) • At least 16 years old

You have probably started your more robust coursework related to your major. Sophomores are encouraged to apply because should you get an internship, you could be asked back for a couple more sessions and/or use that experience to apply for a Pathways Internship.

-Veronica

Ilovecows151 karma

What is the age limit and what level of education is required? What is available for high school students?

nasa1 karma

The minimum age to apply for NASA Internships is 16. Some centers offer internships for high school students during the summer session. After you create a profile in the application system, you'll be able to search for opportunities open to high school students.

-Chrissy

justinhockey981 karma

Thank you for taking your time to answer these questions. I'm currently a student at Purdue and nothing makes me prouder to be a boilermaker when I hear about people like Allison! I have 2 questions I would like to ask.
1. What major aspects of each candidate differentiates the successful applicants from the unsuccessful? (Other than having good grades etc) What things do you like to see on the resume of applicants?

  1. What projects are current undergrad interns working on at NASA, and how 'hands on' and really involved are they with their project?

Thanks again for your time!

nasa4 karma

I can answer to what some of the undergrad interns are working on. I can say we all are really hands on with the work that is being done, especially where I am in the Office of Communications. Much of what I do on a day to day basis is support all the employees in my office, helping write press releases, web features, media advisories and coordinating telecons and press briefings for a number of the flagship missions in the Science Mission Directorate (who I am directly supporting). Basically anything the employees need help with or are working on. -Andrew

nasa1 karma

Boiler Up!! I'll try to answer your questions. 1) Back in my day (2000 when I was applying), I think your personality played a big role. The interviewer is looking for someone who's is not only smart, but also a team player and someone with a really good attitude. NASA is big on diversity now, so anything in your background or experiences that set you apart for other candidates helps as well.

2) When I worked at the Neutral Buoyancy Lab (NBL), the REALLY big pool where we do a lot of the spacewalk training, we had 4 interns during the 1.5 years I was there. ALL of their projects were hands-on! We had a material science engineering student who was looking at new materials for us to use underwater to build our space station mock-ups (We currently us a lot of plastics). She was able to use her degree to do research on what materials would be good choices and built a few test boards that we put in the water and will leave there for a few years before doing more testing. We also had another intern work on implementing a wave generation system into the NBL. This will be used for Orion (and possibly other commercial crew vehicles) to train astronauts and recovery teams. We can create 1-2 foot waves and it was the intern's job to determine if this could be done safely without damaging the space station mock-ups we have on the other side of the pool. He was a mechanical engineering student. Before the NBL, I worked in spacewalk training and flight control for 12.5 years. All of our intern projects were also hands on. In addition to specific projects, they had to become certified in teaching either a basic EVA tools class or a basic spacesuit class, similar to the classes we teach astronauts.

~Allison

SultanaVerena1 karma

Thank you in advance for holding this AMA.

I am a student enrolled in a pre-professional biology program at Troy University and I would absolutely adore working in the astrobiology field as a career. I do intend to search for an internship for this, as well as focus upon astrobiology as part of my independent guided study during my senior year.

I have yet to get a good look at the internship offers and process, but I was wondering if you have ever accepted an intern that was looking to take part in astrobiological studies. Also, how often do students looking to focus in that field apply?

Thank you!

nasa2 karma

Astrobiology is definitely a field that NASA has opportunities in! Keep an eye on the NASA Astrobiology Institute website for internship opportunities. https://nai.nasa.gov/ I don’t see anything listed there at the moment, but it looks like applications are usually due in February. https://amesteam.arc.nasa.gov/EPO/education_outreach.html

Also, check out these blog posts about NASA interns working in astrobiology! https://blogs.nasa.gov/interns/tag/astrobiology/

Good luck! -- Mindi

IameAuhSomme1 karma

Thanks for hosting an AMA. I have a few questions:

1) Is there any way to transfer profile information from the old OSSI system? I had several letters of recommendation on my old profile, as well as saved opportunities.

2) My concentration of study is in GIS and remote sensing. What is the best way to search for internships that are involved in geospatial research?

nasa3 karma

1) Unfortunately there is no way to directly transfer information from the OSSI system to the new application system. Letters of recommendation and all other profile info will need to be filled out and resubmitted.

2) The best way to showcase your skills is to be sure you include them as keywords in all applicable sections of the application! In addition to searching for opportunities yourself, ensuring you have keywords in your profile will help mentors and internship coordinators find your profile in the system if there is an opportunity for which you might be a good fit.

-Chrissy

IameAuhSomme1 karma

Thanks! Is there a list of commonly-used keywords in my field that I should use to make finding my profile easier?

nasa3 karma

There is no specific list, but it is a good idea to pay attention to the keywords used in opportunities that interest you. A professor or adviser may also be able to help you determine the best ones to use in your field.

