I recently got a chance to go to Naples, Italy. Yes, it was pretty cool, I had fun, but I was not a tourist. Actually, I had been working for the trip since the past February! That was when I had decided to submit an abstract for the 63rd International Astronautical Congress in Naples, Italy. That was a commitment. I am a business major and love my Business Administration Building so just going to the interest meeting for the conference was an adventure, because I got lost looking for the building and then – finding the right room. I couldn’t write a professional research manuscript alone, in a field I wasn’t familiar with, about the space industry. After knocking on few doors, I was introduced to two business professors who were already looking at a NASA collaborative project which I could work on!
The work I did in the next few months was completely new to me and challenging but after I finished it, I couldn’t wait to present it a the largest international space conference in the world! The flight was long to Naples but there was no time to be tired since we only had a day and a half to accommodate and look around, before the conference started. I met the head of DLR (yes, I know all the space agency acronyms now; that is the German) and their many representatives, had dinners with the initial CEO of a company which would become the Swiss Space Agency, ESA representatives and so many more. I found out how I can work in companies around the world or their USA branches, while staying within my field. I presented my paper and listened to countless other presentations in every field and became an expert on all the different places to eat between our hotel and the conference center. I boarded the flight back to Huntsville with a year’s worth of experiences in one short week, but remembering that UAHuntsville had more to offer.