She may not be on her way to Mars, yet, but Space Exploration Technologies (SpaceX) technical recruiter Justina Couey’s work may someday help colonize the red planet, and beyond, as she helps search Earth for the most “brilliantly smart” employees for the pioneering aerospace company.
Couey (’11, B.S., management and human resources) has been working at SpaceX since 2011. She started out as SpaceX’s first human resources intern and has been promoted three times in three years to her current position at which she works long hours—often 12 hours a day, 6 days a week—as does most SpaceX employees.
“As an HR intern I started at SpaceX in the university outreach group. We attended STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) events at universities, hosted career fairs and information sessions around the country, and organized events with competitive student clubs such as FSAE (Formula Society of Automotive Engineers) and CubeSat, ” said Couey. “Then I began working for production and engineering as a talent acquisition coordinator helping recruiters do what they do, until I became one myself.”
SpaceX is among the most sought-after aerospace companies in the world for those looking for challenging and innovative work. Headquartered in Hawthorne, Calif., many of its engineers and managers (including Musk, who is also the CEO and chief product architect of Tesla Motors and the co-founder of PayPal) work together in large and open work spaces with multiple work stations that somewhat reflect those in modern silicon valley companies. The facility’s rocket factory is massive and technologically awe-inspiring, and uniquely produces both rockets and spacecraft on site.
To help achieve the company’s substantial goals, Couey and other SpaceX recruiters seek and hire professionals with diverse backgrounds, including those from other sectors, such as the automotive and video gaming industries.
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