ProTrack Co-op at Florida Tech


Nick AveryNick Avery

Mechanical Engineering

My experience co-opping with United Space Alliance will remain one of the greatest memories of my life. I’m confident it will lead to even greater ones in the future. Co-op students are treated as full-time engineers at USA. We were handed real tasks, responsibility and a change to contribute to American spaceflight. Responsibility was not handed out freely, my mentor gradually added it.

On the academic side, I am now well ahead of my peers. I know how things work in the real engineering world. I am well prepared to a senior design team. I have experience in prototyping, design and troubleshooting that will take me very far. I treat classes as if they were training within USA, making me a better engineer.

On a personal level, my confidence in myself has never been higher. Socially I am a different person now, eager to meet new people. I know that I have accomplished a major personal goal of getting to work at NASA. I also saved $11,000 that I am putting towards school. This enabled my parents and I not to take out loans this year and next year.

I was fortunate enough to receive an STS-129 Turn Basin Launch Pass in November. I flew back to FIT and took 3 of my best friends up to KSC to watch the Space Shuttle Endeavor blast off from the closest spot available. Three miles from the pad, Endeavor pounded our chests with sound waves and awe.

The past 7 months were some of the most important months of my life. I walked away with an experience that I could never have dreamed of. When people ask me how my co-op went, I tell them to sit down, because this will take a while. USA will make a spot for me when I graduate, and I intend on taking it.