VIP guest invitation

VIP guest invitation

1989: I applied for a full-time summer job at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) because my uncle was a computer scientist at JPL and encouraged me to apply. Thanks to Jan Ritchie, four of us were hired that summer to hand address VIP guest invitations and prepare packets and other materials for the big two-day Voyager/Neptune Encounter event. This was a historic encounter with the planet Neptune and its satellites by the Voyager 2 Spacecraft on August 25 and 26, 1989. It was also the BEST summer job ever.

Inside the invitation along with the commemorative sticker

Inside the invitation along with the commemorative sticker

Even though I was still in high school, my colleagues at JPL treated me as a member of the team. In reflection, I learned a lot that summer. One, I was proud to earn my own paycheck. Two, I learned the importance of showing up to work on time, how to act and dress like a professional. Three, JPL is a special place with a culture that always made me feel like I mattered to the organization (which I later learned is not true for other workplaces). Plus, it was fun and people liked working there. And I made new friends, like Jill who is still a dear friend today (see photo below) and I keep in touch with Jan and a few others from that summer. Read the rest of this entry »

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