Transportation Officer Melissa Coleman

"Don't let the NASA emblem scare you away.

"I was very intimidated by it because it was a childhood dream [to make it to NASA]. I saw a picture of me at Kennedy Space [Center's] visitor center the last time I went home. I must have been five years old. I always used to tell myself that I wasn't smart enough. [I assumed you needed to be] a literal rocket scientist, and I have absolutely no STEM [science, technology, engineering, and math] degree whatsoever.

"So my advice is, as long as you're true to who you are, you're transparent, you're yourself, and you put the work in, you will get what you want.

"And make them tell you no - that was one of the first things I learned. If you don't ask and you don't apply, you have your answer. So make them tell you no. If you don't ask, you'll never know.

"And don't be intimidated or influenced by an emblem or your perception of what kind of people are behind that emblem. Because now I realize, once I've made it to NASA, that it's nothing like I thought it was. In a lot of ways, it's better, right? Because I get these opportunities to do things that are not in my primary role to serve others, and in that capacity, it's serving me. That's my advice."

- Melissa Coleman, Transportation Officer, Logistics Branch, NASA's Kennedy Space Center

Image Credit: NASA/Cory Huston

Interviewer: NASA/Thalia Patrinos

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