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Kusal is an aspiring aerospace engineer that looks to utilize his engineering background in the space industry.

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"While at AOC, take advantage of the resources available to you at COC. My biggest regret with my time at AOC is not really exploring subjects that interest me."

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Kusal Uprety
Class of 2020



My career roadmap has been somewhat defined.

I always loved learning about space as a kid. One of my earliest memories is when my parents bought me a book set about the solar system.

The first real experience I had with engineering was when I took a robotics class as my elective in middle school. I really enjoyed being in that class and it greatly influenced my journey into STEM.

While at AOC, I took as many math and physics classes as I could and ended up graduating with associate degrees in math and physics.

I also took a few opportunities to learn skills related to engineering and computer science (although I’m not that good) throughout junior and senior year. For example, I took Introduction to Aerospace Engineering: Astronautics and Human Spaceflight on edX.

During senior year, I worked on a few side projects in order to better understand engineering principles and the design product, including a redesign of a paint can and a satellite designed to capture space junk.

To further my studies into aerospace engineering, I applied to and was accepted into UC San Diego as an aerospace engineering major and hope to participate in research and internships relevant to my pathway.



Here are my extracurriculars relevant to this pathway


  • Took online edX courses related to astronomy and engineering because I could not take equivalents at COC.

  • Worked on a few design projects (including a paint can redesign and satellite) to get comfortable with CAD software and the design process.

  • Explored computer science for a bit and learned HTML, CSS, and a bit of C.


  • Currently waiting to step foot on campus!


What I'm currently doing/hope to do

I have always known that I wanted to do something related to space. Ever since I was a child, I have loved learning about it and I could not imagine a career in anything else. By pursuing an aerospace engineering degree, I hope to be able to work in the space industry and find a career that combines my passion for space with my love of science and math.


How to maximize my time in high school?

  • Advice #1: While at AOC, take advantage of the resources available to you at COC. My biggest regret with my time at AOC is not really exploring subjects that interest me.

  • Advice #2: You can learn a LOT about the fields you’re interested in via online resources like Khan Academy and edX. I would definitely recommend using them if you cannot get an internship or job shadow in the field.

  • Advice #3: As a COC student, you can get a majority of the Autodesk suite for free and if you’re interested in engineering, you should absolutely take advantage of them and just mess around.

  • Advice #4: Don’t be afraid to take a COC class by yourself. If you are the only person interested in a class, just take it! Learning to interact with COC students is a really valuable experience.

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