When NASA reached out to the University of Houston to find a student for an engineering tech internship with web and social media expertise, Monika Kalam moved from her comfort zone and stepped up to the challenge. Although hesitant at first, she decided to apply for the job. "Since the job title was described as engineering tech, I did not think that I fit the qualifications, but I thought if I do not try, I'll never know for sure", Monika admits. Her social media expertise and web design experience gained through previous internships, along with everything that she has learned in the digital media program were important to her ability to land the position.
The internship has developed into a full-time position in which Monika is now working as a web/social media specialist at the Johnson Space Center while finishing up the last two semesters at UH. There is a mixture of fun, creativity, and complexity that intrigues Monika. She is responsible for working with the Astronauts to update their social media, design web pages, and even collect their photos and personal stories about their missions. Since the beginning of the summer, Monika has been responsible for overseeing the web and social media pages for Astronauts Peggy A. Whitson and Jeffrey N. Williams. Reflecting on the significance of her experience, Monika said, "Being on the inside of the center is a very special honor. I've grown to realize the importance my role. And, I am glad that the door of opportunity was opened for me at NASA and that I took advantage of it."