Summer Member Spotlight 3 - Jessica Gonzalez at JPL

Jessica talks about how she got her internship and what the experience has been like

John Pham

Summer Member Spotlight 3

Our second Summer Member Spotlight goes to Jessica Gonzalez who has been spending her summer at the NASA JPL as a Modeling and Simulations Intern. Checkout our previous Summer Member Spotlights:

If you're interested in sharing your summer experience, send us a message!

JPL's cleanroom

Who are you and how did you get your internship?

With one of the Mars Rovers

I just completed my second year at UCR as a CS student. I was fortunate enough this year to obtain a summer internship at NASA JPL. During the Fall quarter of 2016, I learned about a program called FIELDS at an ACM meeting. FIELDS is a program funded by JPL that helps UCR students get internships at UCR and/or JPL. When I heard about this program, I did not think I had the experience necessary or skills to qualify for an internship, so I was hesitant to apply. However, I decided I would give it a shot and I applied for the JPL summer internship through FIELDS. After about a month and a half from applying, I was flooded with summer internship offers at JPL. I chose the position that interested me the most, which was a modeling and simulation internship for a Navy autonomous vehicle project. This project I chose happens to be a part of the small percentage of non-space related projects.

How's your internship going?

View of JPL's lab

I am currently about halfway through my internship and I have already learned and experienced a lot. The most memorable experience I've had was being in the audience of the Pathfinder 20th anniversary talk show. I got the chance to listen to a panel of JPL employees that were a part of the pathfinder mission. They shared a lot about their experiences, where I learned not only about the mission itself, but I also learned about the journey leading up to the mission, their backgrounds, the problems they encountered, the support they received, etc. This experience was truly inspiring and it was an honor to hear from people that made such a huge impact all over the world.

Any last words?

Mars 2020 Rover

This internship opportunity has been amazing and it feels great to be a part of such an innovative place. JPL is a great place to have an internship, and I strongly encourage other students to apply for this internship next Fall.