If space is the final frontier, then Iowa State student Logan Ott could be considered a space pioneer of sorts. After all, the senior in microbiology recently completed a NASA internship where he studied bacteria with a Matrix-Assisted Laser Desorption/Ionization Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometry machine. Yes, it’s a mouthful, but essentially this cutting-edge research is designed to prevent microbes from spaceships contaminating other planets humans may one day visit.

An internship with NASA is undoubtedly a dream come true. So much so, in fact, that Ott says he didn’t know if he’d get accepted. “It took a year and a half to hear back from NASA,” he said. “I had no idea they were going to call me out of the blue and offer me an internship.” Did the uncertainty deter him? Nope. “I’ve applied for far more opportunities than I’ve been accepted to,” said Ott. “But had I never applied to NASA, I would never have been offered the spot.”

Not surprisingly, Ott has some sage advice for other students: Work hard and take advantage of the opportunities that come your way. “Hard work, dedication, and the right faculty and staff have helped me accomplish my dreams,” said Ott. “As an Iowa State student, I’ve had the chance to pursue amazing opportunities that I never thought I’d have had access to. I’ve gone swimming with dolphins and sea turtles; I’ve helped cure diseased animals; and I have literally conducted rocket science.”

Of course, it doesn’t matter what interests you may have — because here you can pursue them all, from space exploration and food science to landscape architecture, computer engineering, and more. Just like Logan Ott, with your adventure at Iowa State, you’re sure to prepare your future for liftoff.

Learn about other Cyclones and their adventures and nominate a Cyclone whose adventure story needs to be shared.