Unforeseen Advice

I walked into the Space Tango office with my usual to-do list of intern tasks, but I didn’t know that I would be adding new goals – like starting a retirement fund.

I’m only 21 going on 22 and my mentor is 25, but she said that she’s already begun saving and there’s no reason I shouldn’t also. Before I knew it, it was the Morning Show with Ellie and I was receiving the most helpful advice since I started working at Space Tango.

Ellie, along with the occasional input from other coworkers, told me about their saving plans, credit scores, and we even talked about stocks a little. These are all things you don’t really learn unless the “right time” comes around. I just didn’t think it would be in the Space Tango office.

I’m a Communication and Marketing intern and I have 6 weeks left. I expected to gain first-hand experience on advertising, public relations, and business tactics in the aerospace industry. In the time that I have been here, I learned more than I expected. My coworkers have shown me not only the reality of the aerospace industry, but the reality of being an adult. The Space Tango team takes the time to make sure I’m adjusting well to a new environment because they understand that at one point this was all new to them as well.

CEO Twyman Clements takes a break from reorganizing the office to show me microscope glasses.

CEO Twyman Clements takes a break from reorganizing the office to show me microscope glasses.

When I began my internship, all of my questions were oriented towards my area of study, but I have to remind myself that my mentors are just people. They can provide more than just feedback on your work, but a new perspective on life. What should we really be paying attention to? Why do we work as hard as we do?

There’s so much more to take into consideration then we think, and it’s a lot easier to have the people that have gone through it tell you how it went than figuring it all out on your own. I’m not alone, and being an intern isn’t unfamiliar. We all have to start somewhere, so don’t be too serious. Ask questions outside of school and work. Learn about the people around you and it may just start to feel a little like home.

⋆ Dani

The Perks of Being an Intern

We put hours and hours into our resumes, elevator speeches, and internship applications. It’s A LOT of work, but the results are pretty sweet.

  1. Preview of Adulthood
    My number one and favorite thing about having an internship is the independence you HAVE to maintain. It’s a taste of life after college, but a little bit easier. It’s a small stepping stone towards everything you’re studying. For me personally, it’s reminded me why I’ve been working so hard. It’s helped me refocus on my goals. I have this newfound motivation I honestly can’t put into words, but I’m glad I stayed up late to get a few extra eyes on a resume and made appointments with Career Services for interview tips. Internships ease you into a the job market. It gives you a taste of what it’s really like to work for that big dream company of yours while still having the caring guidance of Embry-Riddle to let you know ‘what’ and ‘what not to do.’ It’s just enough adulthood.
  2. Work in your unexpected dream job 
    Work at your dream job if you can, but don’t overlook those other companies! The smallest company may end up being where you really belong, or maybe the company you always thought you wanted to work at isn’t what you expected either, but at least you know at the risk of nothing at all. You still get the experience from the company, and now you have a better idea of what you want out of the workplace. I always knew I wanted to work in the aerospace industry, and I had a list of top three companies. I promise you, Space Tango was not on that list until now. The people, the company, and their mission all suit my interests. Sometimes we find ourselves in the most unexpected places, but it’s where we were meant to be.
  3. Networking
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    Kris Kimel, Chairman/Co-Founder of Space Tango and President/Founder of the Kentucky Science and Technology Corporation (KSTC)

    I’ve written about this before, so I won’t talk about it too much, but I can’t stress how valuable networking will be for you early on. While interning, you meet people from the industry that can help you open more doors. I’ve met people from all kinds of different companies in aviation and aerospace because of my intern position with Space Tango. Take the time to get to know them with lunch, coffee, or just a quick meeting if they have time to learn about them (Hint: successful people doing what they love enjoy sharing their story).

  4. Wanderlust

    This one is aside from your position and work, but wanderlust is very real. If you’re like me, you may begin to crave a change of scenery. When you land an internship, and it doesn’t matter where, take the time to really explore! Enjoy it. Lexington, Kentucky isn’t my dream destination, but I’ve made the most of it. I’ve used it as an opportunity to try new things. I go cycling with coworkers now throughout the week, my roommates and I enjoy boxing classes on the weekends, and when funds permit there are a ton of local restaurants to indulge in. I’m an art- lover and LexArtLexington has an abundance of street art sprinkled throughout Downtown, so I spend my weekends searching for painted walls. Really take the time to find the beauty in your host home.

