Laila Rahmatian

Author: Laila Rahmatian
Company: NASA-Kennedy Space Center
Company URL: http://www.nasa.gov/centers/kennedy/home/
School: Civil Engineering
Hometown: Houston, TX
High School: Memorial High School
Expected Graduation: 2010
Living in Houston was a big plus for me in getting involved in NASA's high school education programs. I was advised by a NASA employee that I should look into becoming a Co-Op and get real world experience while still in college.  I chose to come to Purdue because of the reputation of it being a prestigious engineering school, and having a good co-op education program. Knowing that I wanted to study engineering and work at NASA someday, I figured I go for it.  My journey to becoming a co-op was very unique and different compared to most co-ops. I didn’t get it the first time but that didn’t stop me from trying again. I did a few internships with NASA to become a prime candidate and sure enough, 4 attempts later, I finally got it.

My Co-Op employer is NASA Kennedy Space Center in Florida. Working here at KSC has become a phenomenal experience. I am so excited to be able to work on projects that have a huge impact for space exploration and on Earth. The people here are really nice and friendly and want to go out of their way to help you learn because they love their job and are so passionate. The challenges I faced were learning all the NASA acronyms and how everything comes together.

The advantages of being a Co-Op are endless. You gain real world experience while in college. You learn how to set up your career and not worry about finding a job after college. Academically, I noticed a better understand of my course work because of the ability to apply my work skills and experiences to the classroom. In addition, earning a salary to help pay off school helps a lot.