Rocket takeoff
Thursday, April 11, 2024

You don't need to be an engineer to work in aerospace

by Angelica

School of Accounting and Finance student Angelica Lee was recently nominated for a global aerospace award. She shares her journey and advice to inspire others in non-traditional career pathways.

My passion for space started when I was young, but I had always classified it as a side passion and not something that I could actually go into. As a field it always felt too prestigious for me. In university, I joined Waterloo's cube satellite design team which slowly reignited my passion for space after I met others who were equally passionate.

It was after randomly seeing student job postings for the Canadian Space Agency (CSA) and taking the chance to apply that I truly sought out my passion for space. Being in such a welcoming environment that encouraged me to learn more about space and the CSA really changed everything for me. Honestly, I struggled with imposter syndrome, especially as I didn't see anyone going through my ideal career path. After joining as a student, I felt my passion was validated even though I was from a non-technical sector, and it reignited 10 times. I began to get involved with learning as much as I could, joining different initiatives at the CSA. My favourite part of working here is probably how laid back and passionate everyone is about space, and their willingness to chat with you about their journeys. One day, my dream is to attend the International Space University to gain a broader view of the different career opportunities within aerospace.

Through my journey and my award nomination, I hope to uplift and inspire others to pursue a career path in which they follow their passions even if it's a non-traditional career path. You got this!

To other students: You can be your own role model. Sometimes I will ask myself "What would my ideal role model do or be like?" For example, if I imagine my ideal role model to be an enthusiastic speaker at schools, I would then evaluate my public speaking skills to improve them and reach out to schools to speak to their students.

In terms of student opportunities, I would recommend checking out SEDS Canada, the Space Generation Advisory Council, the Women's Aerospace Network and WeWorkinSpace for non-technical career inspiration and opportunities. I am also happy to connect on LinkedIn for those who have any questions about my experiences or would like to learn more about other opportunities to get involved!

Angelica at CSA event