My internship with NASA

Name: Heather O’Dell

Major: Public Relations

Where did you intern? NASA’s Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, OH.

What did you do there? This summer, I had the opportunity to work in all aspects of public relations. I wrote press releases and escorted media throughout the center. One of my main projects was handling NASA Glenn’s social media sites and creating a series of Instagram stories highlighting the center’s summer interns.

How did you get your internship? To apply to be a NASA intern, students must apply online through a system called NASA Interns, Fellows & Scholars One Stop Shopping Initiative (NIFS-OSSI) on Once you complete your student profile, you can search for available opportunities.

What projects did you work on? I planned and crafted a series of Instagram stories and posted content on NASA Glenn’s website and social media platforms. One of my favorite assignments this summer was escorting IndyCar racer Scott Dixon throughout the center. He had the opportunity to ride in a mock-up of the Orion rover and learn more about Glenn’s role in developing the tires for our lunar and planetary rovers. Planning and executing Dixon’s visit was great publicity for Glenn and provided a presence in industries they normally aren’t mentioned in.

How did your internship connect back to your coursework? It was interesting to see what you read and learn about in school carried out in the real world. The knowledge I’ve gained at FIU gave me the tools I needed for writing press releases and media advisories.

What was the coolest thing that happened during your internship? Other than meeting and escorting Scott Dixon, I also worked and assisted the Discovery Channel Canada in filming a segment for a series they are planning to release on NASA’s Titan project.

What did you like most about your experience? The people at NASA Glenn were extremely helpful and caring. Everyone wanted to help me and give me the best hands-on experience this summer. Going to work every day and meeting all the incredible minds behind projects such as Orion was also incredible!

What did you learn about yourself? Other than solidifying that public relations was the field for me, I learned that living in a new city isn’t scary and is actually fun and eye opening! I think I became more independent and have become more interested in exploring different cities to live in after I graduate from FIU.

How did the position increase your professional confidence? Seeing my press releases picked up by publications and my projects fully carried out boosted my professional confidence. Having full control over my releases and projects proved to me that I can handle being in this career.

How did you expand your professional network? I have met people from different departments, centers and industries while working at NASA Glenn. I have continued to stay in touch professionally with them through LinkedIn.

How did it help you prove yourself in the “real-world?” I was able to tackle and jump into projects at a moment’s notice and learn quickly to assist and play an important role for the communications department.

What advice do you have for those beginning the internship process? Don’t be nervous or hesitant when starting your internship and have confidence in yourself! Put your best foot forward and take in all the opportunities and advice that you can.

– Published by Sarah Hernandez