An Engineer Accidentally Got Hired at NASA

Initially applying for Boeing, David Miller had no idea.
Ameya Paleja

Life is full of surprises. You never know what is about to be shot your way next. It can be another rejection for the dream job you applied for or maybe a posting at an organization that you were never intended to work for. That's the story of David Miller who spent eight years at NASA working on spacewalks and planning robotic operations on the International Space Station but having never really been interviewed for the job. 

It all happened just months after Miller had graduated from Washington University. As a mechanical engineer, Miller was hoping to secure an entry-level position at Boeing to make wire harnesses for the magnificent 787s. He got in touch with the recruiter for the position who would interview him for the post. The recruiter also alerted him about a similar position at Manipulator, Analysis Graphics, and Interactive Kinematics (MAGIK) team. Miller, who wasn't aware of what MAGIK does, asked for more details about the job during the interview in person. 

The MAGIK team at NASA determines the feasibility of robotic operations on the ISS and prepares the necessary groundwork for it. Miller only attended one interview, and a few weeks later was offered the job. He moved to Texas, and on the day of the orientation, he realized that he had been hired by NASA while dealing with paperwork.

@officialheatherharp #pov: your engineer boyfriend starts working for NASA on a #nobones day #fyp #targethalloween #engineerboyfriend #pov ♬ original sound - Heather Harp

The whole story has come to light thanks to a video on TikTok shared by Miller's girlfriend. The video has been viewed over nine million times so far and even a follow-up video has been posted.

Luckily, Miller wasn't a fish out of the water at NASA. He had worked on typical space stuff that engineers do at university, such as building a student version of a satellite and experimenting in zero gravity. Therefore he was able to fit right in his job and contribute to ongoing works on the ISS. He was also part of Mission Control for some spacewalks and dockings, Miller told Buzzfeed

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@officialheatherharp Reply to @officialheatherharp part 2! ?#KFCSecretMenuHacks #imsohappy #engineerboyfriend #fyp #trending ♬ original sound - Heather Harp

But how did Miller end up at NASA? He has a theory. 

Turns out that the MAGIK team was really short on people at that time and reached out to Boeing, a long-term NASA contractor for help. The recruiters at NASA and Boeing were probably tapping into the same pool of applicants and Miller ended up at NASA. He wasn't an exception though; he had a colleague who was also hired in a similar fashion just a week prior to his experience. 

@officialheatherharp who’s gonna tell him? ??? #WorldSeries #PradaBucketChallenge #fyp #trending #engineerboyfriend #viralvideos #pov ♬ original sound - Heather Harp
@officialheatherharp remembers everything he sent to space, “forgot” his BETRAYAL at the end ? #fyp #crafty #trending #nasa #ImSoHappy #engineerboyfriend #couples #viral ♬ original sound - Heather Harp

So, if you are an engineer who is applying for jobs, ask for an interview and say yes to opportunities that come your way. You never know, they might even make a spacesuit for you this time around. 

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