About Christine

Senior

Spaceflight Operations

Minors:Systems Engineering, Human Factors
Year:Senior
Hometown:Port Orange, Florida
Campus Involvement:SSPOC Vice President, SWISE Public Relations Officer, Society of Women Engineers member, SHARK member, First-Generation Student Association member, Environmental Club member, Psi Chi International Honor Society, National Society of Leadership and Success
Why I Chose Embry-Riddle: Embry-Riddle has been my dream college since I was in Middle School. I remember attending the Astronomy Open House nights hosted by the ERAU Astronomy Club as a 14 year-old and imagining myself attending the university one day. I remember being so attracted to every major they offered, it was hard to choose one! I knew Embry-Riddle was perfect when my dream college was 10 minutes away from my house and that I already had so many connections there. I took Embry-Riddle courses through my high school and even received a scholarship for the ESPERS program when I was in 11th grade. I finally got to attend Embry-Riddle as a high school student before I even graduated. As a senior, I was offered the Golden Eagle Scholarship and started more research as to what program I would have liked to pursue. I couldn't be happier with my choice to attend ERAU and my education and experiences I have received from the community and university. I am eager to continue my education in January 2023 as I will be starting on my M.S. in Systems Engineering.

First Week Back to School!

“So, do you have any plans for the Fall semester?”

“I am graduating!”

I found myself talking to many friends, family, and co-workers about my plans for Fall. I told many that I currently have 4 jobs now. I told others that I am taking five classes. I told some that I am graduating in December. Many I told all 3 of those things.

I knew this was going to be a busy semester and I was looking forward to it. I am taking 5 Spaceflight Operations courses, I am currently serving as the President of SWISE (Society of Women in Space Exploration) and the Vice President of SSPOC (Spaceflight Sciences Policy and Operations Club). We have so many exciting events planned this semester and will get to go to SpaceVision 2022 in Chicago this year! SpaceVision is a conference held annually that allows students and professionals to learn, network, and grow their teams or potentially land an interview for a company! In addition to my 5 classes, I am working 4 jobs. Waitressing, office work, blogging, and being a flight controller all at the same time is hard to balance! Life is a balancing act though and to succeed, you have to find the time and focus.

I believe mental health is a huge deal, and especially this semester I have been focusing on it more than ever. Balancing life present day is hard for everyone! I always make time for myself to wind down, relax, and do something nice for me and my body. Now that the new Fitness Center that just opened on campus, I can spend some time in the mornings doing my stretches and workouts. The pool is another great feature students can use to relax and go for a morning (or evening) swim. Also, they have classes you can take that are usually held upstairs in one of the studios. The cycling class looks pretty fun to try.

These first few weeks have been great! I am currently searching for a new executive team for the SWISE to help run the club through our social media page, I already purchased my textbooks, organized my planner, mapped out my classes, and attended the first SSPOC meeting which turned out to be so fulfilling. We had about 50 members show up (new and old!).

I found time to spend outside of school the last few weeks too. I spent time with family and loved ones, had a cookout on Labor Day, and even tried a new combination of my two favorite Italian ice flavors (cotton candy and blueberry) at Jeremiah’s Italian Ice at OneDaytona! I recommend this place to any Riddle student looking to have fun, make new friends, and have some great ice cream. We always make new friends at this spot and it is always busy at night bustling with music, lights, and gelati-lovers.

Although I am graduating, this won’t be my last semester here. I am currently applying to the M.S. in Systems Engineering at the Daytona Beach campus! I am so grateful I get to continue my education here at Embry-Riddle. I can’t wait to see what else this semester brings! Until next time!

How I Secured My Sidus Space Internship | Summer 2022

“I don’t think I will be getting an internship this summer,” is what I kept telling my boss at Embry-Riddle Admissions. “I applied to over 75 positions and over 30 different companies, and nothing came back!” I was preparing to stay at home for the summer and continue to work in the Admissions Office, despite the fact that I really needed an internship. That all changed when I decided to reach out to Sidus Space in Cape Canaveral, FL.

I remember being on the computer and stumbling across one company with a purple and black logo that had a satellite on it. I said to myself “I should look at their internship positions if they have any, this looks like a cool company!” I researched the website and watched some cool videos on the company’s goals and operations. I clicked on the “Careers” tab to look for positions. Sure enough, they did have internship positions available; however, their only position open at the time was for a finance internship. I decided to apply anyway because I would take any internship I could get at this point. I also e-mailed the company after applying to this internship just to introduce myself, attach a CSV/resume, and tell them what I am studying. Within a few hours, I received a call from one of the recruiters named Tina at Sidus Space. She told me she got my e-mail, was impressed with my resume, and sent me directly to the Vice President of the Mission Operations Department. I was so happy to hear that I had an interview with the Vice President of that department. I could finally have the chance to not only get an internship, but get an internship in the same field as my dream career is in: mission operations.

Interview day came and I was ready to talk to the company. After a short 30 minute meeting with a few company personnel, they were ready to set up a second interview as well. Things were looking great and I quickly jotted some notes down to prepare for my next meeting the following week.

Tina reached out to me to tell me that they hired a new Mission Operations Director and that I would be meeting with him now instead. I was fine with that and was open to meeting new people. The director I met with during my second interview was so knowledgeable and friendly. He worked at NASA Johnson Space Center as a Flight Director for 23 years! “I couldn’t ask for a better manager if I got this position,” I told myself. Soon after the meeting ended, they informed me that they would call me if they thought I was a good fit for the company.