⋆ Dani

Minors are a Major Deal

Minor courses of study don’t get enough praise. I’m currently minoring in business administration and space studies to complement my Communication degree. My initial intention was to take something I was interested in that was sensible for my field, and they certainly are, but I didn’t recognize the true value of them until working with Space Tango.

Space Tango works to scale down customers’ experiments to fit in what they call CubeLabs for microgravity research on the International Space Station. As a Communication major, it’s difficult to see how I piece into this puzzle of research and design. My minor, however, in space studies (SP) provides me with the background information to keep up with the engineers during our meetings. It’s a puzzle piece to the bigger picture.

CubeLabs waiting to be tested in a pressure chamber.

CubeLabs waiting to be tested in a pressure chamber.

SP courses that I have taken gave me an overview of mission history, rocket and propulsion systems, ISS configuration, and so much more. If it wasn’t for my SP minor, then I wouldn’t be as valuable as I am now in the aerospace industry and I wouldn’t be able to effectively market their brand to prospective customers.

My business minor ties it all together. I can keep up with our director of business operations and even devise my own marketing plans that reflect the industry and the company. It’s like being a triple threat in the job market. I have so much more to offer as an intern and, one day, as an employee.

My skills are flexible and it’s all thanks to my minors! I think finding such minors are especially beneficial for flexible degree programs such as Communication. We can fit anywhere, but if there’s an industry you want to work in then cater your education towards it. Especially during internship season and applications, it’s important to keep a few things in mind. What are your strengths? What sets you aside from others? Don’t overestimate the power of your minors. Take the time to find one or two that accommodates your interests or pieces you into your dream industry.

⋆ Dani

Liftoff!

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SpaceX CRS-10 awaiting launch.

On February 19th I didn’t just watch a random launch off the Space Coast. I watched the SpaceX Falcon 9 liftoff along with Space Tango payloads. I was a part of the launch and I am now an even bigger part of the mission.

I think I vastly underestimated how great it would be to work for Space Tango. I genuinely thought it would be more of me shadowing someone and learning from what they accomplish. Almost 8 weeks in and it has all been hands-on. I have control, I have input, and because of this I have experience.

I got to experience first-hand the role a public relations specialist plays in an important event that can vastly affect a company’s image. I was constantly on stand-by. All of Space Tango’s social media was up on my computer ready to publish posts. Press release templates were prepped and my phone never left my possession. I had to be on call the entire weekend to ensure that we covered content accurately and effectively for the launch. It was STRESSFUL, but it was so very real.

Just a few of the payloads that were launched on February 19th. Inside these cubes are the respective companies’ experiments.

For the next few days Space Tango, and myself, are waiting for the Dragon capsule to berth with the International Space Station. At that point, I’ll get to publish another press release and begin live updates on all social media about the payloads/experiments.

It’s a time consuming internship, but it has shown me that this is definitely where I was meant to be.

Casual Science

I spent the last three years networking. I met everyone I could. Hell, I even looked into fields that had nothing to do with my interest in space. If I could at least develop a connection with a representative, then I would have a source, an ‘in.’ This year, that ‘in’ paid off.

Walking into the Space Tango office was unreal. I'm excited to be taking my first real steps towards accomplishing my goals.

Walking into the Space Tango office was unreal. I’m excited to be taking my first real steps towards accomplishing my goals.

I’m now an intern at Space Tango, Inc. in Lexington, Kentucky. I work reasonable hours for solid pay. The environment is amazing, and my coworkers are helpful. I’m also getting credit hours for this and we all know that’s a great bonus. It’s science, but it’s casual.

As a communication major at an aeronautical university, everyone wonders “how do those even fit together?” Honestly, I asked myself the same thing before I switched my major. Communication is more than writing a few technical reports or manuals. I personally would like to do public relations for an aerospace company. Ha. How often do you hear of that? Well that’s the thing; you don’t hear about it at all. Being the stubborn woman that I am, I made it an option before someone could tell me otherwise.

I knew nothing about pursuing such a career in science, so I found someone that did. The communication department is flooded with individuals that specialize in writing, speech, behavior, etc. Never forget that they were all somewhere before Riddle. My advisor helped shape my classes for my desired career path and another amazing professor shared her experience in the competitive field of public relations. This was just step 1.

Step 2 was maintaining a focus in science. I picked up a major in space studies to expand my understanding of anything aerospace (satellites, orbital paths, rocket history, propulsion, and more) and to keep me up-to-date on current events. From there, it all happened on its own. I attended open lectures, forums, anything that would provide me an opportunity for one-on-one interaction with professionals in the aerospace industry.

