Internship at NASA Glenn Research Center turns into full-time position
Jeremiah O’Callahan is a Fall 2015 graduate of Cleveland State University. International Business, his major, suits him well as he holds dual citizenship in The United States and Ireland. Prior to his CSU education, Jeremiah attended Tri-C where he received an Associates in Multimedia and Graphic Design.
While an undergraduate student at CSU, Jeremiah exhibited a strong work ethic that played a key role in his success. His first internship was with the U.S. Department of Commerce which was an unpaid, six-month position. Although many students often turn away from unpaid internships, Jeremiah did not. He “saw value in the position”. This mindset ultimately paid-off as Jeremiah received a job offer from NASA Glenn Research Center only five months into his internship.
Jeremiah works at NASA Glenn Research Center, located in Cleveland, Ohio, as a contracting officer in the space flight hardware department. When asked to describe his job he says he “negotiates, awards, enforces, and terminates federal contracts”. He is part of an elite team as only 74 total people are employed in this field in The United States.
Jeremiah claims that his dream job would be to stay inside his current agency at NASA and move up to the director level. “It’s my dream job because I have really fallen in love with the agency. Our agency isn’t just making space stuff, instead we are benefitting mankind,” he said. "This includes developing new medical technologies such as a heart pump with everlasting battery power."
Jeremiah credits both his personal and professional relationships for all of his achievements. Personally, he credits Marcus Fort for helping him “regain the balance that [he] lost” and for influencing him to go back to school. Professionally, he credits Anne Nelson, Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Studies, and Robyn Gordon, Director of Center Operations for NASA Glenn. During his time at CSU, Anne Nelson devoted her time to helping Jeremiah land his first internship. Robyn Gordon was at first Jeremiah’s mentor at NASA Glenn, and now she and Jeremiah have developed a friendship.
When asked why he chose CSU, Jeremiah replied quickly, "The faculty are the best resource. The professors are “hands on” we have a top-tier business school." Although he is accustomed to traveling, he added, “You don’t have to travel all around the world to find a great school.”
In addition to his busy schedule, Jeremiah co-founded an animal rescue program called Rescue Inn. The organization worked to save over 350 dogs since January of 2013.
Jeremiah’s advice to any undergraduate student at Cleveland State is to be confident during interviews and always make sure to research the company. He is positive that his knowledge going into the interview is what landed him his first internship and current career.
Photos and story by Sierra Swigert, Cleveland State University student