After a short review of how the meeting went and a short period of time, I got the phone call: “We would like to welcome you to the Sidus Space team.”

These words rang in my head as the recruiter spoke them over the phone. I was jumping for joy at the fact I got an internship, and with weeks to spare! This internship started on June 1st, and I was told in April that I had got the position. I informed my Admissions boss that I finally found a company to intern for and that I would be back in the Fall.

Weeks leading up to the internship I had to fill out paperwork, sign agreements, and prepare for my training. I also had to set up an appointment with Career Services, and fast, to get credit for my summer experience. I didn’t know what to expect at the internship, so I went in open-minded and well-prepared. I brushed up on my math and science skills, prepared some professional outfits, and acquired some blank notebooks, as I knew I would be taking a lot of notes.

The process of securing my internship was lengthy and uncertain at first. With persistence, knowledge, and optimistic thoughts, I pursued my search even into late April, days/weeks before the spring semester ended. I recommend to other students like me not to give up. As a first-generation college student, I was also the first in my family to receive an internship like this. Nonetheless, every employee had nothing but positive things to say about me by the end of the summer. I persevered through everything that was thrown my way, defying the odds even when things looked bad.

Present day, it is the end of my internship, but Sidus Space offered me a job! I am now a Certified Flight Controller for our satellite, LizzieSat. Within the next few months, I will be working remotely while attending my fall classes at Embry-Riddle. Juggling both school and work will be a challenge, but it will prepare me for my career even more than my internship experience did. Always remember to shoot for the stars and dream big! You never know what would have happened if you didn’t.

Flight Controller 1

Nice to Meet You!

Hello Riddle Life!

My name is Christine, and I am an undergraduate Spaceflight Operations student at Embry-Riddle Daytona Beach. I am so happy to have the opportunity to blog about my internship experience this summer. But first, I will tell you a little bit about myself!

I am first-generation, Italian-American college student with the goal of pursuing up to my Ph. D. I received an Associate of Arts degree in general studies in 2019 from Daytona State College. Before that, I graduated summa cum laude from Atlantic High School in Port Orange, Florida. I always knew I wanted to attend Embry-Riddle, even in high school. I was fortunate enough to have connections to Embry-Riddle from a very young age. When I was in middle school, I would attend the Astronomy Open House nights that the Amateur Astronomy Club hosted every month in the spring and winter seasons. I would make friends with the students and even the professors that attended the events. To this day I still know and speak to the Embry-Riddle professor that I have known since middle school.

Present day, I transferred to Embry-Riddle in Spring 2020 to start my degree. I am currently pursuing a B.S. in Spaceflight Operations with an area of concentration in Operations Science and Technology, with minors in Systems Engineering and Human Factors. I transferred to Embry-Riddle with roughly 65 transfer credits that contributed to my degree; consequently, I will be graduating in December 2022 and starting on my first master’s degree, a M.S. in Systems Engineering, in January 2023.

Throughout my college experience, I have grown as a student, professional, and human being. I have expanded my network of friends and colleagues, taken on many leadership roles, and contributed to several research projects throughout my career so far. I am currently serving as the Vice President of the Spaceflight Sciences Policy and Operations Club (SSPOC) and the President of the Society of Women in Space Exploration (SWISE). I am a member of the Psi Chi International Honor Society and Sigma Alpha Pi, the National Society of Leadership and Success. I have done volunteer work for the Girl Scouts, STEM Day, and Discovery Day at Embry-Riddle. I have contributed to Project Aether, a space debris research report, the Vertical Air Lifted High Altitude Light Launch Apparatus (VALHALLA), and I am one of two team leads on Project ASTERIA (Advanced Satellite Technology Exploring Radiation in Aerospace). My team and I are currently meeting with a company to find support for our project in hopes of getting to space to conduct our research.

After looking for months, I finally received an offer for a Summer 2022 internship at Sidus Space Inc. as a Mission Operations Intern in Cape Canaveral, Florida. I am ecstatic that I received this position, and I am learning many valuable skills for my future career. I plan to become a flight controller/flight director one day after graduating.

I am passionate about helping other first-generation college students like me navigate their way through college. I am a member of the First-Generation Student Association (FGSA) and enjoy promoting the club’s involvement on campus. I am also passionate about encouraging more females to follow a path in STEM and Aviation/Aerospace. Serving as SWISE’s President, I am ecstatic to help other young females get more involved with the college community and promote equality throughout it by various fundraising events, seminars, and guest speeches. Society of Women Engineers is another organization I frequently help with. Fundraising with their committee makes me feel like I am actively serving the organization and raising not just funds, but awareness of who we are and what we do. Lastly, I am an environmentalist and have a huge green thumb. I like to spend my spare time attending beach cleanups or caring for my 3 turtles, one being a rescue! I love aquatic life and marine biology, so I plan to volunteer for the Marine Science Center again one day in the Sea Turtle Rehabilitation Center, helping injured wildlife recover from propellor strikes and pollution-induced injuries.

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Thanks so much for taking the time to read about me! I am eager to post more about my life as an intern in Cape Canaveral. Ciao for now!