This was really my last “planned” step, step 3. Even if they weren’t always successful, I familiarized myself with other fields. I learned from people I didn’t think I would. This is how I met Michelle Lucas, an Embry-Riddle alumna and CEO of Higher Orbits.I made it my mission to have her remember me. I emailed her, and when I didn’t hear from her in two weeks, I emailed her again. She finally responded and the conversation flowed from there. She invited me to be a member on the Higher Orbits advisory board as she developed her nonprofit “Go For Launch” program, but I wasn’t beating myself up that I didn’t get a high end co-op as yet. I was building my resources.

I continued to casually work towards my goals as a COM major. I maintained relationships with people that I met over the last few years (astronauts, professors, research scientists, NASA employees, people those of us at Embry-Riddle dream of meeting). I expanded my extracurricular experience ranging from Greek Life to the Caribbean Students’ Association. I got a couple of on-campus jobs that dabbled in marketing. I gained leadership experience and focused on my studies. This was all while my network was growing on its own in the background. My casual encounters and skills that I continuously developed were being now discussed by aerospace professionals. I was commended for my hard work, for my creativity,and my goals. Just as I was getting a little impatient, an opportunity finally arose.

Michelle Lucas informed my advisor of an internship opportunity with a micro-gravity research company in search of a communication student to handle their marketing and public relations. I underwent an interview process and shared the portfolio of my work that I built from all my extracurricular activities. A couple of weeks later, I was invited to join the Space Tango team for the spring semester.

Twitter is one of the digital mediums I handle on a day-to-day basis. I update followers on experiments and launches.

Twitter is one of the digital mediums I handle on a day-to-day basis. I update followers on experiments and launches.

My networking paid off. I’m spending my spring semester surrounded by engineers, live feeds from the ISS, and constant news and updates on the SpaceX launches. I’m currently working on media coverage for Space Tango’s payload for CRS-10. I not only control their social media, but I develop media alerts and press releases.

My name is Danielle Rosales. I’m a senior communication major with minors in business administration and space studies. I don’t have an outstanding 3.0 GPA, but I’ve held several jobs on campus in marketing, media relations, and graphic design. I’ve developed a reliable network and have been mentored by Embry-Riddle faculty members.

I’m right where I wanted to be doing something people didn’t even think was possible. The best part of it all? Getting here was all so casual.

⋆ Dani

 

Break-ception with Astrophotography

I think with all the breaks we’ve been having and have had so far in the month of November, we might as well just take the whole month off right? Not quite.

With the semester nearing its end, the classes, assignments, tests, and projects are certainly upping their level of difficulty. In addition to school, juggling three jobs has also been quite difficult. Time management is key and I’m still working on it. Hopefully Thanksgiving break will give me some time to catch up with all my classes since things have been getting a bit cluttered in my schedule.

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Day & Age – The Killers

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ITS SO PRETTY.

Thankfully, the breaks we’ve had so far allowed me the opportunity to travel deep into the Floridian wilderness for some stellar astrophotography! Ocala National Forest is definitely one of my new favorite places in Florida just because of how beautiful it is at night. I mean, sure you have to drive like one hour and thirty minutes out of your way to get there, but you’re greeted by breath-taking views of our vast galaxy.

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Stars and constellations make themselves known while the Milky Way comes out of hiding where you can see it with the naked-eye: I almost broke down and cried because of how beautiful it was. Because I was so far away from civilization, I had to be careful with my surroundings…which can be hard to do as you’re admiring the scenery around you.

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That’s not my truck.

I recommend traveling with a few friends, bring some snacks, and the proper photography gear if you decide on traveling to the vast expanse of Ocala National Forest. Keep checking the weather days in advance to make sure the weather will be clear and not cloudy. The first time I went, I drove so far that I somehow drove past the clear weather and found myself surrounded by fog: Not cool.

