Eagle Rock resident to journey to JPL after graduation

Angelica Sagum, Cal State L.A.
Angelica Sagum, Cal State L.A.
“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

For Cal State L.A.’s business management major Angelica Sagum (Eagle Rock, CA resident), Ralph Waldo Emerson’s quote is fitting in that it not only depicts her journey thus far, but it also stirs the excitement of adventure, which she will discover at her new position at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL).

What started out as an internship for Sagum this past summer has propelled her into a full-time job as a business administrator at JPL after graduating from CSULA this month.

There, she will play a key role in the guidance and control team for several projects, including the Mars Exploration Missions, which are literally making significant tracks on Mars as well as furthering space exploration.

“Within these big missions, there are a lot of sub-tasks and related projects,” Sagum explained. “I specifically handle the budgets for various projects, and make sure that the budget is aligned with the schedule and scope of each project, while providing our engineers with any other administrative support they need. It is a great experience to be able to work with the most brilliant minds in the world.”

Sagum, who will receive a bachelor’s degree with an emphasis in management and a minor in economics, will leave campus with a variety of accomplishments, and has helped pave the way for prospective and incoming students by serving as a CSULA ambassador. She will also begin her road to a promising career.

A Dean’s List and Honors College student at CSULA, Sagum is a recipient of the Golden Eagle Scholar Award and a Congressional Certificate of Recognition. Also, she was admitted in 2009 to the university as a President’s Scholar, an honor that includes full tuition awarded to her renewable for four years of full-time enrollment.

In fall 2011, Sagum was one of 23 college students selected to participate in the Panetta Institute’s Congressional Internship Program based on exemplary scholastic achievements and interest in politics and public policy. She, along with the others, received an intensive two-week training session before proceeding to the nation’s capital to work alongside members of the U.S. House of Representatives.

“I wrote a full-spectrum report that was published in a major newspaper on ‘Transforming Wartime Contracting in Afghanistan and Iraq,’ and I had the opportunity to lead a few legislative bills related to healthcare and education,” explained Sagum, who interned for the office of Congressman Joe Baca (CA-43rd District) in Washington D.C. “This experience has inspired me to continue my work in public service to further STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) initiatives.”

On campus, Sagum has served as an orientation leader and a campus tour guide. She was also formerly president of the CSULA Academic Honors Association/President’s Scholars Club and a speaker for the university’s Alumni Association. In addition, she represented the university as an ambassador for the CSULA’s Department of Admissions and Recruitment and the CSU Asian American and Pacific Islander Initiative (AAPI).

“As an ambassador, I went out to the community and encouraged students of all ages, especially first-generation students to go to college; I helped guide them through the application process and provided them with information to aid in their pursuit of a higher education,” said Sagum, who also intends on pursuing an MBA next fall 2014.

Currently, she is working with CSULA Professor Veena Prabhu on her Honors thesis focusing on “Organizational Commitment and Retention: A Comparative Study of Public and Private Sector Employees.” The analysis includes examining variables, such as employee motivation, work orientation, leadership style and creativity in the workplace.

“Someday I’d like to own my own consulting firm dedicated to helping businesses in the U.S.—both in the private and public sectors—to achieve humanitarian goals,” said Sagum. “I’d like to dedicate my life’s mission to aiding public service initiatives and improvements related to education, healthcare, science and technology.”


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