Supporting the Budget for Space Exploration
Abigail Clermont, RWU Class of 2020Alumni
As a child, Abigail Clermont dreamed of working for the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA.) The 4+1 Masters in Business Administration program at RWU helped Clermont make her childhood dream a reality. She now works as a Financial Analyst for the NASA Headquarters Space Communication and Navigation Program within the Human Exploration and Operations Mission Directorate.
“My job is super cool,” said Clermont. “I get to know all of the technologies they come up with, and all the launch dates. If it weren’t for COVID, I would be going to every launch. I am super excited for when that happens.”
Clermont supports NASA’s Human Exploration programs by making sure they have the funding to stay on schedule. If they don’t, she figures out why they don’t have the funding and what can be done to help.
She is currently working on the Artemis program, which will land the next man and the first woman on the moon.
“First, we’re going to send a spaceship past the moon with no humans to get a sense of our new technology. The goal is to land the next people on the moon by 2024. After that, we are hoping to eventually get to Mars.”
Working with a federal budget presents challenges, as it changes dramatically depending on the priorities of congress and the president. Still, Clermont feels prepared for the job thanks to her experience at RWU.
“It definitely helped to take finance classes, accounting, and all of the Excel analytics classes at RWU,” said Clermont. “Those prepared me for my job because I have to make sure things balance in accounting and finance, and I work with all of the formulas in Excel. Roger Williams really helped me out with that.”
Supportive faculty and classmates also made a big difference to Clermont.
“The entire MBA program was really awesome. All of the professors were very helpful. All of my peers were open and supportive of each other. It was a really great program,” she said.