October 17, 2023
Lauren Saloio next to the NASA logo

Lauren Saloio is an intern at the Flight Microwave and Telecommunication Systems Branch at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt Maryland, where she is providing technical documentation on the current developments of telecommunication systems for the Nancy Roman Space Telescope and the Plankton, Aerosol, Cloud, ocean Ecosystem (PACE) spacecraft. In addition to fulfilling the requirements of the English major, Lauren completed the Program for Professional Writing and Technical Communication and interned with Data Science for the Common Good.

View Lauren's LinkedIn profile to learn more or connect with her.

What have you learned from your internship at NASA?

I've learned so much about the complex designs of spacecraft communications systems and the irreplaceable role that they play in transmitting data between a spacecraft and mission controllers on Earth. For the Roman and PACE missions, I've had the amazing opportunity to research and document key concepts, witness spacecraft development, and interview subject matter experts.

How did your English courses help you in your internship?

My English courses at UMass taught me how to think critically and tailor my writing to a particular audience, which was a key skill to have at NASA. In the PWTC program, there was a huge emphasis on recognizing what technical knowledge our audience might or might not have and how to tailor our writing accordingly. During my internship, it was important to have this skill since I was writing for both highly technical and non-technical/public audiences. Analyzing and understanding my audience also helped me ask the right questions when interviewing experts at NASA for my writing projects.

Do you have any advice for English majors?

My best piece of advice for English majors is to be confident in your skills, take chances, and follow what makes you happy in a career. English majors have so many skills that are necessary and applicable everywhere, so don’t be afraid to see what opportunities are out there!

What are your future plans?

After my internship, I began my first Freelance Technical Writer job with ODYSEA LLC, a subcontractor company that specializes in scientific and technical communications as well as web and content development for NASA missions. I’m not sure what the future holds for me just yet, but I know that writing has a huge place in it thanks to UMass.