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Shutter Speed: 30 seconds, Aperture: f/2.8, ISO 2500 & Focal Length: 16mm

In the realm of photography, a camera that allows for manual control and a tripod are pretty much what you need shoot photos with. In your settings, try the following exposure settings:

  • Shutter Speed: Between 20-30 seconds.There’s a thing called the “500/600 Rule” which basically involves taking either 500 or 600 and dividing it by your focal length, which is how wide you’re currently shooting (i.e. 16mm). The resulting number is the shutter speed you need to shoot at/below to stop the stars from “moving/streaking” in your image.
  • Aperture: Try to open up your aperture to its widest setting. Most lenses can do f/3.5, while other lenses can do f/2.8. In the world of photography, 2.8 is wider than 3.5.
  • ISO: This is your sensor’s sensitivity to light. The higher the ISO, the more light it captures. Keep in mind, the higher the ISO, the more likely you are to get noise in your images. Because my 5D Mark III can handle noise fairly well, I shot at ISO 2500.

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If your photos turn out too dark, try increasing your ISO. Likewise, if your photos are too bright, consider decreasing your ISO to lower the amount of noise in your photo. Most importantly, set a 2 second delay after you press the shutter button. This will allow you to take the photo without having the camera move after you’ve touched it.

With that said, go out and have fun. That’s the most important thing!

What are the “Hippity Haps” for this week?

Hello, hello! Back at it again with the biweekly updates. With another two weeks under my belt, I cut right to the chase.

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You can catch me on the air with my good friends Lonnie and Ella Wednesday mornings on WIKD!

As usual, classes are starting to get more and more challenging as the semester progresses. And with my time management getting slightly better, I am definitely looking forward to using Spring Break as a period of time to catch up.

Yeah so you can actually see a rocket launch from campus which is legit.

Yeah so you can actually see a rocket launch from campus which is legit.

Speaking of Spring Break, I was selected to represent The Avion Newspaper at this years CMA conference in New York City. The College Media Association (CMA) is an organization that offers resources for news organizations on college campus nationally, and every year, they host a media conference where students from different colleges can meet and get feedback on their material.

Even though I’ve been to New York City many times, I am still excited for the trip. It’s been a long time since I’ve been on a vacation and I’m looking forward to meeting people across the nation to gain insight and knowledge that would help benefit the newspaper.

Cue the CSI Miami music.

Cue the CSI Miami music.

It snowed in Daytona Beach.

It snowed in Daytona Beach.

In other news, Daytona Beach International Airport (DAB) recently held their tri-annual safety drill. The drill, which involved the FAA, FBI, DHS, and the Red Cross, simulated an aircraft that over-ran the runway. It was nice that DAB had a reserved section for Riddle students to view the training exercise.

Ah, the new residence hall.

Ah, the new residence hall.

That’s pretty much it for now so I’ll see you all in another two weeks!

Monday’s Update

Hello everyone! I hope your week is going good so far! It’s a crazy week coming up since spring break is right around the corner. Just an update from my side, things have been going really well. Except for the fact that I am extremely tired, I am happy with where I am at.

I recently received an email from NASA regarding the Solar System Ambassador position, the teleconferences are really picking up and I have opportunities to work with STEM education as well so today I resigned as my position as President of Society 4 S.P.A.C.E. My Vice President, Neysha, is taking my place until an official election takes place. I am happy with the half-term I served and I am hopeful for where the club is headed in the future. However, this NASA position is something I cannot turn down. I am really excited to move forward working as an SSA and possible STEM educator.

On other hands, my MOOC for Human Factors in Aviation starts up at the end of the month on March 21, 2016. I am really excited because it is my first MOOC class of the year. I plan to sign up for all of them that are happening this year. MOOC classes are Massive Online Open Classes that are run through Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Worldwide. They range in topics but it only requires 2-3 hours of work during the week and although they are not for college credit, you receive a certificate. It is good to expand your knowledge and put it on your resume. I am super excited for the opportunity.

In the world of “Astro Skye,” I am just about at 5,000 followers on Instagram. I am really excited because I am going to start a giveaway/sweepstakes where a person can win a space care package with some goodies! Some include a photo signed by astronauts, space items, and a couple signed items from me. Astro Skye has really taken off and I can only thank ERAU for educating me on topics that I can include in my other life. I almost feel like Hannah Montana here!

Other than that it is just academics and space. No better combination! I hope you all have a great week and keep chugging along! Spring break is almost here!

Have a great night!

I Should Be At A Rocket Launch Right Now

Hello, hello! Things have been crazy the past few days and it’s only going to get crazier from here on out.

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10/10 will do again. Thank you Newman!

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This Embraer E-175 was only 15 days old when I took this picture last week.

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The cockpit is very stylish and somewhat roomy!

