I started becoming interested in engineering as a career in high school, and pursued a mechanical engineering degree as my undergraduate education. During my junior year, I received an opportunity to work at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) as a cooperative education student. I was hired into JPL's mechanical engineering division, where I worked on several projects, including the Mars Pathfinder mission and a U.S. experiment on Russia's Mars '96 mission. After the 8 month experience, I was thoroughly hooked on JPL as a career. I returned to college and completed my degree in 1996, after which I returned to JPL as a full-time member of technical staff.