Courtney McManus

Author: Courtney McManus
Company: NASA Johnson Space Center
Company URL:
School: Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering
Hometown: Topeka, KS
High School: Topeka High School, 2006
Expected Graduation: 2011


At the end of my college search, I had narrowed my choices down to Purdue University and Georgia Tech.  I was particullarly drawn to these two schools because both allow you to interview for a Co-Op position as a freshman, and both had a well established Co-Op Program with NASA.  I visited both schools and, in the end, I chose Purdue because I felt as though Purdue offered a more collaborative and helpful environment with a strong emphasis on teamwork.

My Co-Op employer is NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, TX.  One of the things I particularly like about JSC is that I have the oppurtunity to choose in which groups I would like to work. Also, I can contribute in a real way to our nation's space program. One of the many challenges presented at JSC is the steep learning curve - at the beginning, it's lilke drinking from a firehose trying to absorb all the information…but it gets easier as time goes on!

I like that fact that the Co-Op Program allows you to build a relationship with a company by working for them again and again. After the company has invested so much time and money in you, chances are they will hire you after college.   Another perk is that you get to space out your schooling. It really is nice to take a break from classes every other semester and work (and get paid!) in the real world.   Also, when I come back to classes after being on Co-Op tour, I feel a lot more focused and determined about my classes. I feel because of the Co-Op Program, my time management and study skills have skyrocketed.