ASTEROID DAY COMMUNITY MEMBER SPOTLIGHT – Joelle Byars https://asteroidday-uploads.s3.eu-central-1.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/16204052/headshots.jpg 480 270 Asteroid Day Asteroid Day https://asteroidday-uploads.s3.eu-central-1.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2023/03/16204052/headshots.jpg

Joelle Byars with Georges Schmit, Board Chair of Asteroid Foundation in 2019 and Danica Remy, Asteroid Day Co-founder

In this Community Member Spotlight, we talked with Joelle Byars. She interned for Asteroid Day in 2019 just after she received her BA in English from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and was about to enter a Master’s programme in English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Now, Joelle is pursuing a PhD in English at Morgan State University and works part-time as the Operations Associate for B612, which is dedicated to develop tools and technologies to understand, map, and navigate our solar system and protect our planet from asteroid impacts.

Joelle, how did you hear about the opportunity to get involved with Asteroid Day?
I was recruited by Danica Remy and didn’t know much about asteroids or any of the research involved. I decided to give the unknown a shot and I learned more than I imagined.

What were some of the roles you held while interning for Asteroid Day?
I helped with remembering our guests for all of the Asteroid Day events, including helping panellists be properly prepared before going on stage. Since I didn’t have a STEM or business background, most of my responsibilities were more forward-facing with our guests and our promotional materials.

What were some of the new skills you picked up?
I learned Asana, G-Suite, how to run social media accounts, InDesign, and many other skills that have helped me secure job opportunities afterward. Other than English, if it’s on my resume, odds are I started learning that skill during Asteroid Day!

What is your favourite part about the internship as a whole?
My favourite part of the experience was the newness of everything. I was learning every day, typically all day. I even grew an appreciation for dark beer, something that I couldn’t stomach before my time in Luxembourg. Many memories of my time with Asteroid Day I believe will follow me the rest of my life.

What person did you meet during your time with Asteroid Day that inspired you and why?
The staff for Asteroid Day and the Asteroid Institute truly amazed me. The amount of effort, work, and passion placed into every aspect of these events, it was inspiring to watch that teamwork play out. It was even better being able to contribute!

How did the experience with Asteroid Day impact you personally and professionally?
Asteroid Day gave me a level of confidence I didn’t have previously. This experience showed me that I could travel alone internationally, dive into a field that was completely foreign, and be able to hold my own. It also opened the door for me to work later with B612 , one of the Asteroid Day sponsors. I have been working with B612 contributing for the past three years!

Would you recommend interning for Asteroid Day?
I would recommend being an intern if you’re ready and willing to put in the work. It’s an enriching experience, but it isn’t for anyone looking for something easy. There were tons of fun times during my experience, but the work always came first!