The Hub for Canadian Women in STEM

NATALIE PANEK

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My name is Natalie Panek

I am a Rocket scientist 

When I was 10 I wanted to be an Explorer

I am proud of Getting an internship at NASA Goddard Spaceflight Center solely through my own efforts. This was the ultimate exercise in perseverance and one of the most rewarding work experiences I have had.

I work as a Mission Systems Engineer in the Aerospace Industry.

The biggest obstacle I’ve had to overcome is leaving behind my family and the city that I love (Calgary) to pursue a dream of traveling to space. Unfortunately the Aerospace Industry is centered in Eastern Canada, so it required a move from the West. I constantly have to work towards balancing a career with family and getting back to a place that affords me easy access to the outdoors and the mountains.

My advice to women is to dive head-on into challenge! See challenge and risk as a means to life-long learning and opportunities to push your limits. I think challenge and pushing limits ultimately leads to innovation.

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