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Being at Goddard Inspires Bernard Itaka Lebrón
August 03, 2011
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Financial intern Bernard Itaka Lebrón brainstorms to develop his “bag of skills.”

Name: Bernard Itaka Lebrón
Age: 21
Hometown: Bayamón, Puerto Rico
College: Concordia University John Molson School of Business, Montreal Quebec
Major: International Business (Minor: Supply Chain/Project Management)
Position: Summer Intern
Code: Earth Science Projects Division

What is most interesting about your role here at Goddard?

I immerse myself in whatever information I consider necessary to meet my objective and hit my target; it is a “macro to micro” approach. I have a really big office in Building 16 with a lot of space, which allows my ideas to flow freely. When inspired, I brainstorm my ideas on a really big chalkboard in my office. I do not work as part of a team.

How did you find out about the opportunity at Goddard?

I was an intern here last year. I knew that there was a good chance that I could come back this summer if I worked hard in school and kept in touch with my supervisor.

How will interning at Goddard help you reach your future goals?

Interning here helps me continue developing my “bag of skills” in the areas of research, writing, financial analysis, data analysis, and communication. One day I hope to become a management consultant.
Photo of Bernard Itaka Photo of Bernard Itaka Lebrón. Credit: B. Lebrón
Bernard Itaka Lebrón at a NASA Poster Session.
Bernard Itaka Lebrón at a NASA Poster Session. Credit: B. Lebrón

What event, activity, or project are you most excited about at Goddard?

The event that got me the most excited was when I went to Congress to attend a House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology hearing about NASA’s budget. It was really cool being within ten feet of Administrator Charlie Bolden!

What makes Goddard a great place to work?

The people! The people!

What lessons or words of wisdom would you pass along to somebody just starting their internship at Goddard?

Find something that interests you the most, and then try to find a position in that area. This way you will become engaged in your work. For example, I was interested in NASA’s macro political environment and how it influences NASA’s spending process. This summer I even made a presentation on this subject, which made my summer richer. I feel that at the end of the summer I will walk away with valuable and practical knowledge in my area of interest.

As someone interning in an administrative as opposed to scientific area, how does your internship fit into NASA overall?

The administrators are Goddard’s backbone. We build and administrate the base that enables scientists and engineers to use their craft and innovate.

If somebody asks you, ‘What is Goddard,’ what would you tell them?

If a student asked me that question, I would tell him or her that Goddard is a good place to learn and grow at a manageable pace. The environment here is so welcoming. Also, you feel that you are in control of where you want to go with your career.

Describe the atmosphere of your workplace at NASA Goddard?

It gets very intense every time a deadline approaches. Budget reviews make for an especially tense atmosphere.

What are your hobbies outside of the workplace?

Reading, working out at the gym, and socializing.

Is there something surprising about you?

I am really superstitious.

Do you have a favorite book, magazine, movie, or TV show?

Television shows: “The Golden Girls” and “The Office.” Book: “The Art of War.” Magazine: “GQ.” Movie: “Kickass!”

Who are three famous people you admire and why?

I admire my mother who is inspiring, committed, and a fighter. I also admire President Obama. We share a lot of similarities and he is my benchmark of what I want to do with my life. I also admire George Weah and Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah, but I will not tell you who they are because you should “Google” them. You will be amazed!

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Grace S. Montalvo De León
NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Md.