Life is full of surprises. You never know what’s going to happen. It could be a rejection of your dream job or it could be an application to an organization you never intended to work for. For example, an engineer applied to Boeing but was accepted to work at NASA.
That’s the story of David Miller, who spent more than 8 years working at NASA and planning robotic operations outside the International Space Station but was never interviewed about his journey here.
It all happened just a few months after Miller graduated from the University of Washington. As a mechanical engineer, Miller wanted to start his career at Boeing. He contacted the recruiter and came for an interview. The employer also informed him about a similar vacancy in the Manipulator, Analysis Graphics & Interactive Kinematics (MAGIK) group. Miller at that time had no idea what MAGIK belonged to NASA and specialized in.
The MAGIK team at NASA specializes in determining the feasibility of robots on the ISS station and preparing the necessary facilities for deployment. Miller did just one interview and a few weeks later was offered the job.
Miller moved to Texas, and it wasn’t until he took the job and handled the paperwork that he realized he was going to work for NASA. The entire story was revealed through a video on TikTok shared by Miller’s girlfriend.
Fortunately, Miller is qualified to work at NASA. He worked on many things related to space while at university, such as building a student version of the satellite and testing it in zero gravity. Thanks to that, Miller is can handle things easily and take on new jobs. Miller is also currently an employee of Mission Control, which operates and guides spacewalking and connecting stations.
It turned out that at the time, the MAGIK team was really short of staff and looked to Boeing, a long-term NASA contractor, to find the right personnel.
Recruiters at NASA and Boeing probably found the same pool of candidates, and Miller was lucky to join NASA. However, Miller’s case is no exception. Recently a colleague of his also joined the MAGIK group in a similar way.