Mikayla Buckley

Describe the steps you took to obtain your internship/research opportunity/fellowship. 

Once I found the Space Life Sciences Training Program on Twitter, I took many steps to create the best application possible. First, I talked with professors at FSU to land a research position earlier than required. I also increased my involvement in clubs and extracurriculars and made lasting relationships with professors who would later write my recommendation letters. When it came time to apply I knew I had done my best and was confident going in. 

How far in advance did you prepare and begin applying for your experiential learning opportunity? 

I began preparing a year in advance by gaining experiences to put on my resume/application and making connections with professors. At that time I also read all of the available information about the program so that I knew what to expect and to make sure that it was a good fit for me. 

If you used any Career Center services, resources, or events to obtain your job offer, what were they? How did they support your application process? 

The Career Center helped me gain recognition for my experience through FSU's Experience Recognition Program. This program helped me think critically about my goals and make plans to achieve them. 

Describe some of your responsibilities or duties during your experiential learning opportunity. 

My responsibilities as a Research Associate included completing an individual project which was submitted to the American Society for Gravitational and Space Research conference as well as completing a group research proposal with the other members of my cohort. 

What was a typical day like "on the job?" 

I would usually spend most of the day working with my mentor to complete my individual project. For me, this meant a lot of coding, but most of my peers worked in life sciences laboratories. About 2-3 days per week we had scheduled meetings or presentations which allowed us to meet with people in the field and learn about opportunities within NASA. After work, we spent some time working together on the group project or exploring the area. Almost every weekend we had the opportunity to tour some really cool places including JPL, Honeybee Robotics, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute, Lick Observatory, and many more. 

What are some major takeaways from your experience? How will these help prepare you for the next step after graduation?

This experience got me really excited about the future of space exploration. While I realized that I may not want to continue work in my current field, it provided me with invaluable experiences and helped guide me to a new potential career path. I also made lasting connections with amazing people and was able to set myself up for success in the future. After graduation, I hope to use these experiences and connections to begin my career. 

Did this experience help clarify your career path? If yes, how so? 

This experience showed me the many possible career paths that are available to me and sparked my interest in space exploration. It opened the door for me to explore my interests and learn about what I want to do in my future career through. My new career plan was introduced to me through a talk given by a scientist here at NASA Ames, and ever since then, I've had the opportunity to learn more about it and put myself in a position to make that dream a reality.

Ranya Salvant

Mikayla Buckley 

"The Career Center helped me gain recognition for my experience through FSU's Experience Recognition Program. This program helped me think critically about my goals and make plans to achieve them."

Major: Computational Biology , Class of 2020
Company/Organization: NASA Ames Research Center - KBR 
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/