Laurie – Aerospace engineer

Laurie knew from a young age that science and maths were going to help her in her future career. Now she is enjoying all the benefits of her hard work with her daily job at NASA. Read her full profile below to see why she finds her job so rewarding.

What attracted you to this job?

I have been fascinated with space since I was 9-years old and wanted to work for NASA or become a teacher. I decided to become an aerospace engineer and have worked for NASA for over ten years. Now I work in NASA’s Human Research Program Education and Outreach (HRPEO) group so I can now blend my two passions… Space and education!

What does your typical day involve?

I start my day off by meeting with our group members and then I may have a meeting over the phone with our partners in Europe. I may then work on some educational pieces before breaking for lunch. After lunch I may go and talk to some of the researchers to see what they are working on and if it’s “cool”, I may decide to make it into an educational content piece. Lastly, I may finish the day by talking with NASA Headquarters about their latest and greatest plans for the future to make sure we are trying to educate, inspire, and engage the next generation of space explorers!

What gives you the most job satisfaction?

Learning that what I do helps to inspire students!

What do your friends and family think about your job?

They are so happy that I have a job that I love, and think it’s great that I am living my dream!

Tell us more about your environment in terms of work-life balance

I have a baby and I am fortunate enough to work part-time, so for me it’s the perfect balance of being a mum and having a career! My boss and co-workers are very supportive of me, which helps a lot.

How did you get to where you are today? (i.e. qualifications and career route)

I worked hard at maths and science in school, before going to university to study Aerospace Engineering. Whilst at university I applied for NASA’s cooperative education programme where I worked at NASA for a term and then went back to university. I did that for two years and was lucky enough to be offered a full-time position with NASA when I graduated!

What advice would you give to someone thinking of following your path?

I would tell them to study hard in school, get involved in as many extracurricular activities as they can handle, and have FUN! Follow your dreams, because if your job is fun, it won’t feel like work!

What kind of hobbies or extracurricular activities do you do to relax?

I love to run, do yoga, travel, and hang out with my family and friends. Now that I have a baby, I value my time a lot more than I used to, and try to make every minute count!

Have there been any embarrassing moments?

Too many! I will always laugh at myself first, and since I’m a klutz I laugh a lot! One time I was running to the front door of our building and it was raining, and I slipped and threw my purse, lunchbox, and water bottle all over the place– and my boss was watching!