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Goddard Interns Ready for their NASA Experience
June 3, 2014

[image-36]For a select few high school and college students, summer internships at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, are just what they need to help their dreams take flight.

“The first time I flew on a plane, I fell in love with all things that fly,” said first-year intern, Charles Skinner.  “My interest in aerospace and engineering brought me straight to NASA. It’s my ultimate dream job.”

[image-51]Skinner, a junior mechanical engineering student at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, will be working on pressure vessel systems, which includes cryogenic, vacuum, hydraulic and compressed gas (including compressed air) systems; and system components including vessels, piping, relief valves, gages and flexible hoses. 

On Monday, June 2, Skinner joined 250 of an expected 450 summer interns at Goddard to begin their 2014 summer internships. First-day orientation included security training and badges, learning about recreational and education opportunities at Goddard and meeting center employees.

Interns with diverse educational and work backgrounds traveled to the Greenbelt, Maryland, facility from as far away as France. Here they will work side by side with some of the best scientists and engineers from around the world. Many students are studying engineering and science fields, but Goddard also offers internships to students interested in finance, law and communications.

This year, Goddard received nearly 6,000-internship applications. 

Although the 7:30 a.m. check-in time came early for many, conversations quickly started amongst the students as they took turns introducing themselves and their summer projects.

First-year intern and San Diego State University mathematics student Kimberly Gutstein shared her feelings on receiving her internship acceptance letter.

“Oh my gosh, it was the most exciting news ever!” she said. “As a grad student, it’s especially difficult to get research experience. I couldn’t have been happier!”

Gutstein will be looking at data from the Aquarius mission, which measures salinity in Earth’s oceans.

“You should be proud of being selected, and take advantage of it,” Goddard Director Chris Scolese said. “You’re part of the Goddard family.”

Christen McWithey, a returning intern from the University of Maryland, College Park, also talked about the Goddard family.

“I really like the environment here. Everyone is friendly, mentors are helpful and encouraging and there’s always something to do or someone to help. This is definitely not a stagnant job.”

Students expressed a number of things they hope to get out of the eight-week internship program. Most hoped to gain experience, whether in a specific field of study or NASA in general. Others had aspirations of a future career with NASA.

Many interns though, like McWithey, had less concrete future plans.

“If I end up working for NASA, I would be happy, but it’s more important to me to be able to build something that matters, no matter who I’m working for,” she said.

McWithey also had some advice for the new interns.

“Don’t take this for granted, don’t forget how cool it is to be here and don’t sell yourself short. What you’re doing matters.”








Kristen Basham

NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center

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Katrina Jackson and Angel Mills get to know the incoming Goddard interns as they check in for their first day of the 2014 summer internship season.
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students attend presentation in an auditorium
Students attend orientation at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, on Monday June 2, 2014.
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Karl B. Hille
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Page Last Updated: June 4th, 2014
Page Editor: Karl Hille