-Chrissy

ty_chumba1 karma

What are the typical undergraduate majors that interns are pursuing?

nasa2 karma

Many NASA Internships are STEM focused, so we see a lot of engineering majors as well as science, computer science, and other STEM fields. However, NASA also has internship projects in fields like business, communications, education, finance, etc. There really are opportunities in almost all fields! - Chrissy

JuicyKushie1 karma

I applied for an internship at NASA this summer and unfortunately I did not get it. However, I think I didn't apply correctly. I've searched all over the internet but I'm still confused on the application process. I applied on the OSSI website, however, the NASAInterns twitter page always advertises intern.nasa.gov . My question is, what is the difference between the two websites? I want to try my luck again and apply for the spring but I want to make sure I do it correctly.

nasa2 karma

intern.nasa.gov is a landing page for a variety of websites. The OSSI system is no longer in use. You will need to create a new application. The new system allows you to create and update your application at any time. You can find it at intern.nasa.gov. Spring should open the first week in August where you will be able to select your availability.

-Veronica

nasa2 karma

The webpage at intern.nasa.gov is the general page for internship opportunities, and the link under the "Intern" section should take you to the current application system.

-Chrissy

mengineeringstudent1 karma

Thanks for doing this AMA.

  1. What is the typical work schedule or how many hours are interns expected to work?

  2. What sort of activities do interns do day-to-day?

  3. Can we hear some of the best intern stories?

nasa5 karma

Hi, its our pleasure!

  1. Every intern will have a different experience, but I can say from mine is that I tend to work more than just 40 hours a week because there is always so much to be done and I never want to leave because I love the work.

  2. For my activities, I get thrown into the thick of all the communications products and activities that happen. Especially from all the flagship missions. So for example, I've worked on the 2017 Eclipse and helped write all the media advisories and press releases. I help coordinate lots of media telecons and briefings as well, so really I do a lot of the same work that employees in my office do as well. So my main activity is to support them and the work they do.

  3. Last summer they flew my down to work the national broadcast for the 2017 Eclipse in Charleston, SC. So there I was helping do everything from setting up the set and helping the talent rehearse to walking around the city handing out thousands of eclipse glasses to anyone who wanted them.

-Andrew

nasa1 karma

Hi everyone, this has been an absolute pleasure talking with all of you and I wish you all the best of luck with your future endeavors! I hope to see some of you here in the future!

-Andrew Schurr

Cantum21 karma

What kind of experience do you look for when hiring an intern?

I applied my freshman year of college and didn't get accepted which is understandable because I had no experinece. I now am a junior and going to apply for next summer. I have 2 huge personal projects, experience in 5 different programming languages and am currently a software developer. Everything I do is to earn an internship at NASA!

What else can I do to increase my chances? I am a computer science major by the way.

nasa2 karma

The experience desired depends largely on the specific project, but experience that demonstrates long-term commitment and consistent progress on coursework/research is always valuable. The best things you can do are keeping an eye on opportunities constantly, and being sure that you include all the languages you know and other experience you have in your application. Be specific with keywords in your application and don't be afraid to put skills that aren't specifically related to your major or the project - you never know what opportunities might come up!

-Chrissy

shadowSurround1 karma

Hi,

What majors are common amongst NASA interns other than Aerospace Engineering? Is it common for a Mechanical/Mechatronics Engineer or similar to work as a NASA intern?

Thanks!

nasa3 karma

Mechanical Engineering and many other types of engineering are common for NASA Interns. Keep an eye out for projects in the new system requesting those kind of majors!

-Chrissy

nasa2 karma

There are so many more interns at NASA than just Aerospace Engineers! I am a public relations and theatre major for one, but at HQ we have majors in biology, computer science, computer engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, international affairs, and even more than I can't think of now. Really there is a place and need for everyone and all majors at NASA. -Andrew

bamass7711 karma

What's the best part of being a NASA intern?

nasa3 karma

For me, it's tough to pick a best part! I still remember the first time I drove in the main gate of Johnson Space Center in January 2001 - I had goosebumps because I was finally here! One of the other best parts was meeting students from around the world who were passionate about space. I also really enjoyed the behind the scenes tours and lectures we got. Hearing from people like Gene Kranz (Flight Director for Apollo 13) and astronaut John Young (only astronaut to fly 3 different vehicles, Gemini, Apollo, and Space Shuttle...not to mention walking on the moon!) was incredible. And the group trips we took down to Kennedy Space Center to see Shuttle launches was also a lot of fun.

