This is another installment in our series showcasing PSWE alumni. Today, we feature Sarah St. Clair, an AAE graduate and engineer at SpaceX.
1. Where do you work, and for how long have you worked there?
I have been Quality Engineer at SpaceX since May 2013. My first day at the company was just two weeks after graduating from Purdue, and I’ve loved every minute since then!.
2. What did you major in at Purdue, and why?
I majored in Aeronautical & Astronautical Engineering (AAE) to fulfill a lifelong passion for space flight. Growing up, I wanted to expand humanity’s reach in the solar system and travel further than ever before. It was evident that Purdue had (and still has) a major role in aeronautical and astronautical advances. Purdue is known as the Cradle of Astronauts – I didn’t think I could find a better place for my studies!
3. What do you like and dislike about your job?
I am in love with the fast-paced nature and teamwork-oriented environment of my job. It is incredibly motivating to work among some of the brightest minds I’ve had the pleasure of meeting, all working towards the same goal. I look forward to getting up and going to work every day. While I believe that all jobs have their challenges, those challenges are part of what makes a job interesting and allows us to grow professionally AND personally.
4. How do you balance your work and personal life?
Work, especially work that you love, will take up as much time as you allow. I do actively schedule some time each week to enjoy other pastimes and spend time with the important people in my life. When I am not building rockets, you’ll finding me in a dance class, on the hiking trails, volunteering with STEM outreach, and/or enjoying community events in my favorite city: Los Angeles.
5. What do you miss about PSWE?
I always looked forward to every PSWE event! This organization and the people in it consistently kept me inspired and energized. There was a sense of camaraderie among the members that I feel is so important to continue to foster in our professional lives – I thank PSWE for playing a prominent role in guiding me towards this and so many similar realizations. Over my four years with the group, I most enjoyed (and now miss!) participating in the variety of outreach activities that PSWE coordinated at Purdue and in the surrounding community.
-Subhiksha, your editor