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Grace Montalvo De León Appreciates the Creativity at Goddard
August 17, 2011
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Returning Office of Communications’ summer intern Grace S. Montalvo De Leon appreciates the importance of creative communications.

Name: Grace S. Montalvo De León
Age: 22
Hometown: Puerto Rico
College: University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras Campus
Major: Business Administration and Marketing
Position: Summer Intern
Code: Office of Communications

What is most interesting about your role here at Goddard?

I began any task by first doing research. I need to understand what I am going to do and how to do it. Second, but not less important, I talk with people and obtain their feedback. Communication involves always being in contact with people and listening to them.

Teamwork is very important! It is very helpful when developing an idea and when delegating tasks. When working with other people you learn from them and vice versa.

How did you find out about the opportunity at Goddard?

I was in class and a friend texted me to let me know that NASA recruiters were at my college. I said to myself that you never know when a good opportunity will show up and went to the interview.

Who is the most interesting, inspiring, or amazing person you have met or worked with at Goddard?

Last year, I went on a VIP Tour. My assignment was to cover the visit and write a press release for Goddard View. The tour was for Col. Richard Cole, one of eight surviving members of the first group of Americans to bomb Japan in World War II. This group, called the “Doolittle Raiders,” conducted their airstrike on April 18, 1942. When Col. Cole came to Goddard, he was 95 years old but had the energy of a 5 year old. He was interested in everything and asking about things throughout the tour. He is a very strong and young soul who continues to keep interested in learning. Link to article
Grace Montalvo De Leon and her sister Photo of Grace Montalvo De León and her sister. Credit: G. Montalvo De León

How will this opportunity help you reach your future goals?

This is my second summer interning at the Office of Communications. My internships have helped me develop as a professional, increased my communications skills, and allowed me to express my creativity. All of this will allow me to add value to wherever I may go in the future.

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

Goddard Day! On this day, Goddard celebrates and emphasizes, among other things, the vast diversity on our campus.

Grace Montalvo De Leon with Melissa Quejada and Col. Richard Cole, one of eight surviving members of the first group of Americans to bomb Japan in World War II.› Click for larger image
Grace Montalvo De Leon with Melissa Quejada and Col. Richard Cole, one of eight surviving members of the first group of Americans to bomb Japan in World War II. Credit: G. Montalvo De León

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

Do not waste a minute and make the most out of this great opportunity! This applies in the workplace and in day to day life as well!

How do you feel a non-science internship fits into NASA?

A non-science internship is very important for NASA’s operations. NASA has tremendous scientific and other technical talent, but without the administrators and other non-technical people, the projects could not go forward. As an intern in the Office of Communications, I can tell you that communications at NASA is very important. We need to let people know about what NASA does and what we are achieving every day here at Goddard.

I used to think this was a place where only scientists were able to work. Now I know that there is a place for all types of people to work and grow here.

What are your hobbies outside of the workplace?

I draw, read, swim, and spend time with my friends and family. One of my favorite things to do is to drink coffee with my friends.

Is there something surprising about you?

I have severe food allergies. Chocolate, corn, tomatoes, and other things are all foods that make me very sick. Drinking coffee will always be part of my diet though. I make good coffee and I love Starbuck’s frappuccinos!

What mistakes have you made? What have you learned from them?

Sometimes I try to make everything perfect. I learned that sometimes you have to let go, relax, and stop trying to be a perfectionist.

Who are three people you admire and why?

My mom Sara has unmatched dedication and strength. My dad Felix has courage and determination. My little sister Alison is a free soul with unstoppable character. I also admire the artist Salvador Dalí because of his creativity and skill in drawing and painting. His talent and imagination are what draws me to his work. I like surrealistic art and I like drawing it myself sometimes. I think the art that he created is very inspiring; he was ahead of his time. His eye for painting and drawing surrealist pieces is incredible. My favorite work by him is called "The Persistence of Memory" from 1931.

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