For the last two weeks, a friend of mine, who happens to be a flight instructor for Riddle, had been coaching me in the flight simulators that we have here on campus. He put me through engine failures, landing patterns, IFR approaches, and stalls. As someone who really enjoys flying but cannot afford to do so in reality, this is a great substitute, and I really do appreciate him doing that for me. Plus, having a flight instructor guide you through everything makes flying the simulators a lot more fun and meaningful.

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I didn’t understand Rachel Week’s costume. She told me who she was dressed as and now I feel stupid.

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This guy’s costume was the best I don’t care what everyone else said.

This Wednesday, I covered Tri Sigma’s 8th annual fashion show which was very interesting. Because I’ve never covered the fashion show before, I was technically going in blind when I accepted the task. At the end of the day though, I was able to capture some memories that will last a lifetime for everyone involved, and I got practice in shooting fashion shows: a win-win if you ask me.

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Actually this guy was the funniest.

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ERMERGERD ITS A ROCKET. ERMERGERD.

Probably my biggest highlight so far was that I was cleared by the Air Force to cover ULA’s (United Launch Alliance) IIF-11 launch that was supposed to happen today (Friday). Unfortunately, the launch was scrubbed until Saturday because of a leak in the water suppression system. It’s also because of the scrub that I won’t be able to cover the Stewart Airshow that’s happening this weekend as well.

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“Oh so artsy b&w image.”

Regardless, I had a blast on Thursday going out and setting up remote cameras out on the launch pad. I got to meet some really nice people and saw some familiar faces from the last time I was at Cape Canaveral which was back in April for SpaceX’s CRS-6 launch. I was also amazed at how close ULA let us media credentialed individuals get to the rocket. I was definitely a lot closer to the Atlas V than I was to the Falcon 9.

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Lens flairs so unnecessary they call me JJ Abrams.

With this semester coming to a close in just 4-5 weeks, (I know right?) I find it hard to believe that we’re now at this point in the semester. Actually, let’s just forget that the end is near and look towards my next update. Sounds like a good plan. Cheers!

A Week in the Life of Skye

Hello all! We’re almost done with this week! It has been a crazy busy week so far. Exams, quizzes, papers, and everything in between. My week so far has been far from quiet and calm. Monday was my 50 minute Calculus class and another 12 of homework and studying. Tuesday went the same way but I prepared for my presentation on Year in Space for the Society 4 S.P.A.C.E.’s weekly segment of “Space News with Skye.” Yesterday, now that was one of the most packed days I have had in a while. Having an exam and dealing with my presentation, moving, CATIA homework, MATLAB homework, and COM 122 homework. I managed to get through it, but I did wake up at 4:00a this morning to finish my CATIA homework.

My presentation yesterday went great! I spoke about Scott Kelly and how he recently broke the record for the longest cumulative days in space spent by an America, 383 days, which he hit on October 16th. I loved the PowerPoint I made! It even had an epic picture of Scott Kelly while playing a video of his journey so far. Yes, I fell in love with a PowerPoint! Haha

The fun part about being involved is that today the Collegiate Entrepreneurs Organization/SGA is having a Research showcase in the Lehman Building Atrium from 11:00a-2:00p. Clubs and organizations that are involved in research get to showcase what they are all about. I have to honor or representing MEERS and the Society 4 S.P.A.C.E. I printed out all the materials this morning and I am ready to go! If you have a chance, come stop by and say hi!

Speaking of involved, MEERS is going to be one of the featured Research projects on the ERAU Crowdsource website! We are filming/shooting the video and pictures today at 5:00p! There a few of us will be interviewed about MEERS and we get to showcase our project. Being involved on this project and seeing it now get featured is an honor. Thanks to our Project Manager Tim, and out Faculty Advisor Dr. Jason Kring this could not have been possible!

As for the rest of the week, today will be CEO/SGA presentation, classes, filming and packing the whole house. Moving day tomorrow-Sunday on top of a lot of homework and planning my schedule for the spring semester. I usually would have it planned out but since I added in my minor, I have to re-work my whole schedule. I also have a calculus test next week that I plan on studying for. Lots and lots to do! On top of all that I am excited because I will be planning the next segment of “Space News with Skye” as well as organizing and updating the Astro Skye website. Awesome fact: I met one of my fans in real life the other day! It was so awesome to meet a fan who enjoyed my work. It was definitely the highlight of my day!

With the work week almost done and a lot to do, it is going to be a busy weekend! Have a great day everyone!