13th Aug 2021   |   Glow & Lovely Careers   |     |  
2 min read

Inspiring Success Story of Sanjal Gavande

Women Achievers

NASA rejected Sanjal Gavande's application for the role of a Space Engineer due to citizenship issues. Little did NASA know that Sanjal would become a space engineer for someone else and achieve the very same feat. Sanjal's story is a happy reminder that when a door closes, another window opens.

A humble beginning.

Sanjal hails from Maharashtra's Kalyan District, where her father served in the local municipal corporation, and her mother is a retired employee of MTNL.

She did her initial schooling at Model High School, followed by Birla College, where she completed college. After HSC, she decided to pursue a bachelor in Engineering.

While Sanjal was clear that she wanted to go for engineering, it is not easy for everyone to choose their profession.

It is easy to be confused about which stream should one choose after completing one's HSC or SSC or sometimes even graduation.

Career counselling and Psychometric Tests on career guidance are a good idea to understand one's potential. They make choosing a career path more easy.

Why Mechanical to Wow Mechanical!

People who knew Sanjal had only one question- "Why Mechanical Engineering? She's a girl. Will she be able to handle it?"

Engineering is a challenging field. While it opens a variety of options for specialization courses, choosing Mechanical is juggling multiple activities simultaneously. Mechanical engineering involves studying every specialization partially.

Sanjal completed her Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering and decided to specialize in Aerospace from Michigan Technological University.

Sanjal's parents were concerned too.

But Sanjal put all such concerns to rest after completing her bachelor with a first-class and enrolling for Masters in Aerospace in the USA.

From Water to Road to Air and Space

After completing her Masters, Sanjal interned with Mercury Marine in Wisconsin as a Design Analysis Intern and eventually landed a job as a Design Analysis Engineer.

Mercury Marine is known for making outboard motors. An outboard motor is a machine attached to boats and other watercraft that helps in steering them.

Her next job was with Toyota's Racing Department in Orange City in California as a Mechanical Design Engineer.

While working with Toyota, Sanjal had not forgotten her aim. While she dedicated weekdays to her profession, weekends were meant to fulfil her passion, chasing her dreams to fly- literally. She took flying lessons and earned a commercial pilot's licence.

When NASA's loss was Blue Origin's gain

After earning her licence, Sanjal applied for Space Engineer at NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration), which is the Indian equivalent of ISRO. But her application was rejected due to citizenship issues.

Sanjal did not let this setback stop her from retrying or achieving her goal. NASA's rejection turned out to be a milestone. She then applied for the same position at Blue Origin. Blue Origin is a private company that aims to make space travel cheaper through reusable launch vehicles. Blue Origin's founder Jeff Bezos is also known for the online shopping portal Amazon.

Sanjal cleared the interview and got the job of a system engineer. Eventually, she was selected for the project that built the New Shepard rocket. She was instrumental in building the spaceship.

Her childhood dream of building a spacecraft had finally been realized!

Just like Sanjal, you, too, can realize your childhood dreams if you believe in them.  Select a career that suits your likings and your dreams.

Here are some exciting jobs that you may find intriguing. Sometimes, all it takes is a little push.


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