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Career & Employment Opportunities

Lynn Cline and Mike Hawes: Starting a Career at NASA


bjbjD ——— Ed Hoffman: I ve know both
Lynn and Mike for quite a long time and they have a very common path in terms of a lot
of work around human exploration on our major missions as well as working with our international
partners. As a starting point to talk about your careers, I would like to ask from Lynn
your standpoint, you started as a co-op at NASA and you ve had an interesting career
path doing just about everything it seems at NASA. Can you talk a little bit about how
you got started and how you mapped out and worked your career? Lynn Cline: Well I came
in for actually what was supposed to be a three month assignment. I was a French Language
major at East Carolina University and the chairman of the Language Department called
and asked if I would like to go and work at NASA because they had a co-op opening in the
International Affairs Office. So I came in for three months and bottom line is that I
got so fascinated with the work I decided to completely reorient my career and I wanted
to come back to NASA a second time. So I went back to school and crammed in every course
I could so that I could come back for a second co-op term and when I finished that co-op
term I converted to full-time /permanent. So I turned that three-month assignment into
what s now a thirty-five-year career. And along the way, I guess the main lesson that
I learned is that I didn t map out my career very well myself because whatever job I thought
was my next logical move turned out to be wrong. Mostly I got recruited by management
or offered an opportunity to go in a different direction that I personally hadn t been considering.
For example, I was working on space and earth science and was very happy doing that negotiating
agreements and I got a new boss who came in and asked if I would be in charge of our new
relationship with Russia and I want you to lead the negotiations for the Space Station
Program. I was ready to actually had applied to become our NASA European rep in Paris,
which for many years was my dream job, and my boss came and asked me to withdraw my application
and please become his deputy instead in charge of external relations. Then I was recruited
by what was then the Office of Space Flight to come down and head their policy and planning
group and when I went in to talk to Bill Reedy to accept that job, he said, ve changed my
mind, I want you to be my deputy, instead. So that s kind of how my career went. Ed Hoffman:
So you had plans, but they always went in different directions. And Mike, what about
you? Mike Hawes: I was the stereotypical space-cadet kid that somehow stumbled into engineering
through the science and math kind of gateways. I was also as a kid I tended to take all of
my toys and things apart and occasionally get them back together. But I also became
fascinated with the Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo Programs as I was growing up. So I decided
that I was going to go work in the space program having absolutely no clue how to do it, but
I got a Bachelors of Aerospace Engineering degree from Notre Dame and then just happened
to stumble into the hiring when particularly JSC was getting ready to fly Shuttle. So I
started at JSC in 1978, which was at that time, we said a year away from launch and
then it continued to be a year away from launch but I spent my first almost ten years working
in JSC in Mission Control. Like Lynn, I can t say that all of my career choices have been
choices. I think I fit in the non-conventional kind of career path in doing things that are
kind of new and different for the agency. I tend to have moved just made. So at the
time when Challenger when President Reagan decided that we were no longer going to deploy
commercial satellites from the space shuttle, that s exactly what I was doing. In fact,
my title was Section Head of Commercial Payload Operations section. So that spoke to a career
move that wasn t exactly planned. Then I was recruited to come to the Space Station Freedom
Program Office in Reston. After about six years the agency decided that they wanted
to go in another direction but by that time we had decided we were Virginians, not Texans
and so we stayed in the Washington-area network and have worked since at headquarters. It
just seemed to happen and generally there seems to be a lot fascinating things to do
at NASA so they seem to work out. ———- urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags
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——— Title Microsoft Office Word Document MSWordDoc Word.Document.8

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