NASA and PWR Part I

Guest blogger Thomas Duncan recounts his internship with NASA!

I worked as an intern in the Office of Communications at the NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C. in the summer and early fall of 2012. The Office of Communications has two departments: Public Outreach and News/Multimedia. I worked under the Division Director for News/Multimedia.

To begin, my PWR education proved integral in my work at NASA, not just in what I learned at Elon, but how I learned it. While at elon, I didn’t have the best impression of Scrum ( meetings at the beginning of the advanced level courses taught by Dr. Pope-Ruark. However, I came to view them as necessary in the more collaboration-heavy courses, because they ensured everybody that all tasks were up to date, or if there were any hiccups in our assignments. They lasted at most probably 20 minutes, and I often wanted to get through them as fast as possible because we were at times on a tight deadline.

At NASA though, we had these meetings daily with the entire office of communications. This was probably the most important event of the day! At times it was almost 30 people crammed into one room and would last on average about 45 minutes to an hour on Monday – Thursday at 9:30 a.m. and Friday at 11:00 a.m. (Friday meetings were with the different NASA center heads across the country via teleconference). This was the only chance everyone had to get together and coordinate our day-to-day work. It allowed the Division Director and the head of the Office of Communications to make sure not only that everyone was on top of their work, but to allow different team-members who worked on different floors of the buildings to talk face to face and iron out any discrepancies. It also allowed the news scheduler to make sure all press releases and other documents would be released on time. This meeting was where collaboration was scheduled between team members.

Further, collaboration, instilled in me by PWR at Elon, became my best friend. At Elon, I submitted countless papers, which were not looked over by others before submission, thinking I was a good enough writer to get away with that. Usually I would write them the night before the  due date and only give the paper a glance-over before submission. In my advanced PWR classes though, we wrote several drafts of a document looked over by sometimes an entire class’s sets of eyes before we submitted anything. This is how it worked at NASA.

If you want to read more, come back on Wednesday, October 17th for Part 2!

This entry was posted in Alumni News, Outside the Classroom, Student Perspective. Bookmark the permalink. Follow any comments here with the RSS feed for this post. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.