So You Wanna Be a Rocket Scientist?


I always felt blessed to have a multitude of talents and interest. I am not particularly amazing at any one thing, but I have the ability to do a plethora of things. Right now the top things I consider myself versed in is:

  • Cooking (Baking cakes, sweets, anything delicious)
  • Flying (shout out to the piper fans!)
  • Painting and stained glass (art in general)
  • Engineering (more so just science and aerospace studies specifically)
  • Creative writing (obviously something I enjoy)
  • Entrepreneurship (working specifically with my dads company Simpson Heating and Cooling)

Spoiler Alert, I am about to inform you all how I wish I didn’t have all these interests. I am quickly approaching a small milestone in my life. Graduating my undergrad in Mechatronics Engineering. That means it’s time to make some decisions. Where will I go next? Is it time to start searching for places to work? Go pursue a masters? Keep chasing that astronaut dream? I spent all summer foregoing fun activities in California just to study for the good ol’ GRE. I went through the entire Princeton review book! That was back in early August. Guess what, I haven’t even studied once since being home. I haven’t even looked at signing up for the exam. I am letting go.

I talked to many different professional people involved in the aerospace industry over the summer. Through conversations, I began formulating different companies I could work with or institutions I could study at. I found that some of these paths appeared to align better with my dreams as a young professional, much better than my summer host company. For example, I met Dr. Ilan Kroo at the AIAA forum in Atlanta. He is a professor of aeronautics and astronautics at Stanford. Dr. Kroo is always looking for new designs to advance the future of aviation. A mentor at my host company decried my thoughts of studying under Dr. Kroo. They said that Dr. Kroo is “too unrealistic, his ideas too radical”. It is obvious they never took the time to learn anything about me really. I am a person who enjoys exploring untouched areas of aviation and aerospace.

Ilan Kroo with his glider model of the Zee Aero, now a part of Kitty Hawk.

That is just one  of several examples of avenues I pictured for myself taking post graduation. Because I didn’t absolutely fall in love with my summer internship, I feel like it is unfair to keep trying to find what I do look in the professional industry of aerospace. It’s no longer just “me”, it has become “us”. Because of the different interests I have, it is easy for myself to say that I am just not picking the right interest to do for my life’s work. Maybe I am meant to be a cake designer, take over the family company, or sell my art. If I had just one talent, one main interest, I could say this is exactly what I am going to shoot for. This is what I am. Instead, this whole issue is a bit more debatable for myself.

In all essence of the matter though, I have to be flexible. For the fact that I am moving based on where my SO is going to be, it doesn’t allow me to choose anything right now. I couldn’t do things like open my own brick and mortar cake shop if I wanted to. Moving miles away to pursue further studies or advance in my career is far fetched too. At least right now anyways. I just have to wait and have to be patient. That is the hardest part for me. I like exploring, I like doing, I love achieving. It’s a roll of the dice where we will settle at this point in life, but when that location is determined, maybe then I can start trying again. I can start preparing to go back to school, open a business, or whatever my heart desires. In the mean time, you’ll find me pecking away slowly but surely at my senior year of college. At least this dream is getting accomplished♥ (no jinks allowed!)


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Author: Courtney Simpson

I am a Purdue University Mechatronics Major, currently in my Senior year. HOORAY! I am also proudly a Brooke Owens Fellow. I am a woman in aerospace and I have a family of 80 women just as passionate as I am about all things in the sky. I have worked closely with other Engineering students on some really amazing projects, and have big ideas I hope to implement some day in the tech world! If I'm not at school being an engineer, I am either at the gym lifting heavy objects, or I'm in my art room or kitchen letting my creativity run loose. My passions are not so technical. They're deep and sporadic in nature. Welcome to not so technical blog where we put science into life, and emotion into living!

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