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Q&A: Talking with Alyssa Carson, International Relations STEM Intern

Jacobs’ International Relations Intern Alyssa Carson talks career, her STEAM heroes and some of her exciting research thus far.

Alyssa Carson has had an interest in space since she was a little girl. She is currently a junior at Florida Tech studying astrobiology, which she hopes will lead her to a career where she can one day research bacteria in space. At 15, Alyssa joined Project PoSSUM, a citizen science research group, and has since been able to participate in microgravity flights, water survival, airborne research and space suit testing. She joined Jacobs’ International Space Relations team earlier in the year and has thoroughly enjoyed learning about the different space agencies around the world.

In honor of International Women in Engineering Day, we’re connecting virtually with our team of engineering heroes around the world to showcase their careers and how each of them help Jacobs to live up to our promise of Challenging today. Reinventing tomorrow.

For this feature, we talked with International Relations STEM Intern, Alyssa Carson about career, the STEAM heroes who inspire her and some of her exciting research thus far.

Tell us a bit about what you’re working on these days.

Since joining the International Space Relations team I’ve been assisting with potential projects, creating a proposal for the International Astronautical Congress (IAC) and getting an up-to-date record of what the space agencies around the world have been working on.

What’s your favorite part of your role?

My favorite part of my role is that I am constantly learning - whether it’s within Jacobs or about the work other companies are doing there is always more to learn. It’ so much fun to be asked what’s going on in a certain country and then having to learn all about that country’s space background, which I would have otherwise not looked into.

We’re publishing this article in honor of International Women in Engineering Day and this year’s theme is Engineering Heroes. Who are some of the heroes who inspired you to pursue a career in STEAM?

A big hero for me especially when I was younger was astronaut Sandra Magnus. I spoke with her when I was nine and she told me all about how she became fascinated with space. She became an engineer and eventually an astronaut on multiple space shuttle missions. She really inspired me and helped me realize that it didn’t matter the age I had decide to pursue a space career; I could still work hard and make it a reality.

When you think of engineers or engineering as a hero, what does that mean to you?

I think engineers have very daunting tasks and it’s truly amazing to hear from the people who put in the hard work to make engineering a field that the next generation can see themselves entering. I love hearing others share their passion as you never know who they might inspire.

If you aren’t working, what would we be most likely to find you doing?

Outside of working I enjoy hanging out with my one year old beagle puppy and spending time at the beach on the space coast!

Most interesting career moment?

My most interesting career moment has been the research I was able to do with spacesuits and how they function in microgravity. I enjoyed learning about the dynamics of the suits and the experience of microgravity. The sensation of floating is not something you can compare – it’s just awesome!

What would you rate a 10 out of 10?

I would rate space travel a 10 out of 10. Not only is space cool but it offers so many advantages as well as new technologies. It really is the best of both worlds.

Most proud career moment?

My proudest career moment has been having the opportunity to inspire and teach other kids to follow their dreams no matter what they might be. Seeing them get excited about space or STEAM is so exciting to watch.

What advice would you give to young professionals?

I would tell young professionals that it’s important to find something that you’re passionate about. Don’t be afraid to think outside of the box. There are lots of non-traditional jobs especially within the STEAM fields. Maybe even try to mix your interest. If you like space and fashion maybe make designer space suits… it could be a thing!

People would be surprised to know that I….

I don’t necessarily always talk about space! Although it’s something I am passionate about I still have tons of time joking around with friends or just being a normal college student.

What do you enjoy most about being part of the Jacobs family?

Being a part of Jacobs has been such a good experience. I was welcomed and enjoyed learning about everyone’s amazing backgrounds. There are so many branches and opportunities within Jacobs, which is probably the thing I love the most. There truly is something for everyone.

Join #OurJacobs team

What drives you drives us as we work to build a better world – together. At Jacobs, every day is an opportunity to make the world better, more connected, more sustainable.

We’re always looking for dynamic and engaged people to join our team. Bring your passion, your ingenuity and your vision. Let’s see the impact we can create, together.

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