But, hands down, the best part of being a NASA intern is the opportunity to work full-time at NASA!!

~Allison

nasa2 karma

Sometimes, just being here and with all these amazing and brilliant people is the best part. I mean, think about it. You get to work with Nobel laureates and some of the worlds smartest minds in practically every field. Then there is the fact that we just plain out do the absolute coolest stuff. I have had the opportunity to work on some of the biggest flagship missions and events we have done; the 2017 Eclipse, the James Webb Space Telescope and now the Parker Solar Probe launch. Being able to say that and share my passion for all these missions and projects and being an ambassador for them is at the end of the day the absolute best part! -Andrew

vxylt1 karma

As a communications graduate and someone who really loves science and technology, what are some important or key traits of a typical team member of the NASA Communications team? What kind of communication channels or type of content would the team be in charge of?

nasa3 karma

Hi! The key traits that I always notice are dedication, passion, energy, being able to connect with people well and a good sense of humor. Much of the work we do has to be worked on by a good number of people so seeing what you wrote completely changed and edited down is quite common and its important to not take it personally. Being a great team member is crucial, everyone here works together and we need everyone's help to ensure superior quality. As for the channels we use, we have a social media team that handles all of our many different social accounts across a very inclusive number of channels. Then we also regularly use telephone conferences, televised media coverage and web articles (whether they be features, media advisories or releases). It would depend on the team in which you work for which channels you would use. For example, I am in Public Affairs so I mainly use online articles, telecons and televised coverage and briefings. -Andrew

d-Loop1 karma

Do interns get to go to space?

nasa6 karma

Several astronauts got their start as interns, does that count? :) https://www.nasa.gov/image-feature/from-interns-to-astronauts

While interns don’t get to go to space during their internships, some of our programs let interns experience simulated microgravity. Check out the Microgravity University site for more info. https://microgravityuniversity.jsc.nasa.gov/index.cfm -- Mindi

disagreedTech1 karma

I am a rising HS senior interested in doing a summer 2019 NASA internship in engineering and robotics. I applied to a dozen opportunities in summer 2018 through OSSI but did not get in, unfortunately. What can I do in the next year to better my application and stand out among my peers?

I also noticed that about half of the positions I applied to never got filled. Is that normal? (I did read somewhere that the NASA internships are the first thing to go if funding is a problem)

nasa3 karma

Do not get discouraged. Many astronauts even had to apply multiple times before even being interviewed. Persistence is key. And the fact that you want to know how to better your application is moving in the right direction. Think “filters”. Use key words that will show up in filters. Remember the projects are usually specific. If you are a bio-med engineering major, do not say you have lab experience. Specify the equipment, testing, analysis that you performed in a lab. Important sections of your application are: Computer Skills – be thorough as this is what filters will catch. Remember those computer skills and programming you may have used in projects at school. You can have certain computer skills that were not achieved in a class. Special Skills – List any skill that you are proficient at that you feel may be helpful (social media, foreign languages, sewing, machine shop, graphic artist, acoustical analysis, heat transfer, gas spectroscopy, chromatography, anthropometry, technical writing, photography, etc). List anything that will separate you from other candidates. Use key words! How the student’s interests fit with a NASA opportunity – State how you can advance this project to the next level. What is it about you that should make me select you? Be concise. What experiences can you bring to the table and how will your skill set benefit NASA now and in the future? All kinds of experience is taken into account; engineering clubs, design challenges, leadership roles in extracurricular activities, volunteer activities, etc. Don’t underestimate all the things you have done since high school and highlight not only your technical skills but soft skills as well. Many times opportunities go without being filled. There are a variety of reasons for this and sometimes funding is an issue. Sometimes, the organization or mentor decides to withdraw and other times a candidate merely wasn’t found for that project.

Hang in there and keep striving for what it is you want!

-Veronica

vpsj0 karma

As a non American, my only question can be why only US students? Is there a way international students can get an internship at NASA? (If they are good enough, obviously)

nasa4 karma

There is an International Internship (I2 - I squared) Program at NASA. Non-U.S. interns (university undergraduate level student) or fellows (university graduate level student) selected to participate in the NASA I2 Program will be part of a broad group of U.S. and foreign interns or fellows. This Program will provide opportunities for interaction among the group, both in the laboratory and in more informal settings.

Internship sessions are arranged in three sessions during the calendar year (Spring, Summer, and Fall). Non-U.S. interns or fellows must participate during the same session as their U.S. counterparts in order to have a truly collaborative and integrated environment.

Go to intern.nasa.gov and click on International Internships to see how the program works and with what countries participate in this program.

-Veronica Seyl