North Carolina State University
B.S. Business Administration, May 2010
B.S. Environmental Technology May 2010
NASA Academy Research Project:
New Business Process Development for NASA Glenn Research Center
Dr. Robert “Joe” Shaw
I, like most people who work at NASA, seem to have been drawn to it at an early age. The great mission that has been given to this organization transcends many boundaries and inspires individuals around the world. In my mind, NASA as an institution embodies the wonder of human imagination, the apex of scientific achievement, and what it means to work for a cause that is truly larger than life. These are all things that I want to incorporate into the rest of my life and help extend to the future generations of people who are motivated by the timeless concepts that NASA and the aerospace industry as a whole stands for.
Education and Influences
There are a handful of highly significant events and people that have fundamentally changed the way I think about and the way I want to live my life. In effect, these turning-points have positively altered how I will allocate the short amount of time that I have been given here on the Earth. I will share one of them with you here. I can recall a few courses that truly stand out in the time I have spent in college. The first of these was a marketing course taught by Dr. Darryl Banks. In his brief time at NCSU, Dr. Banks taught a total of two marketing course sections, one of which I unknowingly signed up for sophomore year at NC State. From the first class, I noticed that there was something different about him and his teaching style. He had a kind of intellect and enthusiasm that I had never seen before. His charisma and bold character were traits that I was immediately attracted to and in the time I spent in Dr. Banks’s course, I matured and grew as a person at a faster rate than I had ever before. Before I took Dr. Banks’s course, I did not know what I wanted to do with my future and I did not think too much about it either. From participating in his lectures and conversing with him after class, a fire was lit inside me that brought vision, motivation, and focus into my life. Acquiring these fundamental character traits has helped me form a foundation on which I can achieve. Dr. Banks heavily shaped my career goals, taught me to love learning and to strive for excellence. He instilled in me a thirst to make an impact in the world around me. I sometimes think about what I would be doing if I had never walked into Dr. Banks class. As he only taught a total of two courses at NCSU before moving, it could have easily never happened. It makes me realize how lucky I am to have been in the right place at the right time. Today, I carry this thought with me in my pursuits and now in what could be considered a form of repayment; I seek to pass off the great and elusive teachings that have done so much for me onto others.
During the school year I spend time working for the student government of my university. I have enjoyed managing and taking part in many projects around the campus including creating and installing an energy feedback system in residence halls and establishing a farmers market on the university grounds. Working on behalf of the students of my university has been a positive experience. My colleagues and I truly believe in the importance of our work to make the university a better place for the students yet to come. This goal has created a close bond between us and a culture of working hard to achieve a common goal.
In addition to student government activities, I worked for Dell as their NC State University representative during the summer and fall of 2008. Here I implemented ground level marketing activities and leveraged many of the university connections that I had made to increase the presence of Dell around the NC State campus.
In the summer of 2008 I worked for the North Carolina Geological Survey as a surveyor. I had decided that I wanted to spend one of my summers as a student doing hard science and fieldwork as I knew that it would provide a unique and valuable experience for the career in business that I am pursuing. In this internship I spent my time surveying and categorizing geology along the rivers in central North Carolina.
During the summer of 2007, fall of 2007, and spring of 2009 I toured as a co-op student at the NASA Glenn Research Center. There are two projects that I am currently focusing on. The first is working with a group to develop an advanced energy strategic plan for the center. I have done research on many advanced energy topics and worked to make links between the NASA Glenn’s capabilities and the needs of the market. In the second project, I am researching and developing new business development practices that can be implemented at the center.
Lastly, I have been involved in creating a start-up company focusing on clean technologies and products. With my partners, I have written business plans, developed proposals, and engaged in market and financial analysis. I have combined this venture with my classroom experience by doing undergraduate marketing research under an advisor of mine on topics relevant to the startups’ industry.
Watching classic crime/drama and film noir movies, riding bicycles, playing racquet sports, and grilling food are some of the things I enjoy doing in my free time.