-Written by Brenda Noriega, AE '22
This summer, I had the opportunity of interviewing Bidushi Bhattacharya. She double majored in Mechanical Engineering and Physics at Rutgers. Upon graduation, she started off her career as a Calibration Engineer in the Johns Hopkins University Research Center. A few years later, she moved to California to work in the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory for multiple space missions. Driven by her passion for astronomy and planetary missions, Bidushi attended UCLA for her PhD. in Space Physics while working for JPL. Her career path was not only in the science sector but decided to take a commercial route to gain knowledge to start and run a company. Bidushi talks about the stigma about the Space field being too challenging for recent graduates and this leads to fewer people interested in working in this sector. Motivated by this, she decided to fund her own company called Astrohub for which she is the current CEO. Astrohub offers interactive courses related to space technology to expose and motivate people to become more interested in Space. I find this very inspiring since not everyone has access to this type of information and/or classes. As she states, one of her goals is to democratize access to space.
Throughout her career, Bidushi has encountered obstacles mainly related to diversity in the workplace. As a Latina woman in STEM, I was able to resonate with this issue as well, and we both agreed this field should be diversified. Although some progress has been made, there is still some work left to do. Besides, as a CEO, she explained what issues she has run into and how she took action on these. The lessons she gave and how much I was able to learn from her were the biggest takeaways from this interview. I got that little pump of motivation I needed to continue working for my goals. In conclusion, the interview was quite eye-opening. I learned what are some necessary steps to start your own company and lessons that I will take with me during my career.